Forrest Oliphant

Day 07 – See Ya’ Monsoon

2002-07-05

Slept in till one... aaaaah yum.

No class today, as it is the program’s first official long weekend. Most of the folks on the trip have traipsed off in various directions in the UK and continent, but some of us have decided to stick around London. I’m staying because the flat is paid for, and with class and all I don’t feel like I have enough time during the day to explore.

The weather is almost decent (it usually mostly rainy with a (n extreeeemly thin) chance of seeing the sun’s glorious light), so I head to the square. London is set up with tons of small public parks where the air is actually breathable, thanks to the gardens, trees, and shrubbery. Mine is Russell Square, and has a central fountain in which pigeons and children enjoy splashing about when the water pressure is right. OK, so it’s not mine all mine, but it’s just a couple of blocks from the flat, so I consider it a personal refuge.

I brought my banjo, and justified its transatlantic schleppage in the park by playing around on it for a little. I chose a bench away from others in order to not bother other folks. People passing seemed to take pains to ignore me. This didn’t bother me in the least, but I sometimes wish strangers were a tad warmer here. I don’t know what that sentiment in me is, but it stems in part from the perceived refusal to make eye contact in the streets... maybe its just a city thing. The people seem warmer than the US once approached, however (like when I was first trying to find my flat). Its all so foreign to me, I guess it would take getting used to. Ha! Imagine that; it seems foreign to me. I’ll be darned.

I went to the grocery store, and a monsoon blew in out of nowhere. There I am with bags of food and no umbrella, so I decide to splurge for one. “Do you carry umbrellas?” the timid traveller asks the shop owner’s wife. “Ha haa,” she heartily chortles, “they are over there.” “Ah, good,” he thinks, and buys one.

Too bad it LEAKS. Jeeeeeeeeeeeze. I guess it might work in the daily drizzle, but it seems to filter the monsoon rain into light rain on my head.

Peace.