About Me

Living in the Caribbean is probably like living anywhere else, with the same ups and downs. But it does have its own vibe and flavour and gives me a unique perspective on most things. I'm often sarcastic, mostly funny, always looking for a new adventure. I have not boxed myself into any one category of life. I love a lot of things and dislike a lot more. I write about them all.

A Real Halloween Nightmare

I know there are some of you who literally cannot stand my lack of posting and for this I am sorry. The photo is my proof of being busy. I have been busy, for the most part. I have school work coming up my throat as vomit and out my ears as reverse noise. It is now almost 48 hours since I have slept and I surprisingly needed a glass of wine to bring me back to bed, minus the books and notes. I have been asked to please come (by the lovely Sonso) to a party tomorrow night - a Halloween type thing I guess - and as much work as I want to do, I know I need to also find some sort of balance. I realised yesterday that since I have been in London this time around, I have been to central London once, I believe. It's been 6 weeks.The thing is I have no Halloween-esque accoutremnts, though the dark circles under my eyes surely must make for great costuming.

You would also be pleased to know that the dreaded essay which I wrote about a couple weeks ago has lost. Me 1 vs Essay 0. My lecturer announced in class that my essay was a "joy to read". If she only knew how her comments were a "joy to hear". I am basking in the temporary joy that I have the highest marked essay in the class so far, but I am sure she has read a few better ones by now. I still bask. Give me my small moment, thank you.
It's reading week aka half-term week so I don't have actual classes this week but it is not a break by any stretch of the imagination. It is just the lecturers' way of saying, "we have f@#%ed you all semester, and know you need a week to complete the dozens of assignments we have set you. So there you go."

And that is exactly what I will be doing. I also have scholars' tea tomorrow. That sounds so posh and dry it is mind numbing. Scholars' tea - where a bunch of us who are on scholarship mingle and meet academics. I think of a bunch of nerds in tweed, sipping Earl Grey and eating little sandwiches. Luckily, they will have me as well.

Last week was a tough one for me, hence the lack of posts. I need to be in the right frame of mind to write. I missed a lot of things last week, like Trini picong and my little family, but besides the chronic pain in my shoulder, I am alright. About that - dunno how I can go out when I cannot even lift my right arm without agony. But we will see how it goes. I hope I can make it. For now, I am going back to the books.

Luxurious Living

lux·u·ry  [luhk-shuh-ree, luhg-zhuh-]
noun, plural -ries, adjective

–noun

1. a material object, service, etc., conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy, elegance, or refinement of living rather than a necessity: Gold cufflinks were a luxury not allowed for in his budget.


2. free or habitual indulgence in or enjoyment of comforts and pleasures in addition to those necessary for a reasonable standard of well-being:
 
Luxury. Being able to come home early - no library, no assignment - sit in the recliner, laptop on social networking sites, and not on academic studyspace; tv on Law and Order, for the first time in weeks; dinner on the mind, and a glass of wine on the desk, without any fear of getting too sleepy to work until the wee hours of the morning.
 
Luxury.
 
This will not last. I have assignments around each and every corner for the next couple months, but I am taking two days official down time. I cannot function at a non-stop pace. It is not normal. One needs to take little breaks and enjoy little pleasures like Law and Order, triple chocolate muffins, a couple glasses of pinot grigio, and being able to sleep in past 8 in the morning.
 
Luxury.
 
It's also being able to finally keep your date, which has been postponed every Saturday for the past 3 weeks. Tomorrow, we go out for Indian food. I do not have such a good track record with British curry but he insists this is great stuff and to be fair, British Airways curry cannot be on any "Must Have" UK tourism list. I am excited to actually go out and have a life tomorrow. This is insane.
 
Oh, and the Rum Festival yesterday was a lot of fun. Somewhat disappointing that the rum reps were all British, except for a couple Trinis at the Angostura booth (thank God...my peeps!!) but the rum drinkers were Caribbean though (shocker!) and  it was great fun, not to mention great rum. I sampled a lot of great rums, most of which I had had before, but note to everyone out there - don't do cachaça shots. Cachaça is best when in caipirinhas. I was a bit tipsy at the end of the night but happier - essay was done, life was nice.
 
