Friday, September 30, 2005

T plus One Week

Well, it has been some time since I've posted. That's due partially to the fact that my first week here has been incredibly hectic with much to do and less time in which to do it, but also because it has been incredibly frustrating, and I didn't want to taint my blog with negativity and ill-will, but rather keep it a place of merriment and mirth. I'll will simply say this on the issue: 1) Customer service is a foreign concept around here and 2) It's harder to open a bank account here than it is to lick your own elbow.

Well, that aside, things here have really been quite good. I can't say that I feel any particular affinity for London as a city or geographic location per se, but there have been things that have really confirmed that this is where I'm meant to be. We were sitting at a bar (as we've been doing every night since I've gotten here) and I mentioned how excited I was that one of my favourite jazz musicians was coming to play with the London Symphony Orchestra. Someone at the table inquired who it was, and I said it was Dave Brubeck, and at least 3 people at the table were just like "Dave Brubeck?! When?!" Heheh, I've never quite gotten that reaction from anybody upon mentioning Dave Brubeck's name. Another night we were sitting in one of the common kitchens drinking lots of wine and we got to talking about the movie "Sideways," and this Italian guy half-jokingly starts applying a Marxist analysis to the movie, so I facetiously add that, if one REALLY wanted to, one could also incorporate the Gramscian notion of hegemony into it, which started this whole discussion about Gramsci and a bunch of other Marxist philosophers that I've never heard of, but it really didn't feel pretentious (though I realize it sounds it). Rather, I really think that people around here realize that they have just as much to learn from one-another as they do from courses, so it's a genuine exchange of ideas and not the intellectual penis-measuring contests that so often afflict academic circles.

One more story to share, on a much lighter note. Some of the people from my residence were out at a bar (I had stayed home this night as I was rather under the weather) and a verbal altercation broke out between one of us and the bar tender, and the bar tender called this person a "fucking muppet." Honestly, was that the best he could do? At least bring the mothers into it, it'd sure beat "you're a fucking muppet." Apparently this is some pejorative term in England. I love it though! I use it as a term of endearment now. All my good friends are "fucking muppets."

Oh, also, the battery chargers (for my digital cameras) which I had forgotten in Canada have arrived by courier, so I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and post them here. I know I've been promising that for some time now, but it'll really happen very soon.



At 12:09 PM, Blogger Janice said...

I was worried you had succumbed to the underbelly of the West Side of London.

Fucking Muppet.

Mike's family, limey's through and through, have been calling people muppets for years yet I never tire of hearing it.

At 4:40 AM, Anonymous nes said...

So, my cup was warm, but i thought the water would be cold, but it wasn't...

At 2:28 PM, Blogger deena said...

I'm so, so glad you're enjoying yourself in London. Yay Joe!

At 7:48 PM, Blogger Balcancan said...

I've never understood this phrase either.
I for one aspire to be Miss Piggy.Muppet she is. F*&^*"$ she isn't.

At 2:43 AM, Anonymous Julian said...

Hey Joe....

I know I'm not very good at this whole "keeping in touch" thing, but i'm right now gonna turn around and call my two friends who are half passed out on my bed "fucking muppets" , just for you.


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