Monday, July 02, 2007

West End Live weekend

The London Gay Men's Chorus, originally uploaded by supafly.

We started our second weekend in London cooking pasta carbonara at home. Afterwards, we stopped at Eleph ant and Castle tube stop to check out the all of the stalls surrounding the station, which sold bags, clothes, music, etc... There is also an indoor shopping center that has a Clarke's factory store and Iceland (a cheap grocery store that specializes in frozen foods). It was at this point, as we left Clarke's to go to Iceland, that I realized I had left my trusty marmot rain jacket (which had seen me through a trip to the Amazon and all of last summer's trip through Europe) on the bus. I was totally bummed and have called the bus garage since, but they didn't have it.

Next, we went to see West End Live! in Leicester Square, a free preview of musicals as well as other performances, including the London Gay Men's Chorus which (my favorite) sang Desperado by the Eagles. It was packed with people and we wandered around the different tents surrounding the stage. They all seemed to be geared towards children, but I stopped in the Science museum tent anyway and made a spy decoder as well as a train/robot out of paper that moved. There was another tent where kids could make their own claymation movie, face painting, hair extensions, and henna painting. I didn't want to wait in the long line for henna, but did practice some simple bollywood movies with an instructor. Then we queued to get our picture taken with the rat Remy from Ratatouille. I can't wait to see the movie!

After that, we found a Japanese area in Central London where there were overpriced Japanese groceries for sale as well as many restaurants and a cultural center - all connected to the Japan Airlines office.

We boarded a bus for Islington and walked North on Upper Street to Bierodrome, a Belgian pub and restaurant where we feasted on 1 kilogram of steamed mussels, a bowl of fries, and Belgian mash (really just mashed potatoes with a lot of butter). The pot of mussels seemed never ending, and I'm not sure if it was that, or something else, but I was sick for the next two days.

I lay in bed groaning, watched the first episode of the new season of Top Chef and bought several episodes of My Name is Earl from the iTunes store. I also discovered an entertaining Japanese sitcom called "Attention Please!" It's about a group of young women going to school to become cabin attendants for Japan Airlines. The lead character had been a rock musician, but needed to get a "real job." The show was a great add for JAL, as it made their airline seem super responsible and anal - and who doesn't want that when you're flying?

Marshall was also kind enough to make me Jook (Korean rice porridge). After being able to eat a little, I ventured out on Monday to Harrods. I was amazed at the range of things they sold there. Every kind of food available (including chicken with the head and feet on and Iberican ham) was in the food hall. There was even a Krispy Kreme section where you could sit down and just eat donuts. Upstairs, they had antiques (including chairs from an old space ship) and a pet store (with Chihuahuas and Siamese cats for sale). In the basement they even had a health center and I considered going in, but when I saw that dental floss cost £5, I decided I'd better just go home. I survived the bus ride home and watched more My Name is Earl and Attention Please while lying in bed recovering from something that I ate.

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