Not feeling so well today so the luxury is well needed. A bit tired, a bit achey, a bit cold...no...a lot cold. The weather is really doing its worst now. Got a snuggly soft nightdress for the cold evenings, to go with my fluffy slippers and socks. Gonna put some pasta on the stove and enjoy a night of total nothingness. Total bliss.

Guest Post Friday!!!

So while I battle with my essay tonight and tomorrow, meet Melissa, my guest blogger today and soon to be a fellow expat. Mel will son be joining me (well, she will be joining her awesome boyfriend, not me personally) in the UK and I know many amazing adventures await her in this brand new chapter. She also has some great food entries. So read her post today and go over to her blog and say hello. Love you all.
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When I was a young girl around the age of 10 or 11, my mother brought home two books for me: Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. I fell in love with those books and soon moved on to Jane Austen novels. I started dreaming of someday living in England and I’ve believed ever since that that is where I belong. Skip ahead about 15 years and I met a wonderful English guy named Jack. We’ve known each other since May 2008 and have been together for over a year and a half, and we’re very happy. A transatlantic relationship is difficult at times, and separation is never easy. A few months ago we got engaged and soon my dream of living in the United Kingdom will be coming true!

My blog is entitled “An American Girl in Bristol” as this is where Jack currently lives and where we were planning on living together in a flat in the Horfield area of the city. I was supposed to be moving over to Bristol on November, but unfortunately unforeseen circumstances got in the way. However, Jack is making plans to move very soon about an hour and a half away to Wales, where his grandmother lives and we’re planning on moving me over there in March. In fact, just a couple months ago his parents also moved there to be closer to her. So I guess this American girl won’t be in Bristol after all. So I’m also in the process of re-designing my blog. Oh well, one must roll with what life throws at you. I honestly never considered Wales much before I met Jack, but I’ve since come to learn that it is a beautiful country. Blogging, working, attending University, and maintaining a long-distance relationship requires a lot of time and effort, but it’s totally worth it.

Of course, moving 3000 miles away from my family and everything I know is scary. The thought of being so far away from my parents worries me at times. I also wonder how much life will be different in another country. I also tend to worry about silly things, like going to the grocery store and finding things that I am familiar with. What kind of detergent should I use? Which brands are the healthiest or the best priced? Where the hell can I find some damn almond milk?! These are things that run through my mind on occasion. I worry about being able to drive on the other side of the road. I worry about finding a good job. I worry about being an American in another country, because I am fully aware of the stigma attached to being an American in a foreign country. At least I won’t be an obnoxious tourist! I’ll be the obnoxious American living next door and asking you annoying questions in the grocery store, like “why can’t I find any english muffins?”

If you love bbq pulled pork as I do, then also check out her recipe here. I also had this for lunch. I am sure Mel's was better. Go say hi.

Coffee is my friend

The photo below is a print screen I did of a document I typed while typing this entry on the train after class. My seatmate has roving eyes. I have no mercy. I smiled to myself when she looked again and quickly turned away realizing she was busted. I amuse myself.


 

 

 
The temps have dropped drastically. It was summer weather – albeit freak weather for this time of year – on Friday and Sunday. Now it is not even safe to run outside for a quick smoke (if I smoked) without a heavy jacket. The little sweaters are not cutting it anymore. Have to bust out the big guns now. My troubles as a woman who was born and bred in 35 degree Celsius heat have begun.

 
Doing my blog post from the train for a few reasons:
  • Tired of looking at frumpy, sour faced Londoners and immigrants – all wretched looking after doing the hamster run, and from the cold weather 
  • My seatmates are not easy on the eyes. It saves me from having to accidentally catch a glimpse of them. This is why I hate these forward facing seats.
  • Don’t want to waste too much of my precious after-school home time on blogging. The assignment is king! And my energy levels are low so need to maximize whatever time I have with at least 45% sleep reserves on doing actual work.
The cracks are starting to show among the class. People have started skipping classes, the coffee machine is over-subscribed, ciggies are the rage, frowns are ubiquitous, tears are real.

