My shiny little online spot to help y'all keep track of me while I galavant around London.

Friday, October 06, 2006


So I've finally got a place of my own -- if you can call sharing with four other girls "one's own".

It's in a cool house though, right by river and only a few minutes walk from the tube station (Bermondsey, if you're interested).

I seem uncapable of moving north of the river. A few years ago, I played fifth wheel to DarNat and Rob/Sareena in a week-long trip to Cuba. While standing at one of several bars in the hotel, waiting for a cup of their amazing coffee, I struck up a conversation with a Londoner.

He was maybe in his late forties and he was definitely drunk. He told me that in London, one should live in the north, as south of the river is just "dirty, criminal ghettos". He claimed to never go south of the river if he could help it; indeed, he hadn't crossed the river in years.

At this point, I told him my school was somewhere in the southeast, somewhere called "New Cross". He just shook his head, wished me luck, and walked (stumbled) off.

New Cross was my first view of London; I took the tube straight from Heathrow. Dirty, graffitied and full of Jamaicans, it wasn't exactly what I envisioned London to be. I admit to being scared when I first arrived -- but then again, the police had left a sandwich board in front of my dorm building, looking for witnesses to a recent shooting... in front of my dorm building.

I quickly got used to the area, however. It was always so full of people that I never worried being out at night. It might be a bit graffitied, but at least there's something going on.

Then last year, I moved in with Emily and Peter in what's called an estate -- basically former council-subsidized housing blocks. The area, well, I never really knew what to call it. The closest station was Stockwell, but some called it Battersea (not really -- it's a twenty minute walk to the park) or Vauxhall.

While not exactly bleak, there just wasn't much to do. Dan and I explored the local Portugese restaurants and I frequented the park, but it's strongest selling point is probably the ease with which one can go elsewhere. Amazingly, despite the high-population density, the area has no sense of community.

And while I actually never felt unsafe on our estate, I did feel annoyed -- our upstairs neighbour tended to vacuum frequently at midnight, just before her son would come home with car stereo blaring.

So then, after the next flatmate-to-be wigged out on me, I stayed in Brockley with Dan (and his flatmate Tom) for a few weeks. Brockely is just south of New Cross, so I knew the area a little. But where New Cross Road is noisy and congested, the street Dan lives on is very quiet. The house itself dates to Victorian times and their area is what's called a conservation zone, meaning you must keep the original features of the house and not do anything too funny with it, so it's all very pretty, if a bit far out.

And now Bermondsey. As you may have realized, I love the South Bank of the river. However, I normally only went as far east as London Bridge. Now, I've started exploring the rest of the riverside, which is cool, as it's close to where I live.

Anyways, enough rambling. There's some pictures of the house -- but not my bedroom, as it's a mess -- here, and some random photos from a visit to the Clink Prison Museum with Emily here and some random south bank photos here.

A big spider -- really, quite large -- just crawled into this computer monitor's vents, so I'm wigged out and about ready to leave this room. How totally gross. As if I'm going to be able to sleep tonight.


Blogger Nicole said...

Thought I'd update on what happened with that spider, as I'm sure you all care.

After I shut down the computer, I got up to leave, and it crawled out the other side of the monitor.

And then I squished it and ran away.



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