Hurrah for updates!!
So after about a month of lovely Vancouver, I came to London! It was actually nice for once, unlike the last couple of times, and was only crummy weather for several days. I stayed with Iain shortly, near Canada Water station (which is ironic!). It was pretty nice, mind you I got used to the tube more than the land, so I had no idea where I was when I was in town - if I was above ground. I got a weekly pass thing on my Oyster card (it's a transit card for London), so it was slightly cheaper. But after that, I went to another hostel, which I have since dubbed the ghetto hostel, because it was - interesting. It wasn't too hard to get to, and I like the area.
The area, Depford, is full of small shops and places to eat, fairly cheap, comfortable, I liked the feel of it. When I found the hostel, I found it was above a pub for one (but I sort of expected that, anyway). An old drunk man on his scooter outside the pub told me to go to the counter in a friendly way, you could say. The people there were very nice, it was a bit grudgy, but OK. But then (since I had my laptop), I was told it wasn't really safe to keep it in the room - but then it wasn't really safe to put it in the lockers that were outside our rooms for some lovely reason (and not inside) - so it may be safer to put my laptop under the bar, where they sold the drinks. I didn't think that was a very safe idea, so I figured to risk keeping it in my room - but I didn't feel any more comfortable when three people warned me strictly to keep my bag on my front or I will get robbed and not know it. So. I had entered the ghetto. The hostel itself had everything you needed, except the kitchen was always dirty and full of dirty dishes no one ever cleaned - I think this was primarily cause the regulars here were dirty old men. One day someone put up a sign on the counter above the sink (with all dishes clean and put away!), saying "wash your dishes you lazy cunts!" - very homey decor. The cleaning girl saw it and commented how that was awesome (since she had to clean up after said dirty old men), and one dirty old man that was in the kitchen at the moment commented on how he never really washed his glass since he uses it again so he always just puts it on the side. Man, did she give it to him. I could hear her victorious screeching all the way down the hall and through the doors. The regulars also stared at me weird while I did completely normal things like make dinner or (egad!) wash my dishes. My room ended up to be completely fine, met some good people there. All for one exception, which I have in the meanwhile dubbed Naked Man.
Naked man, if the nickname doesn't give it away, liked to be naked. We were alone in the room a few times, before the room filled up a bit. Man. To create a mental image, he's in his late 30s, early 40s, has a buzzcut that sticks vaguely (meaning hair does exist there) onto his potato-like head, and is naked. First off, he sleeps naked. So in the morning he would wiggle into his towel under his covers and jump down (he was on the top bunk), where he would shower or wiggle into his underwear. From there on, the towel lay forgotten, and he would strut around the room in his tightie whities as proud as anyone can be, bending over particularly with his non existent tail up in the air, while he's looking for god knows what in his bag. One day he sat at the table infront of my freaking bed (I was on the laptop), where he had HIS laptop (he was doing some sort of english exercises), in his underwear, which he would adjust every now meticulously and brush his thigh hair with his hands. I made the mistake of noting his existence when I first arrived. After that, I would put my laptop infront of my face to block him out and the world was suddenly a much brighter place. He noticed I was trying to learn some German, so offered me a book (he was learning english, I think), which I politely avoided since he was creepy. But he was nevertheless a big part of my stay here, since he received such a large paragraph. Try or not to block him out, he was ALWAYS THERE.
I still liked that area, though. Now thinking about it, I wouldn't mind staying there again. Also moved to London Backpackers, which was the best hostel so far. In zone 3, but worth it enough. Accessible, good hostel, people, clean, no naked men, what else could you ask for. I went to Greenwich with a couple of people I met from Seattle one day. It was pretty neat. You could see this statue thing and the line of the great divide.
You could also see this very long line up of tourists waiting to take their picture with the statue and the line of the great divide. Unfortunately, that entire line up was pointless because the original line was actually 50 meters away in a building that no one was taking any heed to whatsoever.
But that's also pretty pointless to note, since when they built the building they didn't put any windows on the north or south sides, so the guy that lived and worked there couldn't look at the stars properly and do his calculations the way he should. So he ended up doing all his work from a shed - which, coincidentally, has nothing whatsoever to do with the thing the tourists were drooling at or the building that no one was paying attention to. Actually, I don't think the shed is even there anymore. I really don't know where precisely it was. So I thought that was interesting all in all. A very exciting lady in a funny white get go did a reenactment of all that history to the crowd surrounding her. I think most of it went to waste, though, since two minutes after her presentation ended - everyone else went to line up to take pictures of the fake line of dividingness. But the grounds were beautiful! I also found a statue of a piece of poo dressed like a storm trooper ("Storm Pooper"!) and bought it for Michael
I met up with Iain, Cory, Laura, and co for a while, which was pretty awesome. A few of us went to Harrod's, which is a mall for rich people. It's pretty fancy - and neat to look at since everything is crazy. Like the golden toothbrush I found (and bought for a birthday present!). What better way to stay clean? Actually, I went back there later with a friend (Mason - one of the people I went to Greenwich with) to try to find that toothbrush and it took forever. It's very large - there are also lots of security guards. When we first entered it, the guy at the front made us walk two by two - even though we weren't walking side by side all four of us. A little strange. When I met up with Cory, Laura and Courtney, it was at their family member's (uncle's? Now I think of it, I don't know!) studio, where theyn deposited Cory on the spotlight and took a million photos of him - with sparkles in his eyes! It was pretty fun watching the photos come up, while he played music on a guitar. Also went to an Aussie club one night, which was memorable. I met a couple of teachers there, I think they were elementary school teachers, I can't remember anymore, but it was pretty neat talking to them. It almost weirded me out, since I couldn't imagine any of my elementary school teachers drinking in a bar like there's no tomorrow.