 
One thing about being older and back in school is that I have been through enough crap to laugh about it all. Man stress, work/boss stress, money stress. This essay is like cotton candy. Well, not quite but I think I am coping pretty well. It’s just the sleep deprivation and that has resultant signs and symptoms, namely total annoyance and low tolerance with stupid people, or just with people. I am not a happy person when I am exhausted. Really. Take note.

 
I was at the library at 7.35 this morning and by the time I got to my 1pm class, I was ready to run amok from fatigue. It was as though the lecturer read my mind when she announced a break after just an hour and 20 mins (it’s a 4 hour punishment). The coffee was like a shot of adrenalin straight into my veins. I think I want to marry a coffee magnate or worst case scenario, a barista. We may be poor, but at least there will be coffee.

 
Thinking of overnighting at the library on Friday night just to make my Friday night/Saturday morning deadline for this essay so I can remember what a social life is like this weekend. Willing to make that small sacrifice. . I snickered when the lecturer, after winning me over with the early coffee break then decided to drop the nuclear bomb aka HER essay assignment on us. The joy that filled my heart was unbearable.

 
Typing this on the train made the time fly and I am almost home. Not willing to get some cyber germs from someone else’s wireless connection so will copy and paste before I hit the books.

Sleep Deprivation, Cultural Distance and Observational Analysis

I got 3 hours sleep last night, trying to do this now infamous essay, and there are two occasions when one should really not try to talk to me

1. When I am hungry
2. When I am sleep deprived

I was really not in the mood for crap today. Frickin' bus took zonks to get to the bus stop this morning and I wondered if the bus driver in his nice warm bus, with his coat and hat thought about me standing there in the biting 6am cold waiting for his late ass. Or whether he thought him being late and thus causing me to miss my train would be fun.

The day went downhill after that.

But after a crap day at school, which included going to a session that was absolutely pointless and which was the reason I was up in the dead of morning on one of the 2 days I have late classes, I was tired. I thus decided I had had enough of the train and watching frumpy, tight lipped white people, so I decided to take the bus with loud, often strangely unique black people.

What an error of judgement. You would think after the bus adventure this morning, I would have learnt my lesson but I was too tired to do all the walking for this train and the bus was the solution to laziness. I also was significantly grossed out by the dude this morning who sneezed a nasty, grimy, phlegm-coated sounding sneeze into his left hand and then grabbed the handlebar with the germy hand. I had had enough.

But the bus comes with its own issues. It takes eons to get to your destination for one and then it's always a crap shoot for a seat. Then the buses in this area get the weirdest people. The Jamaican lady next to me was having a highly animated phone call about her dislike for England. As she wrapped up her call she turns to me...lucky me.

Woman: You ah like Hinglan'? (translation: do you like England?"
Me: (to self: whyyyyyyyy is this woman talking to me??) It's okay.
Woman: Me nah like it. People inna dis country too nasty. Dem too nasty, man. And dem cyah dress.

This elicited a snicker from the rotund woman next to me and a smile from the Jamaican herself as she believed she had found a sisterhood. I agree - some of the people here are beyond frickin' nasty. I cringe every time I have to sit on the train or the bus for fear that I am sitting on dried piss or vomit. As for the fashion, it's often entertaining, let's just put it like that. But I was not prepared to have a bonding session with this mad woman either.

Then after almost an hour on this rahtid bus, it burned my socks when this driver announced that we would have to get off the bus and wait for the bus behind us. In the cold. WTF! I watched as the poor pregnant lady with her pull along with the wheel that constantly fell off, shivered in the 4.55 pm breeze as this wicked man put us off his bus.

