Thursday, October 9, 2008

out and about in the sun

Last night I honored the Good Citizen Award I got my senior year in high school and dutifully took a nap and then got up at 2 a.m. in order to see the debate that would cement my decision on who to vote for, and also take me back to Nashville for just a little while. Alas, the debate didn’t make things as certain as I’d hoped, and time’s ticking away since I have to mail my ballot from here in time for it to be received by election day.

One accomplishment in the wee hours of the morning, though, is that my appreciation for the BBC increased. They carried the whole debate live. How nice of them. And they even sent a reporter into the torrential downpour on debate night in order to pontificate on things with her lovely British accent. And after the debate they even interviewed two undecided American voters living in London. The debate didn’t turn them into decided American voters either. It really was kind of nice to watch a bit of post-debate coverage that wasn’t hideously partisan one way or the other (as American coverage always requires time for some representative of each side to explain why their candidate won).

A very few hours after the debate was over morning dawned here, and I dawned with it because I had to be out and about today. And was an excellent choice for a day to be out and about. Sunny ALL DAY LONG!!! We’ve had sun other days in the past week, but it does seem like the clouds usually take over by midday or so. But not today. In fact—wait for this one, folks—at one point today I even stripped off so many layers that I was sitting very comfortably in the sun in my short-sleeved shirt!! I thought I’d missed all such days here, so I’m happy to report that I didn’t quite miss all of them.

My out and about adventures today included two main purposes that required lots of train riding in order to get my money’s worth out of my travel card (a travel card is like a day pass; you pay one flat rate to do as much traveling—on the above ground train, underground train or buses—as you want within certain zones in a single day). Purpose number one: IKEA!! I’ve actually never been to one in the States, but as there’s no Target or Walmart here it seemed to be my best option for finding a couple relatively inexpensive things to organize my English garret office space and to add just enough touch of something artsy and pizzazzy to feed my little artist soul. So I traveled the hour or so there with Anne and Joffie (who was home from school today).

Adventure number two: Southall!! I traipsed over to west London in order to meet up with some lovely friends of friends who are working over there with World Harvest Mission. Their part of town is home to many of London’s Indian and Pakistani and, now, Somali immigrants. Some of the families have been here for several generations now. On my little tour of Southall, I learned about Sikhism and a bit more about Hindi. And I had a very nice time getting to know Amber and Jason and little Elliott and ate a delicious Indian meal with them.

I made it to all the places I needed to go today but was very glad I wasn’t on strict time schedules. I don’t know how anyone ever learns this crazy train system. I didn’t make any mistakes really, but it just seems like such a complex system, and though it is actually well-organized it doesn’t feel like it because it’s so much harder to figure out than Washington, DC’s lovely Metro, the subway system of my experience.

1 comment:

Its Lainee said...

hope we can Skype-chat for another conversation about voting . . . are we the only two undecided people left? Well, I'm LEANING now but too unsure to go to the early-poll.