the c & b diaspora

What I’ve been doing since I left Singapore

Posted on: July 1, 2008

I’m trying to make it sound exciting on a micro scale, because obviously, we got on a plane in Singapore and 13.something hours later we were in the United Kingdom. I didn’t really know what to expect, although I knew that New Zealand, being a colony of this nation, would bear a few similarities. I was only partially correct.

Upon getting a taxi with a driver of middle eastern origin to make it seem like home, we made our way to the hotel. For us, it was like walking around at night blindfolded, in a room full of knives. Luckily for us the driver seemed to know where to go. Success, hotel. Too bad it was about 7 in the morning and check in wasn’t until around 2pm. Ever wonder what is in the cupboard right next to the hotel reception desk? I have the answer for you. Probably someones luggage, and loads of crap.

So, doing what any good three year old would do, we ran into the kitchen and started playing with the knives. All aboard the tram into the heart of Manchester. The day wasn’t very nice, it was raining a little. I was already tired from the 40 odd hours I had spent in transit, and although I managed to sleep on the plane, is that really sleep? You are just shifting from one position to another once you start to lose feeling in those particular limbs. Who would have thought that sleeping vertically was a shit idea?

England is strange. None of the shops in the giant mall we found opened till about ten am, and we were wandering around at about 8:30. For the record, the mall was rather large. For a shitty comparison, it was like 2 bayfairs stacked on top of each other. But without all the trash that bayfair had. Now, I personally am not a huge fan of seeing 900 clothes stores, but some of you may know that I do like to browse the occasional store full of gadgets. There were a few of those.

Briony and I came to the conclusion that we needed to get cellphones, and preferably that day. After a little searching we found a place called CarPhone Warehouse, which seemed to have a large variety of phones, and you could just pick and choose which network and plan you wanted to be on. (They have more than 2 networks here.) Our phones were £15 each, then £20 credit on top of that. not bad really, considering the phone is small and has other features, like being able to make calls, and store your contact’s details. What?

I’m trying to make this worthwhile without explaining everything we did with extreme detail. Found a laptop for about £400, which I thought was reasonable considering it would do most of the things we needed it to. Got it back to the hotel and I made the most of their free wireless, by downloading all the essentials such as the two Battlestar Galactica episodes I had missed, and World of Warcraft. Of course.

So I’ll fast forward a couple of days, and we’re looking for a place to live. Being the ultra hip couple that we are, we want a place for just the two of us. Shits expensive, and a beaurocratic clusterfuck. Rental agencies want average £175 just to process our applications, plus deposit, plus rent in advance. Because we obviously have fuck all apart from our clothes we need a ‘fully furnished’ place to stay. I might seem obvious, but on top of the rental costs we would have to buy all the other stuff you usually have in a house aside from a bed and a couch. We were disheartened and just about ready to pack it in and come home via numerous countries rather than spend all the money we had left on moving into a house.

We slept on it, and the next day decided to look for a room in an existing house. We found a reasonable place where the landlord had previously been a backpacker and had even been to New Zealand and was keen to help us out. So £350 deposit and $350 for a month in advance and we were in. We had to buy a couple of things, like a desk and blankets et cetera, but it was a lot cheaper than moving into an empty house. We live with five other males in a reasonably large house. Its not so bad.

Once again, I have completed the slightly annoying narrative part of the blog. I have made some more observations about the country I now reside in.

Chips. Yes, I’m a fan. England is meant to be the home of Fish & Chips and all that, but so far after not really looking hard at all, I am unimpressed. Dive Crescent still rules the world. Chips here are soggy and often not hot. Thats the awesome thing about chips, they are potato, but they dont really taste like it and thats what makes them such a treat, but here they just taste like fried potato. I have also not managed to discover Kumara fries anywhere, much to my disappointment. I shall die before i denounce the joy of a hot, crisp chip. Especially a kumara one. Ahh my kumara kin, I miss thee.

Mushy Peas. I would have thought it not possible to make a pea any worse than it already is, but the British have taken the simple pea, and turned it into some kind of sludgy green apocalypse. I have not made any effort to taste these ‘things’ and I am sure i will not in the future either. I dont even think I need to say any more about it.

Butter Chicken. I cant find any sauce mixes at all. This does not alarm me, because nothing will ever, ever compare to the pantry shop butter chicken spice mix. Nobody argue with me about the validity of butter chicken as an authentic indian dish, because wikipedia has already proved you wrong.

Things I’ve been drinking. I thought that having a visual aid for this section would prove useful. As you can see from the image below, I have arranged a few of the non-alcoholic beverages I have been partaking in lately in a small photograph. Relentless, 24, Coke, SpriteOk so since leaving NZ I had to leave behind my second love, Demon. Luckily enough for me they have its Coca-Cola company equivalent here, Relentless. In three flavours no less. AND in a half litre can, thats 60ml more than NZ gets. This variant is mixed with juice and is quite good. The design of the can really emphasises the ‘sweet tribals’ nature of the logo. Next on the photo, 24. This is a strange phenomena. You would think that because the show is so freaking awesome, that when some person has the crazy idea to steal its logo and put it on an energy drink, the drink will automatically be awesome. WRONG. Especially wrong when you find the cans in a shop called ‘PoundWorld’ and they are 4 for £1. I took a photo of the back of the can too, you can see it later. Its just like being on TV!I’m certain that if you are reading this, you are aware of what both of these things are. The only reason they happened to squeeze into my photograph is because they cans are only 150ml. Perfect for those situations where you have a glass with ice in it, and some kind of alcohol. So the mixing substance is fresh, and not flat. Check out the awesome real life 24 photo. Click to make it bigger! Plus, I have written more underneath it.

Briony and I decided that since we did not end up spending anywhere near the large amount of money we thought we would, that we would treat ourselves to a little shopping. So, on and tram, then a bus we went to the Trafford Centre. It was considerably large, I’m just sorta comparing it in respect to size to the airport in Singapore. Except instead of having shops that were filled with overpriced fecal matter made by ‘high class; fashion houses, this had shops that you actually wanted to go into because you wouldnt feel like the staff were judging you. I just headed straight for HMV, because they were having a sale. A brief list of what I picked up:

Oh, and I went to a bookstore and got Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon. All of that for around £100. Nice.

Yeah thats all for now. Yesterday we went to Blackpool, which I have dubbed ‘a shit stain on the face of the earth’

More on that later folks.

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1 Response to "What I’ve been doing since I left Singapore"

Banksy, Wall and Piece i want…… i bet its orsum with a capidal O
sounds mint over there good reson not to be playing wow lol
F wow ur in the uk now

but i do miss u and briony….. no afents briony but i miss chris more….
love you guys

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