And another thing - I am Trini and love my Trini-ness and by way of a good education and self-esteem, my accent is one of those that can easily be recognised and understood. I think if you're coming into another country where your thick accent may not be the most understood, oh gosh....learn to say a couple phrases in an intelligible fashion. So for example, if you are...oh let's say...a bus driver and you have to pelt people off your bus, learn to say it in the Queen's English nah man. I heard the man speaking and at first I did not know what the hell he was saying as he said it in the thickest, duttiest Jamaican accent I had ever heard in my life. This is saying a lot as I have lived in Jamaica myself. I had to ask the lady next to me what the man said. The same goes to you Mr Indian storeman and Mr Pakistani fruit man. Please...practise some phrases. Help a sista. lol.

I have 2 last observations today

1. I passed a place called Zeki's Chicken, and the sign on the window said ALL DAY BREAKFAST. How is this even possible??

2. Is there some kinda law in London that says children must be in a stroller until they marry? I cannot understand why these gigantic children, i.e. children who can run, let alone walk, are still being pushed by tired mothers and fathers in a stroller. The children are ginormous! Can't they walk? What's the deal here?

Woo...needed to get this all off my chest. England play some little foolish nation tonight so that means the house will be filled with loud men, distracting me from my essay. The library started its 24 hour service on Sunday so I guess it will be an even earlier morning for me tomorrow to make up for the noise and revelry or sorrow as the case may be, tonight.

Bloggy break

I wish I had something hot and exciting to report but until I am done with this week and the macabre assignments I have to complete, I am just another crotchety old spinster with no life.

I saw the black Snooki on the train today. This girl had a Snooki poof touching the sky, with all her weave tracks showing in the back of her head. The mascara was clumpy on the false eyelashes and there was a run in her stocking. Ah yes...London fashion.

I am beyond tired and the week has just begun. I have been a slave to the school stuff. Really looking forward to the weekend. The rum festival is this weekend and I provided I finish my assignment by the end of Friday, I may actually be able to keep my date this Saturday, and somehow be privy to a social life this weekend. I keep seeing photos from other uni friends in other faculties and wondering how? why? when? I am stuck indoors on this gorgeous London day - where it is actually warm, big white clouds in a very blue sky - the last of the good weather before the predicted 9 degree temps next week. It's just not right.

Dating a Sports Star

During one of my assignment breaks this afternoon, I sat down to catch up on the Commonwealth Games, now taking place in New Delhi, India. So far, my countrymen have snagged 2 silver and 2 bronze medals. Very proud of my little island. Then during one of the commercial breaks I switched channels and there was something I had never seen in all my life and I pictured dating a guy and bringing him home to meet my sports-loving father and the conversation with my dad going something like this:

Me: Hey dad. This is my new boyfriend.
Daddy: So what do you do?
Boyfriend: Into sports, sir.
Daddy: Oh really? I love sports. Used to play cricket, and I love football, track and shit like boxing too. So you play football?
Boyfriend: No.
Daddy: Oh, you run track? What are you? Sprinter or long distance runner? Or maybe you're into field events? Long jump?
Boyfriend: No. None of those.
Daddy: Cricket?
Boyfriend: No sir.
Daddy: So what the ass do you do?
Boyfriend: I am a trampolinist.
Daddy: A what?
Boyfriend: I am a national trampoline champion.
Daddy: Chile, get this man outta mih house and doh bring him back until he plays a REAL sport.

There it was. The UK National Trampoline Finals on my tv. I was laughing so hard I thought I would pee myself. I mean, I was certain there would be no black men in this ting. It has to be the most stupid thing I had ever heard of. Grown men and women jumping up and down on a trampoline for sport. Okay, so they were doing turns and twists and stuff, but really? A whole sport?

In other news, I found it a wee bit hilarious that as I got on the train heading to Waterloo a little after 7 this this morning, after a housewarming party last night, I still managed to pull a textbook out of my bag and read all the way in to London, despite a night of drinks, friends and dancing. There is something wrong with that image, isn't there?

