08 April 2007

Follow me... to Earl's Court and Jeffrey Sachs!

I found an absolute DREAM FLAT! It is situated in SW5, Earl's Court which is a wonderful residential area. The flat was on offer via a facebook group and is occupied by three girls, one of which is moving out. The other two are Swiss and French respectively. Unfortunately, the room has been given to my competitor, a Japanese Studies student.

- My room would have been TWICE THE SIZE of my Dinwiddy cell for the same money.
- I would have had a WINDOW TO OPEN with a lovely view on a small private park.
- I would have had a BATHTUB and a proper bathroom with tiles on the floor which is at least four times the size of mine at Dinwiddy.
- The whole flat was very light and had all household appliances (vacuum cleaner, laundry and BROADBAND INTERNET etc.).
- It had a kitchen with a familiar atmosphere.
- It is in a quiet side street but right around the corner from the tube and the shops.
- It is on the Picadilly Line (directly to SOAS in 20-30 minutes), the last station in Zone 1 (that is central but not central)
- Kensington High Street and Holland Park (a PARK!) are just 10 minutes away (see below).
- The Filipino community is quite active there, I saw a lot of them on the street. There is also a Filipino supermarket and a restaurant.
- The area was like Mödling, it felt quite suburban as the big buses are not there and it had loads of mini markets and shops.

(The fact that I show a "normal" park demonstrates how precious it has become to me and how long I haven't been in one)

In the evening I was at SOAS where Jeffrey Sachs, a key development economist who is also involved in the UN Millenium Project, gave a lecture as part of the BBC Reith Lectures. I responded within the first hour to an e-mail sent to all SOAS students and was lucky enough to get one of the limited free tickets. These were allocated so fast after BBC received more than 300 e-mails in the first two hours! You can listen to the broadcast on 11 April at 9 am (repeated Saturday 14 April at 10.15 pm) - GMT on BBC Radio 4. His core proposals to alleviate the health problems and deaths of people on a microlevel in developing countries sound simple and cheap and include bed nets (against moskitoes, a main transmitter of diseases) and access to condoms and anti-retroviral medicines. His idea is to employ modern science to benefit the poor which he demonstrates in his millenium villages. I haven't analysed his projects in detail but it sounds like a good idea, at least short-term. In how far this is sustainable and what about arid areas and the impact of political instability or refugee camps? Who are the winners in Western science centres? Where is the catch? Interesting was to listen to the passionate debate which ensued and the display of researcher ego ("I spent most of my time talking to people in African villages" and "I have discussed this with you for years and I find it impertinent that you bring this up here!").

1 courageous comments!:

Kat said...

Sorry to hear the flat didn't work out... hope you'll find something better!