Saturday, December 31, 2005

I refuse to self-destruct!

Safely in London, by way of Berlin and Amsterdam. Sorely missing everyone, as I'm traveling very alone. Especially sorely missing Kyle, but maintaining perspective -- I'm in LONDON, for christ's sake.

and realizing just how terrible I've been about this whole blogging escapade for about a year now. Expect pictures in about a week from all major ports of call. For the moment, I'm very restricted in my uploading capabilities.

I had a single room in this long-term hostel, although I have a roomie for the next two days. She seems nice. I woke her up after my extremely long jaunt to the Science and Natural History museums. I wanted to hit the Victoria and Albert (all three are walking distance from this place -- just off Notting Hill Gate, if that means anything), but the Underground workers are all on strike tonight (of all nights!) so everything closed early.

Yesterday, I tooled around the area, hit up Portobello Road, bought strawberries, ate them. There was some reading involved, and some more wandering. Stumbling across a very cheap bookstore (novels I actually want for £2!) made a small dent in my wallet, only exacerbated by the AWFUL F-ING EXCHANGE RATE. Wrote a couple postcards, found a few that I meant to send earlier.

It's probably no surprise to any of you that this is rather difficult. Newly single, wandering alone in the largest city I've ever been to, and living in a situation that could best be described as dorm-like -- all the ingredients for being "in my head" altogether too much. But I set out on this year intent on learning to be alone, and I'm determined to do it.

I miss everyone nonetheless. Your emails mean so much to me. I know I've been delinquent, but I have the time and access to respond adequately now.

Monday, December 05, 2005

My editor sense tingled today.

The Viennese love to hang out their windows, even if their view isn't particularly great. Especially if their view isn't that great, actually. This is a contemplative city -- going to a coffeehouse to read a paper or making a jaunt in the Wiener Wald, alone or accompanied, are two favorite pastimes here that transcend the snooty, opera-going stereotype. It's hard to make friends here -- city slickers are closed-off to begin with, and the Viennese exemplify that one big time. But when you catch a man leaning out his window from your Stra├čenbahn station and wave, you might get a rare smile. Or if you happen to be ogling the sweets in the window of the confectioner on Langegasse and Alserstra├če with a chuckling grandma, it doesn't hurt to say, "Alles sieht lecker aus, oder?" Something intangible about the Viennese has thoroughly charmed me. I think it's because they play hard to get, but stare at the street corners with thoughts in their eyes.

And, because I love Laura enough to do a silly meme:

Five Songs I've Been Listening to Obsessively This Week

all for swinging you around -- the new pornographers
cold cold water -- mirah
sister golden hair -- america
more adventurous -- rilo kiley
woman king -- iron and wine

and because I hate memes and am inclined to rebel generally, one more.

brown-eyed girl -- van the man