What's more wrong than that image? Sitting here on a Saturday night with 6 books and countless journal articles open on my task bar, instead of being out in the West End drinking something fruity and rummy. I did manage to leave the house briefly to head down to my local Sainsbury's and get a dinner for 2 deal of paella, some veggies in white wine with shallot butter, a bottle of pinot grigio and dessert for just £10. Because yet again, I had to cancel all weekend activity, which included a wedding out of the city, and a dinner date, for school work, so had to bring the weekend to me. It was the best meal I had all week. For in-house food, it's pretty awesome stuff. What would I ever do without pre-packaged meal deals?

And it's going to be a long night of reading, assimilating, writing and theorising, so watch this space.

Hamster Beauty

I looked on tonight as a female hamster sat in the cold, at the bus stop, putting on a full face of makeup. I am not sure what she was trying to accomplish exactly with her little makeup bag, under a streetlight. Streetlight illumination can never be flattering. I looked on as she carefully applied powder, eyeshadow, blush, mascara and a most ghastly lipstick, which to me seemed pointless cause her hair was a hot mess, not to mention the outfit. But this is just another part of London hamster life apparently. I have seen it many times on the train in the morning, but this was my first evening/bus stop hamster-makeup sighting.

I mean, everyone rushes around as though their very existence depended on it, and the sad thing is, it probably does depend on it. As I walked to my platform 2 days ago, with my cup of coffee, a male hamster rushed past me and almost knocked over my mochaccino. You better believe if he had knocked over my morning salvation, and if I had to chase after him, knock him to the ground and make him fork over my 2 quid, he was going to buy me another coffee.

But hamster beauty is something else. The only thing I have not seen is a blowdryer, but the sunken eyes come onto the train, with full resurrection kit aka the makeup bag, and they pray they get a seat and don't have to stand with some of the other unfortunate hamsters. Once seated, they apply products ranging from Boots to M.A.C to dull skin and eyes. They also stand at the platform while they wait for the train with purse draped over one arm and makeup bag at the top of said purse, and they busily apply concealer and the like before the train gets there. I refuse to do hamster beauty. Jostling onto a crowded train with a makeup bag, and then risking digging out my eye with the eyeliner or mascara wand, is not my idea of diva behaviour. Sitting on a dirty bus stop bench, most likely after touching nasty, germy seats, handlebars and railings and then using those same hands to apply stuff to my face is just nasty. Brushing wet hair so droplets of water from my shower splash on others is discourteous. My advice to the hamster women out there: Lay off the pints the night before and set the alarm to wake you up an half hour earlier in the morning. It works!

Baby Love

While I sit alone with Messrs Carter and Lee (textbook authors), life is happening back at home. My BFF sent me an email bringing me back to reality. Amazing how you forget things like pregnancy and due dates when your life is being consumed by reading and classes. I cannot believe I forgot her due date (I hate to admit, but I even for the briefest of moments, forgot she was even pregnant) and by this time tomorrow I should have photos of her new baby. I feel almost ashamed for forgetting but I know she will forgive me.

And my nephew is getting big and presumptuous. I have sworn my brother to send me photos regularly so I can keep up with the little man. I also do the occasional skype session with him, where he cries and gets all divo on  me. He is a true celebrity - really hams it up for the camera. Mummy says he is trying to crawl already and I don't doubt it. He is clearly an overachiever.

I am missing these baby moments. However, I am nursing my own baby at the moment - this 3500 word essay I need to produce from the deepest darkest depths of my grey matter, within a week. Outstanding.

I took the long way home tonight because the regular way just involves way too much damn walking - up stairs, round corners, down stairs, up ramps. God. It saps the energy right out of you. So I took a more convoluted way, which meant I got home a little bit later, but less annoyed and more energised to read.

