Wednesday, 26 November 2008

1st Round

I've managed to bullshit my way to over 2000 words in one essay and more than 3000 in another, through unknown & hostile postmodernist territory. I've mastered the technique of using 200 words to say what could be conveyed in 20, and repeating the same idea in different words till exhausting all possible synonyms. I've extended, inserted, lengthened, dilated, broadened, widened, swollen the text, injected its flesh with rapid-growth hormones and water.

I have earned my Black Belt 3rd Dan in the martial art of bullshitting.

I have also earned my freedom. Now the future lies ahead of me like a naked virgin's warm lascivious body, like a newly opened all-u-can-eat candy store, like a theme park glittering in the sun. What next? Where to go? What to do? Seemingly endless possibilities swarm my eager disposition, leaving me adrift in a hazy rotating kaleidoscope of desires.

The bell's ringing the end of the 1st round, and I'm still on my feet. Now for some time off before tackling the 2nd one.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

House arrest

I'm a hermit. A prisoner. A castaway. For the past... --what? 16? 17 days? I've lost count-- few people have caught sight of me. I picture myself scratching a count of passing days on my cell wall.

I've measured my room and hallway so many times and with such precision, I could draw it to scale eyes closed. 4 and a half steps from my door to the opposing wall. Turn on my heels, 4 & 1/2 to the door, 7 to reach the fridge, 7 back and start again, book in my hand, a black cloud hovering over my head.

I've munched enough BS in the last days to last me two lifetimes. Scholarly literary criticism on modern fiction is full of manure so concentrated that, sparingly used, every page could fertilize half an acre for a year. One important lesson I've learned, I can share with you: when you reach the third use of the word "postmodernism", it's time to drop the book & chuck it in the bin.

Nothing coming after that will make the meagrest sense or be of any remote value whatsoever, to you or anyone else on this planet, with the one exception of the skunkhead dimwit who wrote it and will make a name for himself in the academia through an impressive pages-of-bullshit-in-print (POBSIP) figure. The more you read, the less you will understand. Learn from my mistake, spare yourself the pain and confusion.

Ok, the break is over. Now I'm going back to my cell, but I feel the first rays of hope playfully glittering in my eyes. In 4 days it will all be over. See you on the 27th.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Show me the money

£380 per month keep me out of the cold and the rain, and provide me with a latrine, a kitchen, broadband internet and two flatmates

£9.10 per week give me access to being shaken to senselessness in any amount of picturesque yet infernal red double-decker buses, for one week. They won't buy me access to the dreary rat tunnels under London, though

£5.00-£10.00 will furnish me with a jacket, pair of pants, shirt or indeed pretty much any other item of clothing at Primark

£2.20-£3.50 are the brackets for the usual amount I'm forced to fork out for a pint of lager in any pub/club

£1 is a pint of Carlsberg at the Goldsmiths Student Union pub on Tuesdays, or any 500ml can at an off-license store after 10pm

£1.10 gets me more pasta than I can eat in a week

£0.70 I can swap for a half-kilo jar of yummy pasta sauce

£0.30 provides me with 800gr of Tesco Value sliced bread

£0.10 I get subtracted for each minute of senseless mobile gossip and every 160 chars of text

£0.07 will buy me a sachet of Instant Noodles. (Sainsbury's Basics or ASDA SmartPrice. No relation to James Bond movies)

£0.01 I find on the ground every now and then. Nobody bothers to pick up pennies except me

£0.00 is what I pay for the fireworks I see every single night

£priceless living in London is.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Unhomeless. Homeful?

Exactly 30 days after arriving in London, I took possession of my room in a shared flat. I am no longer a hostel inmate.

I changed this:

For this:

No more girls going bonkers, throwing bottles at people, painting swastikas on the walls and being arrested by the police. No more rumbling earthquaking snoring from room-mates. No more Swedish nutcases stealing people's shoes and food. No more foot-and-ass massage from the thundering boom of the loudspeakers in the pub downstairs. No more drunken people snoring sprawled on the sofa. No more sharing everything, no more lack of privacy.

I wouldn't have thought I would miss hostel life. Yet I do. I miss meeting a different bunch people every day, the long legendary conversations into the morning, the instant improvised parties, the precious nuggets of experience I found in everyone.

It's good, having my own place. My own desk, my own bed, my own space. But the time I've spent in hostels, I cherish.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008


Two weeks of no news is good news. Too busy to bother is good.

My agenda overflows, brims over with appointments, like a girl's suitcase would with clothes. I run from place to place like a madman with his hair on fire. I have a hard time finding time to fart in.

Many of those appointments are academic in nature, with classes every day, sometimes interspersed, and a weird scattered patchy timetable.

Then there's the social aspect. Societies take quite a lot of time, and I'm only in two of them! I can't imagine joining another one at this time.

Yet I must confess that the reasons for which my days end at 6am are more of a cheery beerful nature. I down a 44cl sixpack a night on average, in the best atmosphere and the company of some the most amazing guys on this planet. Most of my calorie intake is probably from fermented barley.

As I already said once upon a time, please stay tuned through yet another commercial break.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Snow in October

"Is it always foggy here?"
"Oh, not at all! Only when it's not raining..."
-- from Asterix chez les Bretons
There's supposed to be nothing more British than talking about the weather. No surprise, as there's so much of it going on all the time. As "the Eskimos have 100 words for snow", the British certainly have quite a few words for rain.

I've had drizzles and spits and showers. I've seen it mizzling and sprinkling and pouring down. And I know more downpours and deluges and squalls are on the way. I've had rain and fog enough to last me one year, and I've only been here 45 days.

Today, I woke up to a grey new day. I walked out into a cloud. As soon as I was engulfed in it, this sentence came to my mind:

"Fog so thick you can't see your dick"

Wearing glasses is bad enough. Wearing glasses in the mist is pointless. Half a minute and I can't see where I'm stepping. It's just as well if I don't wear them.

When it's not misty it's because it's too windy for the water to stay suspended in the air for too long. Sometimes it's windy and dry and so cold it feels like you're walking through a cloud of razorblades. A few days ago, it snowed. It was quick and didn't last long on the ground. But it snowed. In October.

And in the midst of all this, while I wear two wool caps and shiver my way to and fro like a wet mole, semi-naked loonies in reflective vests jog on the streets, zigzagging among the chaotic traffic and the crowds of commuters, huffing and puffing and steaming away into the all-engulfing grey haziness. Tic-tic-tic, ils sont fous, ces Bretons.