Not much up today: relaxing and recovering from a tiring week hosting Joe. Coolest thing about today: wandering through my section of townís primo place to hawk wares: the dodgy Camden Market.
People like buying stuff, and Camden Market is the most enjoyable place in London to do it. The third most visited tourist trap in London, this vaguely defined area of street vendors and stores near Camden Station sells everything you could want to wear or eat, so long as the apparelís imitation name brand or includes metal spikes and the foodís deep-fried. Quality is questionable, but so is price. Greasy Chinese dinners drop to £1 a serving after 5:30, when the kiosks without refrigeration either need to sell it or throw it away. Many goods donít have a price on them; if they do, consider it a suggestion: vendors will flex considerably if youíre pushy or buy multiple things.
Camden Marketís a dodgy introduction to a fairly tame neighborhood. Many days and every night, youíll get multiple solicitations for money between the tube exit and your destination. Itís a pretty even split between nervous guys trying to look inconspicuous in case a copís watching them offer drugs, bums sitting near ATMs begging for change as they drink 2-liter bottles of cheap, foul, alcoholic cider, and "taxis." Legit taxis in London are black cabs and look like stubby minivans; the drivers must pass an exhaustive training course and know pretty much every street in London. What youíll get in Camden is a guy who decided to use his car to ride people around and make money in between hanging out with other Camden "cabbies." His knowledge of streets may be limited, but his lack of any meter makes the charge negotiable. Like so much else in Camden (my shit flat...): a bargain, but be ready to compromise on quality.