I have not had an interesting thought for three days. Since arriving in London my mind has been wholly consumed by two things. The first, starting another academic semester. The second, money. Neither of these subjects I find interesting. And because of it, every time I’ve sat down to write I’ve done nothing more than stare blankly at the blinking placement bar.
Too many times have I ranted about school, so I’ll abstain from doing so again. However, saying that I don’t find money interesting is a statement that’s easily misinterpreted. The only reason money is on my mind is because London is terrifyingly expensive. I imagine selling my kidney to science couldn’t even afford me a comfortable week. Due to such outrageous prices, I’ve been unable to view anything without being largely concerned with its cost. And what is interesting about a price tag? Nothing.
I’m living in Kensington on Hyde Park. Which is the most expensive neighborhood in the worlds most expensive city. Why college dorms would be placed in such an area confuses me. And walking past the white stone houses in such a posh environment, I’m constantly reminding myself just how unsuited my interests are to this culture. A place that is overly refined. Seeming impenetrable and cold.
Instead of sitting through another student orientation lecture I caught the tube with my friend Jake to Camden, London. Mind you, I wasn’t missing out on much. Everything I had absorbed by listening to the prior orientation talks could have been better learned from Time Out magazine, or two minutes of researching “the dangers of consuming drugs and alcohol”. Even though the speakers/staff loved to reiterate, “if you act like adults we will treat you like adults”, their presentations suggested little more than them viewing us as aspiring alcoholics.
Camden was a breath of fresh air. A place where the streets stank of ethnic foods and buzzed with hustle. Vendors selling identical products while expending their energies on convincing you otherwise. Markets with upper-levels, lower levels, and lower-lower-levels, creating a labyrinth of peculiar distractions. Futuristic sex shops to funky fashioned food stands, the diversity of stalls and shops excited me.
Within the maze I found a cafe that I imagine will become my hide away. Two levels below ground tucked behind clothe importers and leather shops, a small coffee operates out of an old horse stable. With a couple old couches and wooden chairs, Persian piano music floods your ears and allows one to forget. And forget what I will not say, because everyone looks for someplace to forget something.
About a month ago I had imagined a design for a wallet. One that would be minimal and practical. However, after asking around and getting some unreasonable quotes, I never it made. While in Camden though I took the time to walk into one of the small leather shops and draw out what I wanted. It was simple. And for a few pounds the man made it. On my way home I picked up a needle and thread to stitch the border for a finishing touch. Now, I have my original wallet.