Tuesday, August 10, 2010

youth is wasted on the young

If there are three things I love in life, they are beer, Gilmore Girls, and lapels. And my oh my, the last two weeks my fortunate eyes have been blessed with enough lapels to make even David Bowie weep.

So I have been rather lazy with updating this damned thing lately, as I have discovered the Meaning Of Life and have become embittered by the constant reliance of humanity on the internet. In other words, I haven't found the time to drag my lazy ass to a Maccas or a free wi-fi pub in Camden to stay in touch with my brilliant friends and family back home. I like to think that I put my own personal spin on ‘loyalty’, in what could only be described as a liberal interpretation. Well yesterday marked five weeks since I've been in the Land of Tea and Scones, which unexpectedly coincides with five weeks since Queensland Police experienced an unprecedented 78% drop in alcohol related arrests and 7/11 encountered a 66% decline in cheese and bacon sausage roll sales. Sadly I failed the “putting two and two together” lesson in Year 1 Maths and thus cannot possibly think there is any correlation between these events whatsoever.

Now back to the lapels, and all things lapel-related…

In order to perfect my imitation of the London hipster, for the past couple of weeks I have been deviously spying on the Camden mod-rocker in all his lapel-wearing coiff-sporting glory, and tracking his lifestyle choices, income levels, socio-economic status, places of worship, spending habits, attitudes, values, and beliefs, and fashion and musical tastes. I think by now I can be considered an expert on the subject at the very least. With various friends I have in the London area (including falafel-reactionary Jenni, Lady of the Swans Steph, Warwick Todd-in-the-off-season-Grant, and Her Royal Highness Krysi) I have been enjoying mingling with the hoi polloi at Camden pubs (frequented by not only myself but Schapelle Corby’s other sister (no, not the one named after a car (triple brackets!!)) Amy Winehouse), dancing on-stage with bands that you are probably too lowbrow to have even heard of, salivating at the Shoreditch vintage markets, sleeping at art studios, reading NME, drinking organic half strength rice milk hazelnut lattes (two artificial sweeteners thanks – no sugar) and generally being more indie than you can ever fathom.

Don’t believe me? Check this out!

And I also learnt about England’s more, uhm, lax economy, where you can trade two things of relative value, like an old school market exchange. For example, it is very acceptable (especially in the early hours of the morning) and stores are more than willing to exchange whole watermelons for a satisfying chicken and chips feed. Or, alternatively, you could exchange your dignity for free falafel pellets swathed in nauseating white sauce of a questionable nature. A free market for all!

And like the EKKA attracts carnies, like flies swarm to streaming fresh dog poo, last week The Courtfield via the Earl’s Court Beerfest magnetized the patronage of every illiterate tourist, every mentally unstable nomad, and every seedy old man that Earl’s Court could summon. It was hectic. Whatever small globules of dignity I had left after the falafel incident have been drained by this demanding experience. Even more taxing, I have been working about 37289 hours in the past couple of weeks, with only two nights off to achieve all the above. With all this bar experience, I am pretty much rendered an expert on a) talking pub bullshit b) maximising tips c) warding off unwanted attention. Don’t believe me? Here’s the Shitspatrick Big Book of Working in an English Pub.

Talking B/S

Already having a sound repertoire in talking bull, you’d think I would be a natural in this field. And you’re right, I am. However after taking two weeks off before starting work I needed to fine-tune my skills and allow for a more nationalistic approach, focusing my banter and witty retorts on the wars (past and present, though I would generally stick to the World Wars if I were you – it’s a more universal thing), being a convict, being a met east kangaroo champion, speaking ‘Australian’ as opposed to ‘English’, all things Forster’s, and of course, our gallant Prime Minister affectionately known as ‘Koschie’. The old punters – even the ones who have been to Australia (whereabouts in Austraila? –Christchurch) love it. Love. It.

That Aussie sheila behind the bar? Yeah she’s a right riot.

Maximising Tips

Mostly this can be achieved by utilising the skills you have attained in 1. Talking B/S, but it can also be helpful to focus your energies on Americans, hand out as much coinage as possible, and dolefully note that you haven’t eaten in four days and am sharing a room with a delightful family of rodents who enjoy Wednesday’s Desperate Housewives on BBC.

Warding off unwanted attention

Coming home at 1:30am at night in the World’s [Seediest] Capital, this can be a very uncomfortable situation. It can be lessened by open declarations of transexuality or androgyny, wearing baggy clothes, or smelling quite ‘off’ (this can be achieved by avoiding showering for a few days and dousing oneself in beer). Though one could also take a ‘pint half full’ approach and turn it into an opportunity – you crave a kebab right, and Yousef from Kebab House craves company – so with some cunning manovering and sly comments, you now have yourself a kebab! Ingenius! And thanks to Mohammed (not kidding, it’s his name) at Food & Wine, I have a nightly supply of expired fruit and veg. Who said London was the world’s most expensive city to live in!?

So ladies and gents, family and friends, cyber-prowlers and NASA engineers alike, my fortnightly update has come to a close as I feel the circulation in my legs beginning to wane. I am off to bigger and better things – to vote, as a matter of fact. Alas, that is why I am at the library for the internet in the first place – to seek the major and minor parties long term political objectives and how aligned they are with party policies and ideologies in order to make my first informed decision in the coming election. Looks like I’ll just have to make a donkey vote instead. Some other things I’ll be doing this week that you should be insanely jealous about: UK Mobile Phone Throwing Championships, art farty stuff at Camden, going out tonight (!!), paying for my OKTOBERFEST tickets, dancing on stage at a Shoreditch gig in matching lycra dresses, running through Regent’s Park with the pigeons, and spending my monthly paycheck in its entirety.

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