Saturday, 26 March 2011

Short term memory loss

I’m sober now, thank god. No more drunken blogging for me!
I am also in London!!! With free wifi!!! Which at this point in time happens to be the best thing since sliced bread – I’m sure the other ten or so people in the lounge agree as we’re all sitting here tapping away ignoring Grand Designs that’s on TV (But I secretly love Grand Designs so I’m conveniently positioned where I get the best of both worlds) I’m also enjoying the fact that the guy opposite me forgot to plug his headphones in and is blaring The Strokes new album! Big win! Apart from the fact I have a horrendous cold blurrrgh, but such is life.
Ok so backtrack time.
Thursday was SUCH A LONG DAY. I have no idea how I managed on the tube on the day I arrived having just got off a however long flight, because, well, wow. Long-distance luggage carrying bites. Hard.
I had originally planned on taking a few photos around Skem on the morning I left, just so you could see how stunningly accurate my descriptions have been (because they’re nothing but the truth), but unfortunately (but in reality, fortunately) Jan wasn’t working so she gave me a lift to the train station. That meant I missed out on my final thirty min walk and bus ride! But it’s ok, I’m sure I’ll go back for a visit/to get fed, and when I do I’ll take photos because NOTHING will have changed. That I can guarantee.
By the time I got from Liverpool Central to Liverpool Lime Street Station I was already exhausted and severely regretting my decision to pack so haphazardly. Annie (Anita’s Mum) did the most amazing job at packing for me in Taiwan! I swear she made 10kgs magically melt away only to reappear when I unpacked. I on the other hand must have absent-mindedly placed some invisible rocks in there or something. Fucking hell. My biceps are throbbing at the very thought of it.
So I plonked myself down on the floor by the platform and sat on my big suitcase and people watched the next half hour away. Sadly I only captured that one couple in their matching tracksuits, and it wasn’t the best of angles (That guys’ top actually says “Two Chicks at once”, I bet buddy) – refer to facebook album.
I then had a major case of foot in mouth at the commencement of my journey to London. After being whacked on the head by what I thought was a very solid suitcase (turned out to be a very solid part of an arm) I said “Saying excuse me wouldn’t hurt”, then looked around to see a man closely resembling a cross between a gargoyle and an oaf looming above me, the type who blatantly spends his entire existence in the gym and drinking protein shakes (oh and getting into lots of gang fights that result in heaps of scars?) He actually could’ve crushed me with his little finger had he wished to do so. But instead he just looked a bit shell shocked then carried on bashing people out of his way while finding space for his ridiculously tiny suitcase (or maybe that’s a case of ‘all things are relative’ again) - my  guess is he probably wasn’t used to people 1/5 of his size telling him off for not using his manners, ha.
Then he sat in front of me, ahhh! But that meant that I could take the liberty of taking a picture of a) the back of his head and b) a slither of that massive shoulder of his, so you could visualise this creature slightly better.  Sadly couldn’t get a full frontal shot. out that meeean scar just above the seat line)
And shoulder: (Blah, can't figure out how to post them properly, my apologies)
Scary shit. Note to self to look at prospective person at receiving end of my big mouth before opening it.
As I predicted I did fall asleep after taking photos of anything and everything on the train to entertain myself, and it was grand.
Then underground + heavy shit battle number two began. And would you know it, there are two tube stations with the name “Willisden” in them. So while I was congratulating myself on remembering where I was going despite my horrendous short term memory, I was actually tubing to the wrong Willisden. So I arrived in Willisden Junction, where I will never ever go again and was beginning to doubt if I’d make it to the backpackers alive after work, and it also seemed to make sense why the backpackers said to give them a call and they’d come and collect you from the station, cos it’s so farking dodgey! But yeah, anyway, wrong Willisden. Back on the tube to Willisden Green (which isn’t dodgey), but by now it was getting on for half past four, and I started work at 6, and Chelsea is in South West London, Willisden Green is up North. So it was like, MAD RUSH to get changed and try and make myself look slightly presentable (failed on that one I think) and head off to work, rarr.
Being the speedster that I am I got to work more than on time so massive relief there. I was on a ‘buddy shift’ with this guy called Enrique from Brazil where I learnt not quite everything there is to know in the space of three hours! The only beer name I recognised was Peroni and Guinness, and the only wine, two New Zealand ones, and there are many many things to order (don’t get me started on food, or cocktails) so yeah, was definitely going to be a challenge! Enrique was awesome though, and he calls me Princess (hahahahahahahahahaha, so wrong) and my days and nights of getting ponsy Chelsea people pissed began!
I also met an Australian guy that works there, Connor, and a girl from Portugal, Ana, but they were working upstairs in the private hire room so I didn’t really spend any time with them. Apparently it was an incredibly busy Thursday night, so all things considered, I coped pretty well! We get fed too which is amazing, considering how much I hate/suck at cooking. I got to leave at nine and was told to come back for my first full shift the next night (6pm – close)
That meant I had a whole day on Friday to kill! I decided to go to the V&A Museum of Art and Design to check out this dance photography exhibition of Chris Nash’s work. And being the big nerd that I am I wrote down all the works that I really, really liked, and why, for mine (and for yours, if you care) future reference.

