Today was definitely a very lazy day. Slept in until 2:30, after which I took more than my time to start actually functioning. After a solid hour of eating and inactivity, I went for a bike ride to Notting Hill. Why? Basically because thereís a movie named after it. Only mild lostness occurred: Iím a Londoner now, right? Similarity between Britain and the U.S.: lame tourist traps. I stumbled upon Little Venice, which was an excuse to throw a few boats on a pint-sized canal and a convenient backdrop for tourists who photograph themselves standing in front of anything thatís in their guidebook but little else. Notting Hill was not too impressive, just expensive-looking stores and nicer houses. On my way back, I passed Kensington Gardens and was amazed. This seems to be the equivalent of Central Park in New York and definitely gives Central a run for its money. I couldnít explore much of it, as bikes arenít allowed in the vast majority, but what I saw was beautiful.
Next up on my strenuous day was a rough hour sending emails; I think Iím going to visit every net cafe in London by the end of the summer. Theyíre all surprisingly crowded, but connection speed, price, and design vary tremendously. At one end is the dirty old international calling store that decided to connect a couple of computers to its DSL (slow) connection. Then thereís easyeverything.com, which is part of the easy co. corporate monstrosity. This is a company whose hip orange-and-white logos advertise a variety of wares, including credit cards, low-price flights, and car rental. The company seems cool enough, but itís definitely becoming annoyingly ubiquitous. Another branch of net cafes shoot for the business users: internet access simply draws people in to sell tech support, web design, and computers. My favorite are the trendy cafes, trying to get the young crowd in for overpriced coffee, long network games, and socialization all while paying at least a pound per hour. Thereís amalgamations galore, as few cafes can and/or want to fit into any one category. If this long paragraph is making you think I spend a little too much time on the internet and am spending much money to feed this addiction, you would be right.
That evening, I experienced English cultural institutions, aka hit up a bar. This local guy Jeff is really cool and has had many interesting adventures; I have at least one English friend now. Wrapped up my oh-so-strenuous day with a curry: my love of Indian food is intensifying, and Iíve found a place right around the corner with great, cheap dishes called the ďsuper happy special dealsĒ or something similar that translated equally poorly.
Earlier in the day, I thought about how I really should look for a job even though it was a Saturday. Iím in a foreign country, spending lots of money every day and earning none. Mentioned this to Jeff and he captured the essence of the conclusion I eventually came to: ďhey, youíre on holiday, man!Ē Yeah, Iíll get a job and all that jazz eventually, but Iím also going to remember that I have the rest of my life for the 9-to-5 bore. For now, Iím on holiday.