Saturday, February 12, 2011

SO Day two in London......

On Thursday the 10th I was scheduled to visit a university to meet with the director of the Children's Literature Research Center because I'm considering studying there in the near future. I'd scheduled the appointment about a month ago and had been having steady correspondence with the director assuring that I was glad to visit the department come Thursday. Meanwhile, after staying up all night researching somethings about studying children's lit that I wanted to address in the meeting, I slept until I had just enough time to get to the campus. Since I didn't really know which part of London in which it was located, despite checking and re-checking directions, I decided that we'd take a taxi to the campus to ensure we'd make it. I knew from looking online that the campus was located near Queen Mary Hospital, so when we get to the cabbie station, I ask to be taken to there thinking I could walk to the college after arriving at the hospital entrance. From Google maps it was determined that it would take about 30 mins to drive there, but our cabbie got us there in like 15. He pulled up and was like, "Here's the hospital, there are two universities nearby." One was Queen Mary University and I'm not sure what the other was, but it wasn't the campus I was looking for. Meanwhile, I paid, we got out and I decided to walk (in the rain) and try to find it.... LONG STORY SHORT, 3pm came and went with us searching and searching for the school in the general area of the hospital and was FINALLY enlightened by a kind hospital attendant that we were in EAST London while the university near Queen Mary Hospital was in fact in SOUTH WEST London. I'd already realized I wasn't going to make my meeting, and to make matters worse, I didn't have the phone number to the office, only the address and the contact person. So I felt HORRIBLE! Completely disappointed for compounded reasons; not only was I missing my informative meeting, but I was standing up the director of the program I'm interested in applying to. I could have just melted right in the rain... a bit devastated, to say the least.

So the attendant told us how to get back toward Shoreditch, which is near my cousin's flat, and we started walking to a bus stop. In that moment I decided to call my girl from London to check in and see how she was doing and if we'd be able to get up. She asked how I was and I told her that I'd missed my appointment because the cabbie brought me to E Ldn when I needed to be in SW Ldn. She goes, "NO WAY! I LIVE in SW London, am here now!!!!" So, seeing my dilemma she offered to look up the # to the office of the department where I had the meeting, and I was able to call the director herself, humbly apologize for missing the appointment offering the reason (she completely understood), and get comfort in her offering to answer any questions I have by email and encouraging me to remain in contact, especially if it will lead to me offering a proposal for Ph.D. study! So, yay.....

Meanwhile, you have NO IDEA the weight that was lifted off my shoulder just by making that call!!!!! Now I could really relax, stop pouting, and get back into the swing of the London Adventure!! So, we came back to the flat in time to regroup and figure out where to meet my boy Lion for our Thursday night excursion..... PORTOBELLO ROAD!

He suggested we meet him at Mau Mau for drinks and music. My boy Ahmed had also mentioned that this sis from BK was going to be performing that night, so I knew this was where we needed to be. Ju and I actually arrived on Portobello Rd about two hours before Lion was to come because he had a football match, so he suggested we eat at this Malaysian restaurant called Makan. We were sitting in this Thai pub when I made the call to him, but we hadn't ordered yet, so we kindly excused ourselves and went down the road. I was telling Ju that in my father's far east travels, he's often mentioned really enjoying the food of either Malaysia or Singapore, saying that while one had realllly tasty spicy food, the other was just alright and not as well seasoned. I couldn't remember which he said he liked more, so I was down for Malaysian jumpoff. And BOY am I glad we did... that food was bangin', yo! And SPIIICCCCYYY!!!! That was the best place he could have recommended for us to eat! Tasty and eclectic to boot!

So from there, we were off to MauMau! I love it there. It really reminds me of some place I'd see in Williamsburg, Parkslope or LES...... And turns out one of the bartenders used to live in Park Slope, real interesting bloak, as it were! We had such a good time here, with the ambiance and the live music that I could never have imagined that the next night would be ten times more electric than when we were at MauMau!

Lion finally arrived at MauMau bar and introduced us to half the bar which were a bunch of his cool Londoner comrades! Got to see the sis from BK rock the stage with a live band and dope singer MC from London. Truly one of those "eat, drink and be merry" moments!!!! Had the best conversation with a brotha that's spent a lot of time in Brasil doing volunteer work, which is most interesting because this country -------> BR, has become a running theme in our UK adventure during this trip! (Perhaps this needs to be my next international trip? ;)

And on that note.... I'll document our next chapter to the adventure, the Brazilian affair!

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