yesterday was a good change from the same old kingston scenery i am kinda getting tired of. ameya and i visited leena in king’s cross and then proceeded to hop around a number of buses, stumbling upon brick lane in the process! the seven pound day travel card is a boon! it allows you n number of train journeys, both overground and underground and bus journeys all over the six london zones. but, please remember to buy an ‘all zone’ travel card to avoid ending up on a railways poster that says “…But i thought this would work!”
first stop – leena’s place in king’s cross. she had made some really good bisibele bhaat, which we had with the sumptuous mango and tomato pickle her mom had sent. the pickles left us practically licking off the plates and spoons! we talked a lot, mostly about our bmm days and the differences between punekars and mumbaikars. i like to use the ‘kars’ suffix, as ‘ites’ sounds forced, unnecessarily urban and colonial! heheh!
found this excellent example of secular advertising in leena’s room –
it had hindu-muslim-sikh-isai couples all around the box, with ‘jaikson tissyoo’ on it which made ameya laugh till we feared the bisibele bhaat might shoot out of his nose!
we left leena’s room at around five thirty. it had been raining for two days and the sun was nowhere to be found. there would not have been any good light anyway.
took a bus to aldgate. leena forgot where we had to get down. all she could remember was some stupid church spire, opposite which we would get the 100 to shadwell. we got down at some random stop and started walking, keeping the spire of the church in sight. took a turn into a small gully, and lo and behold! we were in brick lane! that famously bangladeshi locality in london, teeming with a line of ‘balti’ restaurants promising authentic indian food, sharing a flimsy wall with sweet shops and bangla music blaring out from cd shops!
what struck me more than the restaurants was the grafitti and the posters stuck on walls. it was awesome!
i am sure shank will have field day here, what with all the weird characters roaming around, melee of colours and the dashes of visual culture all around.
after going round scary looking empty streets, we finally found the bus stop, which was the same one we had gotten off to get into brick lane! it seems to me that whenever leena and i go out for a trip in london, we end up circling the same place at least twice. the total lack of direction increases in magnitude. luckily, with ameya present, we managed the circling around just once!
came out to the main street, where we saw this great looking antique shop. the decision to go in and have a look proved to be much more than worthwhile! it had old weathered leather cases, wallets, watches, beautiful jewelry, shoes, caps, coats, dresses…felt like going back in time. roxy music’s rain rain rain was playing on an old vinyl player, which added a vintage feel to the whole experience! (listen to their album ‘flesh and blood.’) i was surprised though to not find a single camera in the shop. ameya bought a cap, and decided to buy some very dainty etched wine glasses next time round. i made a mental note of things to purchase, while leena tried out the mesh hats and crazy feathered thingies! i did not take any pictures though, which is OK.
hopped on to the 100 from there, which took around 15 minutes to get into wapping. this entire area is on the opposite side of canary wharf, and is dotted with wharves of various names, yellow brick buildings, beautiful houses alongside a dirty and mossy river and signs of a very busy dock all over the place.
i guess it was the weather, or the thrill of buying a new cap which made ameya do this –
nonetheless, it was fun to freak out a bit!
we walked on towards tobacco wharf where a pirate ship was docked. i don’t think it was a real pirate ship though…
went on further, taking the walkway parallel to the ship. and came into a beautiful row of houses. looked through one of them, and there was a party going on. leena said the houses and the lighting inside gave a very harry potter look to the whole scene. i would not know as i haven’t read a single book yet. forgive me for that, o mighty muggles! she found a rose plant hanging over one of the walls, and ameya plucked one out for her, which resulted in this…
had a really good dinner at pizza express. it was constructed in an old dock building, with the wooden trusses and old structure still intact. looked too good, and the food was fantastic!
left from there at around ten thirty. ameya hadn’t seen the great tower bridge, and so we got down at the bridge where we took some pictures and took another bus back to leena’s flat.
other pictures are in ameya’s camera. the one i had was bad in low light, as are most digital cameras!
had to get back to leena’s place by twelve as our i-cards were with the reception. the security and everything else in her student halls is five star! don’t even get me started on that! will do a separate post on the subject, with pictures! the bus-hopping began again, till we came back to king’s cross.
high-speed lifts and the buses here make me sick in the stomach. takes me some time to get back to normal after getting out of either of them!
well, the journey back home was an extension of all the rabbit stuff we had done during the day (hopping…!). all underground services were shut as it was a public holiday the next day. so ameya and i trekked back to euston to see if we could take the northern line to waterloo. didn’t make any difference. had to take a bus to waterloo from there, which took like 25 minutes. we reached waterloo just in time for the last train to surbiton. missed that, and we would have had to stay on the station through the night! reminded me of the many times i have slept in trains at churchgate after the last train had left. most of the times, it was intentional! later, anti-terrorist paranoia set in, and no one was allowed on the station after one thirty. the saviours were the tea stalls outside, selling boiled eggs, bhurji, tea, coffee, cigarettes…enough to keep one busy till 4:17 when the first train to andheri started with a groan!
a day well spent. good food, great places to see and a great time with friends! what else does one want??!
till next time, t-bye!