Here’s a glimpse of some of my more surreal moments over the last week:

I’ve yet to go into a pub without meeting a crazy person. Around 4pm most afternoons I’ve chosen a pub (you know the ones – ‘The Pig and the Porpoise’, or ‘The Wheelbarrow and the Clock’, something along those lines) and I have a glass of wine before the ‘after work’ crowd moves in.

It’s as if the moment I sit down with my newspaper, the craziest person in the room spies me, and thinks to themselves, “here’s someone who needs a nut-job in her life”.

Then they sit down beside me and talk AT me for the next hour, until I find a polite way to leave. Then they force their phone numbers onto me, saying something along the lines of “this is fate, we were meant to meet – I’d love to do this again, please call me, please?”

I now have the phone numbers of the three craziest people in London – let me know next time you’re in England and I’ll give them to you if you want an afternoon of entertainment, conspiracy theories, religious rants and general weirdness!

I also found a Tescos down the road from my house. I’m in love. The pre-packaged meal section is my dream come true. It’s pure heaven. I can eat well (and reasonably cheaply), but never actually have to cook again!

Although, (and here’s a rant you never expected to hear) – there is no where in London you can buy flavoured tuna. They just don’t do it. I know flavoured tuna isn’t everyone’s thing, but I like it, and it simply doesn’t exist here. No tuna with tomato and basil. No tuna with lemongrass and lime. No tuna with caramelised onion. I know I’ll be able to cope, but I’ll miss my tuna!

Other things I’m going to miss: Twisties, Cheezels, Cherry Ripes, Sustagen and decent muesli bars.

I went to check out the London Eye – but the line was the longest I’ve ever seen, and the idea of standing in the wind for an hour and a half wasn’t enticing.

Instead I had a ride on the carousel just underneath. I think I was the oldest carousel-rider, sitting proudly atop a pink plastic horse, by about 20 years. The nice carousel-man let me have a ride, despite his concerns that the horse might not take my weight(!!!)
Ferris Wheel and Carousel

So far I’ve loved my Underground adventures. Despite the fact that there are posters everywhere about the 53 people injured because they didn’t Mind The Gap and the 1134 people who were injured on Underground escalators and stairs (!!!!).

I know I promised everyone I’d stick to the buses only, but I love the smell and the warm rush of air as the train zips through the passageways. And it lands ever so smoothly at my feet, like a chariot!

Hmmm – what else? Brick Lane is close to my house. It’s difficult to describe the texture and smell of Brick Lane. It’s like walking down Carlton St in Melbourne, but instead of Italian restaurants, it’s all Indian, Chinese, Thai and “Contemporary Asian” restaurants. Lots of good food, yummy smells, touts waving at you, welcoming you in, offering menus, mixed soundtracks of modern duff duff Indian music mixed in with traditional Bolliwood style singing.

There are so many people walking the tiny footpaths – a mixture of tiny old women in saris, 18 year old ‘hood boys with their pants around their knees and their boxer shorts showing, lots of exchange university students jibbering away in German, French, Russian and Spanish, older East End blue collar English couples and lots of gangs of women out on girls nights, hens nights, after work drinks – everyone squeezing into the smallest space possible.

And the street signs are written in a combination of English and Arab, which adds to the feeling of having landed in a foreign land.

Speaking of which – London has some of the craziest designed buildings I’ve seen:
Bullet Shaped buildings

And a bizarre way of remembering heroes:
Lunatics

There’s a whole line of plaques like this commemorating people who died through saving someone elses life, just outside a church in the city. I guess the moral of the story is – don’t save someone else unless you’re pretty sure you can save yourself as well…

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