Friday, October 24, 2008

Episode 32: I'm In London!

Crap. Didn't manage to use up all of my SMSes from the Vodaphone text pack that I bought last month. What a waste! Over the last few days, I actually took to texting people for the lamest reasons, but still had more than 100 left as of last night. Oh well. Managed to sort out my OMR problem, which had been causing me much concern since yesterday. The fiasco basically ends with me not getting my refund, as the department won't let me take five modules after all. Part of me thinks I should have taken LL208 for credit and audited EN123, since the workload would definitely be easier to handle that way. I figured MOE wouldn't be too pleased with that though, so I decided to be an overachieving Singaporean and stick with the heavier workload. Sigh. I hope I don't regret it by the end of the year! I'm seriously considering skipping next week's lesson for LL208, if I can't finish my essays for EN121 and EN122, since that would mean I won't have time to do my French homework anyway. We'll see how it goes, I guess.

Anyway, the coach ride to London was uneventful. I started reading James Campbell's Syncopations, and I also didn't get lost after getting off the coach! Was mildly perplexed by the ticketing system for the trains, but that's all good now. Hadn't realised how much I missed taking the MRT! The London Underground is grittier, and more prone to interruptions in its services, but at least when things are running smoothly, the trains arrive at greater frequencies than in Singapore, which is pretty much the only complaint Singaporeans seem to have about it anyway. The zoning system is also quite sensible, and Singapore should definitely consider incorporating that in some form into the MRT network's pricing scheme. Met up with Shou Jie, who gave me a quick walking tour of the parts of central London around where he lives. They were showing a silent film in Trafalgar Square, with live musical accompaniment. Shou Jie and I found it a little hard to imagine that people from a bygone era were actually entertained by silent films though. I suppose the novelty of moving images on a screen was enough for a more innocent age?

Claudia invited the two of us over for dinner, three courses. The paella was nice, but the dessert was incredible. Dates in a coffee sauce, served with yoghurt on the side. Scrumptious stuff, and according to Claudia, really easy to make. Maybe when I start cooking, I should work backwards from dessert. Haha! It's always nice to catch up with people, so hopefully, I'll be able to meet some of the MOE people over the weekend too. Sat in her kitchen and chatted for a few hours, until my dad got worried and started texting me to check that I was fine. I'll admit, taking the Tube so late at night was a bit unnerving, but it was trying to find The Rubens that was the tough part. Well, it'd have been easier if I'd bothered to check a map before coming over from Warwick, but oh well, everything's worked out fine in the end. The hotel's fantastic by the way, very posh furnishing. I would so stay here every time I visit London, except the price is too prohibitive. I don't like the idea of having to crash someone's room each time though, so maybe I'll have to look up some cheaper options before I come down again.

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