Wild Young Minds: Back to London Baby part 1

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Back to London Baby part 1

Writing this post, I'm realizing that such a long time has passed since I started this blog. Why? Because one of the first posts was an account of my trip to London with my travel buddy Avalon. And that's already four years ago... Over the years, I didn't only lower my average post from about 15 to 5 a month (which I already have to work hard for), I also changed a lot when it comes to interests and looks. Which is a funny thing, because I thought I looked so cool, back in those days. But honestly, shopping at Primark and H&M, drinking coffees at Starbucks and making duckfaces in front of the Big Ben... Sorry if I offend anyone, but god, we were so young. No, right now I'm sounding way too pretentious. To be fair, it was one of the best vacations ever and I had so much fun. Every single minute. Poor dad, who joined us back then. 
Anyway, we decided to book a flight again, for a few reasons. The first and most important one, flights were only 50 euros, which is NO money if you ask me. Secondly, we hardly ever see each other anymore, since Avalon lives far south in The Netherlands and I live in our capital. And the last reason turned out to be the best reason, we had our first experience of Couchsurfing.
For those of you still living in 1999, like my mom, who actually doesn't even read my blog I believe, let me shortly explain what Couchsurfing is. It's a great community for travelers, who look for a host in the city or country they're planning to travel for. I know, it sounds a bit creepy and yes, you also have a lot of weird guys who offer to host you (I once had contact with a guy who was into nuddism... Good for him, but no thanks). We started looking a bit late, so it turned out to be quite hard to find a host eventually. Thank god for Chen, an Israelian guy who asked us to come to a yearly house party he organized with his friends. It would be very international, so of course we wanted to come. Eventually, we stayed with Chen and his friends the entire weekend and we had a great time!
I don't think I need to say more about the house party than that there was liquor, music and lovely people from all over the world. Yes, it was an amazing party. But there was more to London, of course. So on Saturday morning we had a quick shower and took our broken bodies into the tube straight to the centre. We went to Oxford Street first, to check out the English Urban Outfitters (cause the Amsterdam based store disappoints me every time) and Topshop. I lost Avalon in the Topshop and since our phones had lost their power the night before, we spend half an hour apart. Such a disaster, but finally I found her again with some nice bargains and we continued our trip to Tate Modern.

A bit of culture indeed. We had seen a poster of a Richard Hamilton in the tube and I had once read that he was the photographer of the famous Mick Jagger photo, the one where he hides his face for the cameras, cause he just got arrested. Anyway, the exhibition was really, really nice. His work was very diverse, he made very conceptual art, but also precise paintings, pop-art work and much more. After this cultural boost, we wanted to shop a bit more (since I hadn't bought anything yet), and where better to do that, than in the centre of the students: Bricklane. 

This village is a bit of a rough area, but very artistic, so to us, it was perfect. We saw beautiful street paintings of Johnny Cash, Jesus and many more heroes. Fortunately, we didn't have to search all the streets for vintage stores, cause a girl came over to us, gave us a discount code and showed us the way to a huge vintage dumping store. Which was heaven. There were books, photos, records and lots, lots of clothes. I bought a nice crop top and the most beautiful kimono ever. A white one with flowers on them. I have to tell you that I'm crazy about kimonos, and this one was perfect, so yes, great catch. They also had peanut buttermilkshakes in the store, and I also have to tell you I'm crazy about peanut butter, but we forgot to buy one, so that's a good reason to go back one day. 

 We were hungry though, so we went to the alternative centre of Bricklane, which is next to the famous record store 'Rough Trade'. People can eat outside there, which was perfect, cause the weather was still very nice. We bought halloumi, which is a Cypriot goat cheese, roasted potato and eggplant with salad. After eating, we went to the record store and visited our lovely photobooth again (we also did this four years ago). The photos are typically us - you'll understand when you see 'em - and we took them back home to the Israelian group. 

This time we decided not to drink, and to give our legs a rest, so we stayed at home and watched a long film called 'Cloud Atlas'. To be continued... 

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