Markets, picnics, pride, and prejudice

Today was an awesome day. Best day I’ve had in a while. I started the day with a nice run through the park. It was a bit nippy, but it got me into an active mood.

After breakfast, I went to Camden Market with my new roommate, Kimayne, who’s from South Africa. The whole Camden area is amazing. It’s eclectic like Obsorne Village or Queen Street, but 100 times cooler. There are a ton of little shops and open markets selling everything imaginable. I was really impressed with some of the clothing made by local artists. I bought a t-shirt (see it here) with an awesome drawing of people on a London Underground train. The best part is it has a really dorky looking guy surrounded by some real weirdos and in the background is the Brixton station sign (which is where I live and start my journey every day), and it says “Who’s Normal?” on the bottom.

There were some really neat booths selling all kinds of food from around the world, but since I was meeting some other friends for lunch I just grabbed a frozen yogurt and a shot of wheat grass. Wheat grass is all the rage with hippies and the health concious here. Supposedly its pump full of anti-oxidants and one shot contains your vegetable servings for a day. It looks like seeweedy bilge water, but surprisingly doesn’t taste that bad. The flavour was incredibly intense, but tough to explain.

Camden Town is definitely a hippy hangout. I’ve never seen so many dreads before. And there were anti-poverty banners everywhere, signs about recycling abounded, and anti-war protesters were hyping a big march on September 24. After I got my wheatgrass shot, I lost Kimayne – not sure where she wandered off to, but I had to meet some others at Regent’s Park, so I went off on my own.

Around 1:30 I met up with Adam, Ellen, and Kersten. We found a nice spot in Regent’s Park and had a little picnic. Adam and I pulled out all sorts of food from our bags and Ellen brought a blanket and soccer ball. We feasted on crackers, peanut butter, apples, and granola bars and drank a bottle of wine, and then kicked around the soccer ball and snoozed for a bit in the sun. A very quaint afternoon. Around dinner time, Kersten headed off to Harrod’s and Ellen, Adam, and I went down to Covington Garden and wandered around the shops there. I was really impressed with all the buskers. The two human statues I saw were outstanding. I stared at one guy forever and never saw him even blink. The only time he moved was when people put money in his cart and he changed positions.

We grabbed dinner at a really funky Japanese restaurant that had cafeteria like seating. The fod was amazing and the sake was really strong – almost knocked me on my ass. After dinner we tried to get cheap tickets to a play or musical, but it was next to impossible on a Saturday night. We ended up seeing Pride and Prejudice instead in a movie theatre – it seemed British enough, and they assigned seating so it was like a play anyway. It was amazing! I was enthralled. I’ve never read the book, but I loved the movie. Kierra Nightly was really cute. And the cinematography was first rate. They filmed some really wild scenes at a ball where the camera would smoothly move in and out of rooms giving you glimpses of all the characters and the dancing. At the end of the movie, there was a round of applause. I’m not sure if this a British thing, but it was definitely warrented.

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