02 February 2007

Good Girls go to Heaven, Taschi goes to London! - Part 1/5

Ladies & Gentlemen, I am honoured to present you with a mini series by guest blogger Taschi who will give us an A-Z account of her insights into the city during her stay in London! Enjoy! - (:Heidi:)

214
Do you have a favourite bus line? I do. My favourite bus line is the 13A in Vienna. Most of the time it's crowded, and most times it’s not on time, but still I like it. When I came to London I had an instant sympathy for the bus line 214. Of course the double-decker-busses are supposed to be more special to me, because we don’t have them where I live, but still I like the 214 best.

Alcohol
Yes, they do obviously drink a lot. And yes, pubs close before midnight. And they do dink lukewarm beer.
So much about British and alcohol.

America (North)
Ok, why the hell do I write about North America when I write about London? First, I met some really nice people from over there. Stacia, who is from California. Anne, George and Georgia who are from… surprise… Georgia (yes, it is ok if you laugh), whom I had a really great time with at the Slimelight. And then Crystal form Canada, who has the most beautiful (in sense of really fitting her body, her type, her attitude and everything) ink I’ve ever seen. Ok, might be all this isn’t really interesting to you.
Second: everyone took me for an American! Why? I don’t know! People kept telling me I sound like I was from the US. Most would guess I live north-east. I took it as a compliment, because it means my English is not that utterly bad, but they actually don’t mean it as a compliment. Oh well, might be I’ll learn to live with that.

Arcola
Do you like Off-Theatre? Then you should defiantly pay Arcola Theatre a visit! They do great work, with good actors on brand new multicultural dramatic projects as well as modern and older classics. It’s located in (surprise!) Arcola Street. It’s defiantly worth the journey to Hackney. I recommend being here a little earlier and having a cup of tea in their stylish (I think it is) foyer.

Austria
I’m from Austria. No, Austria. It’s in Europe, really. No, that’s the one without kangaroos.

Best of comments:
“Oh, I would have sworn you come from the US. Don’t you Aussies normally have an even more weird kind of dialect? Hey, I mean, I don’t want to offend you or something. If I lived on an island, practically cut off from the rest of the world… I’d sound like that too.” (I DID tell her that I live in a country that is the opposite of an island… whereas she… well. British, obviously.)
“Man, Austria, I really thought you live East coast. You really don’t sound like West coast.”
“The one without kangaroos?! I could never have guessed that! I live in Sydney, too!”
“Oh that little county… yeah, Vienna? Mhm, nice place. Boring. Don’t like the people there. Nor the climate. Well, actually it’s a shitty place. I come from there too.”

Ben + Jerry
Have you ever had Haegen Dasz “Cookies and Cream”? If not I really hope you are working on a cure to all forms of cancer or waste away your life wit lots of sex, drugs and Johann Sebastian Bach. Otherwise: don’t you consider your life completely senseless, sometimes??
Well, bit of an exaggeration, maybe.
What I wanted to say is that Ben and Jerry’s chocolate chip stuff is the next best thing to Cookies and Cream. A really chocolaty ice cream, with pieces of chocolate cookies. But it’s not tooth hurting sweet, no! There’s yoghurt in it. I don’t believe that myself, but the package says so, and hell, I don’t care where the great taste comes from.

Big Ben
Ok, this is something really londonesque to talk about (apart from the shitty weather and… well). Believe it or not: I heard Big Ben. You might imagine I wasn’t being very touristy there, so that’s something remarkable. I was looking for … ahm, forgot what for. I was listening to the Einst├╝rzenden Neubauten, and there was that noise… kind of in the background. If you know the Einst├╝rzende Neubauten you might ask yourself how I knew it wasn’t part of the song… but that’s because I know the song pretty much by heart. So I took the earplugs out and looked around. Everyone was listening carefully, and I thought “Hey, you have heard that noise before” and stuck the earplugs in again. Like 15 minutes later a tourist (an other tourist) that obviously thought I was from there asked me how to get to Big Ben. “Who is it you want to meet? Ben? … Oh, Big Ben!” (That was when I realized what those funny bells were.) “Oh, I heard him around here just a couple of minutes ago.” Earned another funny look with that.

Birthday
Guess whose birthday was during my stay in London? Right, Heidi’s! Guess what we did on her birthday? I had a nice day in Heidi’s flat, cooked something, and later had a nice evening with some guys I shared the hostel room with. Guess what she did meanwhile…

Bread
It’s not a rumor that people in London don’t eat rye bread. Actually they don’t eat bread anyway but toast. All kinds of toasts. You can one sort of prepacked dark bread at Sainsbury’s (only the big ones), and of course in good bakeries.

Boxing Day
Everything is closed on Boxing Day. Holiday, unlike late evenings and Sundays, are “executed” in London.

Bus
Busses are basically the cheapest way to get around. Using Oyster (more about that later on) you pay 1 Pound per ride, or 2 Pounds cash. Considering that London has a very dense and good bus system you often don’t even have to change the line (if you are willing to walk a little). Whenever you change the bus line you need to pay the fare on entering.
For someone from a much smaller city I had serious troubles finding my way at the beginning, but as soon as you get the idea of lettering the bigger part of the bus stops in an area, it’s surprisingly easy to figure out how to get where you want (if you know where that is).


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