London, England

Bits and Bobs

We returned from the fabulous city of Philadelphia on Monday, and just had a couple bits and bobs to do before Corey went back to work (‘bits and bobs’ is London speak for ‘errands’).  We accomplished UK bank accounts, healthcare activation, library membership so I can check out travel guides, and grocery shopping. Alas, I am still waiting to get a phone contract.

Akari's got the right idea- the poster on the way to the bathroom. Prime location for this dope message.

The poster on the way to the bathroom at a local restaurant. Prime location for this dope message.

On Tuesday, I started the serious leg work of applying for jobs, and had my first interview at primary school in my neighborhood. I am visiting again tomorrow to determine if this could be an ideal situation for me starting in December.  I enjoyed wandering the shops and food vendors at the Exmouth Market just a block away from the school.

Wednesday: Jogging has proved helpful as I hit up Hing Yip grocery market, noted further cafe options to patronize while blogging, and familiarized myself with bus routes.  My new healthcare tracks how many miles I run and walk each day, and we are able to earn free prizes for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. No way, you say? We used our vitality points and saw “Legend” on Saturday night FOR FREE because of the paces I walked earlier in the week. It’s really so civilized!

Thursday: I GOT HIRED ….as a tutor…..part-time.  This means I have some work starting in November!  After my interview, I also attempted to find a farmers’ market in Bloomsbury, but I’m noticing that the farmers’ markets tend to be large spaces for food vendors, rather than booths that actually have fresh fruits and veggies. The search continues. However, I did stand in line for GoodKarma lunch- where you pay what you like for a steaming plate of curry. See the captions below.

This past weekend was only the second weekend we’ve spent together in London since I’ve been here, and we made the most of it.

Friday, we partied at the British Library for the opening of the new exhibit called ‘West Africa: Word Symbol Song’. The evening was a tribute to Fela Kuti which meant the library turned into a concert venue full of talented artists belting out Fela tunes. We admittedly didn’t get to see the actual exhibition because we were queuing for an hour for jollof rice.  We went early to hear an interview with Lemi Ghariokwu, the man who designed many of Fela’s album covers. And I have to be really honest: I enjoyed the woman who interviewed Ghariokwu (still finding her name) because her questions were impressive, because she has beastly public speaking skills and because she deftly navigated through an interview as a woman- being interrupted at times, and having the designer try to relate to her with comments that I don’t believe he would have said to a male moderator (when asked about some of the symbolism of bodies on his album covers, he rolled his eyes and said ‘are you going to make me talk about boobs?’). I’m done. When I find her name, I’ll revise this post to ensure a proper shoutout.

Saturday, we ventured out to Greenwich to see where time starts!  Greenwich is an area that I would add to the list of sights to see while in London. The markets were full of delicious food and fun artists.  We probably ate some of the best Ethiopian food I’ve ever tasted. The stalls near the water are in the midst of the massive Cutty Sark ship, one of the fastest tea clippers in British maritime history. You can walk up to the Royal Observatory to take a tour, stand on the Prime Meridian or just take in a great view of London from the top of the hill.  (I already said this, but then we used our vitality points and saw our free movie to round out the day…at a movie theater within walking distance from our apartment which means we earned more points… I’m just so tickled by it all).

Sunday Funday- Corey uploaded his contacts correctly into his iphone, I pretended to do some wedding planning, and then it was time for American football. Below you’ll get an insider’s view of where we’ll be every Sunday until February.  Go Birds!!! True fans dedicated to that 1:30am Monday Night Football game (yes, we took a nap and then woke up for the game).

Finally, though our goal is to cook at home, we determined that our neighborhood has some decent restaurants.

  1. Ottolenghi (see previous post in the ‘O’ section of London Anne to Z…)
  2. Afghan Kitchen: (illusive hours during the week!) order the spinach/lamb, and the pumpkin/yogurt- I’d skip the baklava as there are better options at Borough Market and Yalla Yalla
  3. ZenMondo: the owner also makes the ceramic plates that they use in the restaurant! We’ll go back because many people had large steaming bowls of udon or sukiyaki which we didn’t try
  4. Akari: large portions, sound saba handrolls, more mainstream with their roll options
  5. The Angelic: complete with interesting veggie options and wifi- I’m drinking a cider here as I write
  6. 69 Colebrooke: a small cocktail lounge down the street from our crib
  7. Up on deck: The Little Viet Kitchen (closed on Mondays we learned)
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