It's also amazing what a real breakfast can do for one's day. I had a late start to school today so I had the rare luxury of time, and the luxury of toasted English muffins with cheddar, sausages, coffee - in a real mug, and not a Caffe Nero cup and orange juice. All made by me in my warm kitchen, I might add. The day was brilliant after that (except for missing my train and then of course missing my connecting train and beating it to the bus to avoid being late for a 4 hr class, where being late means meeting a locked door after travelling all that distance). Sorry it could not last. Back to the oat bar and water on the train in the morning.

Cultural Distance: A Brief Analysis

It's 3am and my nap turned into a full on snooze. I have my highlighter in hand, texts on the bed and my hot new reading lamp on full glare as I try to compile info for an essay on the implications of cultural distance in marketing.

I can however give you a full on report of the implications of cultural distance on my everyday life. Firstly, the implications of poor oral and general hygiene. I am not saying that Trinis are the cleanest people on earth but I think my encounters with smelly people in London far outnumber my daily interactions with them at home. I sat in class today and kept second guessing whether I had put on deodorant this morning because there was a pervading smell of rank underarm in the room. And while I understand that 2 showers a day may not be essential for some, as the temps are so low here most of the time (I take my 2 showers), one shower is a must. Also, toothbrushes aren't retro, and even if you're doing the hamster run, please carry a bottle of mouthwash with you. Spare the rest of us.

Then there is the corpse syndrome on the trains. Trinis are naturally gregarious, in your face, overly friendly and often farse* people. It is a real shock to the system to sit on a train where eye contact is presumably outlawed and where saying good morning or smiling with a stranger makes you look like a psychopath, sex offender or terrorist. I have followed the adage, when in Rome, do like the Romans with this one because London is not ready for my natural Trini persuasion to be outgoing and fun. I stick my nose in a textbook and scowl at others just like the rest of the surly lot. It does not augur well for the rest of the world after that. It almost puts you off for the rest of the day.

And I always recounted my stories of Trini men approaching me in the streets of Port of Spain, declaring their love for some part of my anatomy or wanting to marry me or something. Their pickup lines were always original and hilarious, e.g. "Miss, I want to ride you like Seabiscuit". That was a classic one. Man, don't you miss the water when the well runs dry. Again, corpse syndrome. With the exception of the psychos in the bar on Sunday, the men here are Johnny Conservative and it then becomes necessary for the woman to be like a raging cougar, or at least to make the first move...risking stares or being labelled, as before, a psycho, sex offender or terrorist. lol. Today I played visual cat and mouse with this HAWT dude on the train. I saw him first on the bus and lo and behold when I got on the train after purchasing my hot new lamp, there he was again. It was a sign. I caught him staring at me, then he caught me staring at him but that was it until he got off at his stop. I was actually more concerned with keeping my seat on the packed train, especially with my brand new lamp being such a burden, than getting up to go say something. At least he made the 25 minute ride entertaining.

 I really missed home today. Not a heart wrenching, beat up the pillow crying kinda homesickness, but a yearning for the things and the people that make me smile.

Okay, that was my abridged report on cultural distance. Please give me an A+.

Red Eyes, Red Desk Lamp - Late Night Postgrad Reading

I bought myself a new desk lamp. Not a very sexy purchase but an essential one if I am to complete all this reading without going blind in my poorly lit room. Now I have no excuse not to read into the wee hours of the morning.

When they say you go to university to read for a degree, they are not kidding. I fell asleep over one tedious chapter last night and tonight, because 1) I was already tired and 2) I made the mistake of having a full glass of wine on an empty stomach, I will be taking a nap before text-diving.

I have an assignment due in 12 days' time so the pressure is on. I have put off all engagements this weekend to facilitate academc hibernation so I can enjoy the Rum Festival on the following weekend. Thinking of maybe going to a public place rather than staying at home, where there are soooo many distractions. Unless I am home alone, it really is not student-friendly.