A lot of the portraits were really theatrical (no surprise, working with big companies etc), which were cool for what they were, but a little chauvinistic (that’s probably a little harsh, but oh well) I thought. I say that because they were visually very impressive, but had been digitally enhanced a lot of the time (jumps made higher, effects added after etc) so they just weren’t very real, nor did they have any depth to them at all, so, cool for face value, but not a lot else. Reminded me of watching Complexions Dance Company last year actually, totally blew you away the first time but there’s only so many times something that’s purely impressive to look at can hold your attention, or thoughts. Obviously heaps of skill involved capturing them, but due to the fact I can only vividly remember a few shots shows that the majority didn’t really offer a lasting impression (which is what I look for)
So, the ones I loved! *referring to notepad* I’ll just pick a couple so you don’t totally switch off.
I was going to try and find an image for you, but I can’t, sorry.
My absolute favourite one was called ‘Twisted’, and was captured in 1999 (if you happen to be able to find it) I’m not sure if it was his, or the choreographers idea (didn’t specify), but sawdust was dropped from the ceiling to give the feeling of a sort of nuclear disaster. The dancers hand was the only part of her body that was in focus and the rest was lost in the graininess from the sawdust, so while it was just an individual you lost sight of the fact she was a ‘dancer’ as such, as she became more of a representation of humanity. I can totally picture it argh, wish I could find it. My google searching finds a portrait called Twisted but it’s not that one? So I don’t know. Total contrast to a lot of the others where it was very much “This is a dancer doing this particular impressive movement and I am going to photograph it and make it even better”
There was another one I loved but I can’t figure out from my shit handwriting what title matches what portrait, argh. It captured a dancer looking quite literally like they were slightly levitating off the ground (face up, lying parallel to the floor). It had no digital enhancements, he quite literally just captured her at the perfect moment in this crazy move where she had to contract all her stomach muscles from lying on the ground and suspend into the air. Incredible.
It was SUCH a huge museum, my god; you’d literally need days to get around all of it. So I ran out of time to see anything else unfortunately, then blah blah blah, back to get ready for work!
Wowwwww, sooooooooooooooooooooooo busy. And Enrique was upstairs which sucked! I met another bar staff, Paula, who’s also from Portugal, and the assistant manager was this absolute bitch from Poland (I felt terrible at first when I thought it was directed at me, but then I noticed she was horrible to everyone so felt a lot better ha. Enrique went to put his arm around her at the end and she was like “DON’T TOUCH ME” and stormed off. Ouch) I literally did not stop for seven hours (behind the bar) apart from ten minutes for dinner (yum) Getting my head around more and more though, had to make numerous Jagertrains (yuck) and pour lots of expensive Whisky’s and things that I did not know the name of. Connor (Australia) ended up being my translator because I’d sort of hear what the person ordered, say what I thought it was to Connor, he’d figure out what I heard with my NZ ear and get it for me ha.
My short term memory shitness struck again also! But argh, people ordering, quite literally, 10 drinks at a time, such a mission to remember! It was ok when it was numerous pints of different beers but other than that, urgh, I'm afraid they had to repeat many, many times.
The whole night is a bit of a blur actually, just because it was THAT busy, wow. But we had a few pints at the end after cleaning up and I got to meet people properly. The only British person who works there is the doorman! It’s a bit of a United Nations type scene really.
I’m yet to find out how many hours/shifts etc I’m working, due to it being so busy and the main manager not being there yet, but I’m doing a day shift tomorrow so hopefully will find out then!
I woke up SICK today, nooooooo. Horrible head cold. I hate being sick more than I hate going to the supermarket, it’s awful. Didn’t stop me having a bit of an explore though! I went to the Camden Markets with Sophie and her friend Katie, SO COOL. It was almost like being back in Taiwan or China again (but not really, hence the almost) Shops/stalls with anything and everything, delicious and also surprisingly cheap ethnic foods, damn, sosososososososososo cool.  I took photos, but being the idiot I am I forgot to put my memory card back in (which I also did on Monday) and I currently do not possess a cable to attach my camera to my laptop, so they’re stuck on there until I go and hunt one down! But like a lot of things, the photos just don’t do the place justice (I should rephrase that to my photos ha, plus I’m usually too busy looking around at everything and taking it all in, will try harder next time) The temperature then took a massive dive, and mine and Sophie’s colds were getting worse and worse so we left. Cannot wait to return though!
And my biggest news yet (sadly it’s not that Naomi and I got tickets to go see Jeremy Kyle) I’m quite possibly going to Mallorca for three months (!?!) From mid June – mid September!
I don’t even remember applying for a nannying job on gumtree, but apparently I did (must’ve been in my job applying frenzy). So I’ve been corresponding with the woman for the last week or so, and she just emailed my references so fingers crossed it’ll be more sorted soon!
And yeah, me a Nanny, what the hell right? (Considering my more than absent love of children haha) But her daughters are like, 11 and 8 (so at least they resemble people), and it’s a week on week off deal (on my weeks off I can work at her business for some extra $$$$ if I like! Up to me how much extra I want to do). I get two weeks off in August where I’m free to stay for free if I wish, child free! Plus the fact it’s freaking Mallorca!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How many people can say they got to live there for three months? May be a little off the radar in terms of what I came here for (as I attempted to cover last time, not even sure what that is anymore) but yeah, why not go for it I say.
I’ve also been researching classes to start next week (bar job is perfect hours for attending morning classes, and there’s just so many options!!! Finally!!!) As well as trying to find somewhere to live (not so fun, still recovering from the job endeavour)
But my head feels like it’s going to burst, and my eyes are burning (ew?)

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