Monday, January 18, 2010

A two posts in one kinda day.

I have a computer that doesnt pick up a wireless signal for some reason, so it has taken me a couple days to get a cable..blah, blah, blah. While I was away, I was writing, and now I will post my last couple blogs..

Shopping at Sainsburys.

We are staying just on the edge of Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove. Funny, our rental stated the house as being in Notting Hill which is known as an affluent area. We are just outside this area. It is definite much less affluent and much more diverse.

My big adventure on Friday was taking Z to the local grocery store, Sainsburys. I thought Fred Meyer or Target was a madhouse on Sundays, this place trumps both, and it was only Friday morning. Sainsburys is a large grocery store, with a little clothing, electronics and dinnerware in the mix. I steered straight for the food, as this was the bulk of the store and I knew that I would be sucked in for quite some time, and wow. I suppose it wasn’t much bigger than our local Safeway, but I was so absorbed into it all; the brands, the products, the people around me. It was incredibly diverse. All of it. Supposedly, this area is a large Indian/Middle Eastern/Moroccan population, and there was a whole aisle or two of Indian/Middle Eastern foods. Of course, there was also practically a whole aisle of Marmite and yet another aisle of canned Baked Beans (with Franks, without Franks, take your pick..) And the people, I was blown away by how many different cultures of people were around me. I suppose I have been shopping at Whole Foods too long, and where I live in Seattle is not exactly the most diverse area, but this is something that I really like about London. It seems to be such a Westernized city, but so many of its people are from so many other areas of the world. I suppose you get this to a certain extent in other larger cities in the US, but I know in Seattle, I find that I keep to the areas near to my house, areas that are familiar. I am hoping this experience will push me to explore more of Seattle upon our return!

Tooting along on the Tube.

Yesterday, 8 out of the 12 Tube lines were either closed completely, or partly closed. Supposedly, this happens on the weekends, and, come next weekend, we will be finding other ways of getting around, or we will get creative about where we venture to. On Saturday, it was pouring and we walked to the nearest station to where we are staying. It is about 12 minutes. Of course, when we arrived, the gate was locked and we were left standing there, like ‘well, shit what do we do now?’ I have always thought that being in a city with a subway makes getting around so easy and efficient, but this weekend proved to me otherwise. Getting around is like a puzzle. Lets say you need to get from A to B. Easy, you take the W line to the T line and then transfer to the F line. Only, the W line is closed and the T line is partially closed from point C to B, so you need to find the P line to connect with the Q line to connect to the F line.. and man, what a pain in my arse! Not to mention, the tube stations are less than stroller/wheelchair friendly, so poor T had to carry Z up and down and up and down the stairs. (still not sure how to tackle this one on my upcoming adventures solo with Z) On Saturday, we finally gave up and hailed a cab to the area with the Science Museums and Harrods. Yesterday, we again attempted the Tube with our handy iphone Tube Status apps this time. Because our closest station was closed, we walked 25 minutes to the next nearest, hopped on one train, and transferred to another, then walked some more. But, today was a beautiful day. So, even though it took us over an hour to get across town, we ended up seeing a great Sunday market at Brick Lane. If T wasn’t with me, I might have meandered the stalls a little more. Some great food. I had Turkish. T had Chinese. A sunny day. And to make things even better, Z was perfectly content just sitting in his stroller. Shocking, as he is usually squirming after 45 minutes. All the excitement of getting from A to B must have been quite entertaining for him!

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