i have adventures (sometimes)

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Not Even a Little Bit Murdered


Ro went home on Monday, after a very heteronormative day in which he went out looking smart for an important meeting, and I stayed home like a dutiful wife, baking pot plants, tumble-drying babies and airing the ceilings (I may not be entirely sure what dutiful wives do). But then the time came for us to part, so I saw him onto the correct tube for Heathrow, and waved through the window as he disappeared.

Although he’d actually stopped looking by that time, so I ended up waving at the woman next to him, who looked very confused by this state of affairs.
 
Live long, prosper, and catch the right train.
Then, as my obsession with interesting vegan things knows few bounds, I headed for King's Cross to find Vx to see what exciting things they had. It turned out they had cake and cupcakes and cheese and bags and boots and belts and badges and more cupcakes and ice cream and tshirts and biscuits and it was all a little overwhelming. Since I couldn't justify buying one of everything (which is a pity, because the cheese they had is supposed to be comparatively good), I was incredibly restrained and bought only a Bounty cupcake, a piece of banoffee cake, half a kilo of fake Oreos, and a multivitamin, because I care about a balanced diet. I also bought a badge which says "I <3 vegan junk food", although I suspect that this was already clear.
On my way to find a park to sit and eat my cupcake, I had one of those weird moments where I think "oh no, my blog will be boring today," and then life goes "here, have a Mormon." I'm sure everyone has them (those moments, not Mormons). 

So as I walked around, cupcake in hand, to find somewhere green to sit, I was accosted by a man dressed like one of those scary small-town Christians from X-Files, straw hat and everything. He told me he was from Slovakia, and then started telling me about Utah and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - he didn't even seem to be trying to convert me, although to be fair, I wasn't listening very well. He was just telling me stuff. You know, like you do to strangers on the street. I spent the whole time he was speaking wondering what I could tell him to get him to go away. "I'm already a Mormon" seemed the most promising, but I thought that my absence of hat might give me away. Maybe it's time to become a card-carrying Pastafarian? Or a Scientologist!

Anyway, I settled for pointing in the other direction and looking regretful, as though I'd just love to stay and hear about Salt Lake City and Jesus, but I really had to quite urgently go over there and do important things. When I started edging in the direction I was pointing, he finally got to his point, which was, as it turns out, "Can I hug you? Do you like hugs?"

Um.

So I stared at him blankly for a few moments, then eventually decided that, since he'd asked politely, he could have a hug. So I hugged the Slovakian Mormon, and then ran away quickly.

(I did eventually find a park, but it was full of youths. And I saw a real live street fight! Islington is a scary place.)

What, you wanted me to wait long enough to photograph the whole thing?
Accio Double Stuff!
The next day was set aside for Being a Grown Up and Getting Stuff Done. I went to the bank, and then went to get photos taken for my student card, and the rail card I vaguely mean to apply for at some point when I get around to it. I'd been putting off photos for ages, because at home it would have meant doing my awkward photo face in front of strangers, and I just can't bring myself to do that. But here, I get to pull faces in a box for only a camera and a persistent and annoying voice which at least lets me take the photo four times and then pick the best one. 

But the universe apparently wants to keep my blog interesting, because when it's not handing me Mormons, it's handing me photo booths. I got halfway through the clicky selecty process before I learned that the machine didn't give change, which meant that I had to go and buy something and come back and start again. In the interim, a tall person had - apparently with more success than me - used the booth, so I had to apply all my limited mechanical skills to working out how to raise the seat again (future reference: spin it). I got half way through putting in my coins, when the machine decided it didn't like coins after all, and jammed. So I phoned customer service. They said they'd send someone to fix it, but that I'd have to write to them and ask them to send me a cheque to get my money back. I have to request a cheque. For £3. So I went to find someone who would give me change in notes instead, by which time I was so flustered that my first two photos came out looking like they'd been taken in the back of a van in the parking lot at Home Affairs.* After trying out various facial expressions (serious face, mildly amused face, awkward grin, contemplative look), I settled on the awkward grin, as the one in which I looked the least like I was trying to swallow my teeth.

If this photo gets rejected for any reason at all, I swear to the Flying Spaghetti Monster that I will go on a killing spree with a spoon.

My awkwardly-grinning clone army.
My brilliant plan once that was (finally) out of the way was to go to a vegan cafe our CS host in Cambridge had recommended to work through some of my preliminary reading, thereby combining my totally not-competitive need to do work with my love of vegan milkshakes. The website didn't give the opening times, but who stops to wonder whether a restaurant is open on a Tuesday at lunch time? (Do you see where this is going?) 

So obviously, after I'd taken two tubes and a train to get to Hackney, it was closed. So not only did I not have anywhere to have lunch, but I was in Hackney, which, for those who've never been there, is exactly as bad as it sounds. The half-price vegan pies I found in Holland and Barrett mollified me. But only slightly.

In my notes for the rest of the day, I've helpfully written "cupboard". I have no idea why. Your challenge: tell me an interesting story about my experience with the cupboard. We're so postmodern!

And today I met a stranger from the internet and didn't even get a little bit murdered! My Livejournal friend Ana and I met up at Baker Street, armed ourselves with hot beverages, and went adventuring through London, starting at Regent's Park and wandering down to an exciting vegetarian Indian restaurant where they served us our food along with what looked like a giant pancake, and then left us to work out how to eat it by ourselves. A mess was made.

Does this look like a pose a murderer would strike?
O hai, London!
Lion and zebra vs fish. That most primal of battles.
Because you have to have an awkward self-portrait.
Outside the aquarium.
O hai, more London!
Swoop!
Serious stance is serious.
I've discovered that the holes in my shoes are much bigger than I thought, which explains why my feet are now so sore and blistered. I may have to accept that it's time to retire my adventure boots, which, especially considering that I bought them for R40 in China five years ago, have served me well.

I would write them a haiku in tribute, but I feel like they probably wouldn't appreciate it.

*This is the actual story behind the photo in my ID book.

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