Sunday, September 13, 2009

Friday Night Lite

Friday in London, where there are enough pubs and clubs to house the population of Canberra (this is not actually true but it sounds plausible, doesn't it?), so what did I do? The obvious. I went to Hamley's, where my brain fused.

Hamley's is a six (or seven, depending on how you count) floor toy store that's been around for a little over two hundred years. As I walked in I thought I might keep an eye out for present buying opportunities, but then an employee wandered by and handed me a remote control for a helicopter with flashing lights on both controller and helicopter. Two hours later I left the building with a large bag full of stuff and memories which are hazy at best. There was definitely a promotional four foot tall Lego Indiana Jones made out of Lego. Maybe there was a magician, maybe it was just a guy who had lost his wallet.

To feel a little less immature I went to the (arguably) oldest bookshop in London, Hatchard's, then the (arguably) most famous bookshop in London, Foyle's, for a total of about thirteen storeys of bookshop. Hatchard's was much more booky, with thick carpets, spiral staircases, and staff in each section who could well have been hired specifically because they look like old book store owners. Foyle's was a bit more modern, with a cafe on one floor, and a jazz club on another, and they gain extra points for having a genuine computer science section, rather than the traditional lone copy of Windows 95 for Dummies. In a remarkable display of self control I only bought three books.

Come the night time I did go out. Somewhat. A bunch of random people from the hostel went to the pub for drinks and pool. I drank Fosters because it was the cheapest beer available, and felt like a traitor. The night was cut reasonably short when one of the guys (an Australian, naturally) passed out, having started drinking at lunchtime, and his mates took him back to the hostel. This left me hanging out with a Polish squatter who DJ's underground, read illegal, techno parties, which sounds extra cool when said in a Polish accent. He left because he was being evicted, or whatever it is one does to squatters, the next morning and had to move his gear. A slightly abortive evening, all told.

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