So these guys were receiving high fives. Iain and I wanted to see Watchmen but missed the time, so ended up seeing Lesbian Vampire Killers, which is educational. There was also a gay werewolf in the end. So I went about and spent some time exploring a bit of London. Wanted to see a 'Wicked' play, but never ended up to, since it wasn't playing that day (and I wanted cheap tickets). Only thing was I forgot how the center was laid out - so I was totally lost above ground. But underground I was ok. That was annoying. Next time, I have to find a map..
But Munich! Ok, so about a week ago, I arrived. Amazing city! I haven't seen very much of it so far, but the parts that I did...are weird. But good weird. I've seen a bunch of European cities, city centres, etc. This one is different. Yesterday we went to the center and went up a tower which I can't spell the name of (since I only heard it and think I'll butcher it) and we could see all of Munich. I could see some parts of old Munich when we were walking towards the centre - it was like walking through a city and suddenly walking into a fairy tale. That's the impression I got. I have never had that feeling before - the closest I could describe it to is Christmastime when you're a kid. So right off the bat, the place is just awesome. But I'll have to rewind a bit.
The first thing that really, technically happened when I arrived was that I got sick. Either a stomach flu or something I ate, I don't know, but it left me like an invalid at a campfire with a bunch of kids eating s'mores. It took a few days of zweibak (sp?) - a sort of buiscuit shaped like little bread slices that's very light and good for your insides when you're feeling like egg mush (the British call it a "rusk") - and loads of Camille tea, all prescribed and prepared by Michael, before I am back at normal Katarina level. Personally, I think it was because I bought the Storm Pooper. The thing jinxed me.
But when you look around, you can see how bike-accessible Munich is. It's awesome! Biking seems to be a common form of transport, you see bikers everywhere, for one. There are bikes tied to racks and fences or outside of houses, as you walk by. They have a company that rents out bikes when you need them - so you set up an account and pick up a bike wherever in the city you are, if there's a station near you. The sidewalks - they are normal, walking sidwalks - and they are very wide. Because the half of the sidewalk closer to the street is a notch lower than normal sidewalk - that's specifically for bikes. This cycling aspect is one of my favourite things about the city, so far.
We went to several beergardens. I obviously never went to one before. I'll probably sound like I'm spewing stuff out now, but ah! The culture!
Imagine a hundred picnic tables all situated under chestnut trees (a law!). These, of course, are crowded with people of all ages, eating, not eating, but all drinking - out of jugs that are as big as pitchers. A jug this size is called a 'mass', as I was taught, haha - the first day I arrived. Each would hold about two bottles of beer. As soon as it's nice outside, everyone is out immediately for a drink in a beergarden. The biggest problem would be finding a seat, since there are so many people. But that may be what amazes me most, since you see everyone enjoying life in a way you should be. You see culture beaming out of the whole picture like chemicals out of a power plant. It's brilliant. I'm not sure if I'm explaining this properly.
Another thing is the church bell. Every morning, it starts to ring and count off what hour it is. Not being early risers, that means that by the time it starts counting only one ring - that means that well, crap. It's 1pm. But I'm beginning to love it, since it's a way of telling the time without moving or opening your eyes. It reminds me of all the history that eminates from this place... Definitely a better reminder than the neighbours mowing the lawn outside.
We went to a concert last night to see Anna Ternheim, a Swedish singer. I heard only two of her songs, but love them. So I knew I would enjoy the concert right off. And it was great! The venue was a new one, it was hidden in between all this construction. And it was held in a sort of brick warehouse with a metal roof - and stage, lights, all the get-go. The opening band sounded like they were trying to be Bjork, but not succeeding...but they did good in some parts of their stuff, at least. But the artist we came to see was brilliant - it's too bad the concert ended! The only downfall was that I had my camera when I came there (we were walking around town earlier), and I forgot about the probable rules of no photos...so I had to check in my camera. But the guard was apparently quite unfriendly (I thought it was cause of his english, but guess he was just being a prick). He went 'NO! NO!" to point out the camera. But all I had to do was check in my stuff into coat check and all was good.
The End. Katarina can't think.