I also miss the convenience of my mum's cooking. You know, getting home and all you need to do is grab a plate and eating utensils, rather than having to face the stove yourself. I have only been eating pasta since I got here, with the exception of the stir fry 2 weeks ago. If I can fit it in this weekend, I am going to cook a proper meal this weekend. Something with all the major food groups and not just carbs. My stomach is obscene with all the pasta I have been eating. Takes me back to my undergrad years where Kraft mac and cheese was king. In this case, it's Sainsbury's 2 for £2.70 specials that rule the roost. I have my Naparima cookbook with me, but it is probably the only book I have not opened since I got here.

Sigh. Off to bed, I go.

I survived the tube strike!

I survived the tube strike. I mean, luckily for me, they decided to strike on the one day I have an early school day because I would not like to have been one of the hamsters during rush hour today. I snickered to myself though as I observed the antics of one angry commuter on the underground train from Waterloo. I mean, this tube thing has been on the news, the notices are everywhere and even on the train, they keep reminding customers to make alternative travel arrangements. Furthermore on this particular service, they repeated over and over and over, that some stations were closed and the station which would have ordinarily been next at this time was closed. So when I saw the dude get off his seat and head to the door, knowing we were not yet close to the next stop, I had a smile and waited. Of course when we got to the station he apparently wanted to get off at - the one that they kept saying was CLOSED - and the train kept moving, though it was no surprise to anyone else on the train, it was an awakening for this idiot. He went from calm commuter to irate commuter, kicking the seats and taking out his frustration on his backpack. It was too amusing. Communication is a helluva thing.

So while I survived the tube strike, I nearly did not survive the shopping bag walk from hell. Note the 2 shopping bags.



But wait...they were not filled with sexy goodies like undies or pea coats, or turtlenecks or cute scarves or boots. Oh no. They were chock full of...




...BOOKS! I mean, how the mighty have fallen! I had bought some of my core texts second hand from a student from last year's intake and she brought them all for me today. My God. They weighed tonnes. It was the longest commute ever today, with these heavy text books weighing me down.

Now the harder part is reading them all!

I also think I am going to offer my marketing/consumer services to bars, to taste-test daiquiris across this great city and see who wins the prize for Best Strawberry Daiquiri. I went out to B@1 last night, and had an s.d on their happy hour 2-for-1 special, and they left something to be desired. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would probably give them a 5 for the drink, but a 10 for the vibe and the service. But I am aware that I probably should not be too hard on them - daiquiris take a special skill. lol. I love the bar though and will give them another try - maybe not the strawberry daiquiri though. However, the daiquiri from Friday night at Ha Ha scored a high 9, leaving them in the lead...for now. So who is up for the daiquiri challenge and willing to sponsor my daiquiris for the rest of the academic year? Calling all bartenders!!!

I will refrain from going over the ordeal of the psychotic attention from some of the male patrons last night. Needless to say, it was the oddest moment of the evening.

Rainy weekend...no...life, in London

So after a long week of classes and group assignments and commuting and all that other fun stuff associated with grad school, the girls and I (and Scott) went out for drinks. I am as boring and predictable as ever and of course had a strawberry daiquiri and the S.D. at our local Ha Ha Bar and Grill was awesome. Special thanks to our cute bartender, Jamie for being so cute and sweet and giving us hope for the male world. We had such a good time and we really needed it because the work is now coming at us fast and furious and soon we will be bug-eyed, anti-social creatures.

I also think the warm days are officially over. Goodbye sun. Hello rain. This is the England we expect and have nightmares about. Grey skies, rain, sourpusses in the rain. I planned to go to the shopping centre down the road today and donned my best light drizzle outfit, only to have it go from light drizzle to heavy drizzle. Then the "every 15 mins" bus became a "every 50 mins" bus and then when it got there, it was packed with Londoners, smashed against the glass doors that the driver decided he would not take any additional passengers. So after all that, I had to walk right back down the street to the house, where I got into my tights and under my blanket and went off to dreamland.

The tube strike starts tomorrow, but I have promised to go out and have some drinks with my Soybean, so pray for me, kids. Slow ass transportation in the rain? Not a good combo.

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