Random things I've done this week

Posted by JSYL on Sunday, February 10, 2008
1. Narrowly missed getting salmonella..or some other bacteria-related illness
I woke up one night, starving. I wasn't hungry or awake enough to bother getting out of bed to cook. So I reached up to the shelf above my desk to grab a mandarin from my stack of newly purchased fruit. Peeling it seemed a little harder a task than it should've been, so I turned on my desk light to investigate. Once my eyes adjusted to the light, this is what I saw:

Moral of the story: don't ever eat fruit in the dark.

2. Outdrank an Irishman...sort of, not really.
When I arrived at a pirate theme party on campus last week, I spotted Denis from pretty far away. Apart from the fact that the place was practically empty, he is about a million times taller than everyone else. Leaning against the bar (where we stayed for most of the night, ensuring we were head of the queue at all times), he seemed even more laid back than usual. I collected the pirate eyepatch I'd ask him to get me, broke it straight away while trying to put it on, and got handed another one, which I wore for most of the night. (Lucky he'd bought a six pack of those things. This process was repeated a number of times throughout the night.)

We sculled, or as is apparently more commonly said here, downed, some vodka red bulls. But where I chugged, Denis at best glugged it down as slowly as possible. I kept him in the corner of my eye and sped up- shit, he's going slow. Go, go go! I slammed my cup down ceremoniously, unable to get rid of my proud grin. When he finally was done, I announced, just to make it official in case he didn't notice: "I beat you! I just outdrank an Irishman!" Quite a feat! He's more than twice my size!

His head was still facing his now empty cup. He slowly lifted his head up a few seconds after I'd made my grand declaration, and in super-slow-mo, blinked once before saying, "You realise I had a bottle of vodka to myself before coming here." I don't know if it was coincidence or a direct result of what he said, but I realised at that point just how fast I'd shotted my drink, and started to feel that redbull a little more keenly than before, still searing through my chest and resting uncomfortably on top of the vodka in my stomach. "I think I'm gonna be sick," I responded nonchalantly, before running out to dry heave my dashed victory away.

3. Made a radio ad for Homebase (a store I didn't know existed until about a week ago)
-- for an assignment. It'll play on the radio show we have to produce for our music radio class, on www.smokeradio.co.uk/, this Thursday at 12-2pm (11pm-1am Sydney time). My voice will be in there somewhere too, either live for the news broadcasts or pre-recorded for a radio feature in the program, a specialist show called "A Kick up the 80s". Tune in!

4. Visited Hampstead Heath...amongst other 'cultural' sights:
I was feeling particularly tourist-eager one Saturday. It was crazy sunny. Which is pretty rare here. Usually if you get a patch of sunlight, you'd run to the spot where it concentrates to tilt your head and bask in its 5 seconds worth of glory. So when its a sunny day, you savour it. I'd used up all my available bum chum options and decided I would still head out and take advantage of the good day alone. Hampstead Heath is like a sanctuary of countryside in the middle of one of the biggest/busiest cities in the world. Loving couples stretch out on grass overlooking the city skyline, dark woods interspersed with meandering paths and well-constructed gardens, side by side with roaring traffic and a tubeline. Its nuts.

So I thought I'd get some nature into me and see where one of those little dirt paths would take me.

I had a glance at my mini London Lonely Planet on the way over, to see that there were a couple castle-like structures and galleries I could check out. I had a glance at the map on the side of the road, but thought i'd be a TRUE citizen of the world and explore for myself. How big could it be, right? What's an acre when I have the wind at my back and the sun shining on my head? I took the path that looked most windy, and found myself heading deeper and deeper into the woods. There were other walkers, like me, holding their camera in one hand and guidebook in the other. But not many. There were, however, a lot of lone men, hands in jacket pockets, looking solemnly yet furtively around them, heads down for the most part. What's going on...?

I could only find a garden that was closed for the day, and as it was getting dark i decided i should start heading for the road. I found myself just down the road from all the sights I was planning to see, and checked another roadside map to see which part I'd been walking in for the last half hour or so. Suddenly, something clicked. I got out my poor afore-hastily discarded guide, to read more carefully over the Hampstead Heath page:

"The West Heath is such a well-established gay cruising area that the police come to protect the men who spend their nights here."


5. Narrowly avoided permanently staining my one pair of knee-high boots with an abnormally large puddle of vomit...
I was reading, walking along the platform of the tube station. The point is though, my boots are still okay. The end.

6. Watched five and a half episodes of Felicity straight:
After this post was first written, I actually watched about six more. I've come to realise that I don't have to be out and about all the time to be considered "making the most" of the exchange. Sometimes its equally as rewarding to have time to myself and sit and relate to some good love triangle drama while eating melted cheese on toast. In the end, its all the little things that make up the best days.



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