Monday, July 25, 2005

London Not Terrorized

Well London is still here and looks more or less the same since my last visit two years ago. London is fucking massive. You forget that when you are away for a while. The the city seems to go on in all directions endlessly. Things do seem a little more tense, although people aren't running around paranoid and screaming as you might expect. The Underground is emptier than usual however, which is not too surprising.

The paler Londoners have taken to cycling. The less pale Londoners are starting to wonder who is to fear most, the terrorists or the government. The shooting of a Brazilian man, Jean Charles de Menezes, by plainclothes officers took everyone by surprise and remains a highly baffling incident. Unlike the USA where killings are hardly news anymore, in the UK it's a big thing and there have been mass apologies all around. When have the police in the USA apologized for anything? I don't think they even know how to do that.

Why did the poor guy run? Well maybe you would run too if you were in a foreign country under a terrorist alert and burly guys with shaved heads and vengeful bad cop karma were chasing you with guns, right? I mean the poor guy must have thought he was trapped in an episode of the Twilight Zone. True, his visa was expired expired but the choice between death and a free plane trip to Brazil seems an easy one. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Anyway, I am staying in Cadogan Square in Chelsea and spending my days walking around window shopping, revisiting my old haunts and hanging out with old friends. Unfortunately one of my oldest friends Svenja from Paris is not around. It would have bee great to see her :(

Lat night was drinks with my Welsh friend Dafydd who is a writer for the Music section of the London Times and has his own music blog which is quite good. Check it out.

The best part about being back in London is the pubs: excellent and cheap lagers and ales, comfy chairs, perfect decor, decent food, friendly people, and smoker-friendly. The pubs are what I miss most and are the most compelling reason to move back to London. Last night we went to three around Hampstead and none disappointed although I didn't remember too much about the last one.

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