Squirk's Overseas Experience

The tales of one Kiwi returning to Mother Britain and exploring the Big Wide World... without being eaten by a shark.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Art, language, society, weather

There's a wonderful new place on Oxford Street, opposite the enormous Freddie Mercury. I'm not sure my new discovery has a name, or even what it is — it's like a gang of street artists broke into an unused retail space and covered it with subversive creations like Santa's Ghetto and the Heinz Beans Looter.

If you're in the area, do check it out (before they get busted?).

Also in the area, I had my first language swap with some friends I met through work (one German, one Polish). We managed to thoroughly disturb the whole coffee shop practicing the difference between the shh sound of of Polish s and the ssh sound of Polish ś. Slavic languages sure have a whole lot of different whooshing and hissing noises; my poor English ears can only begin to discern them!

Some fellow tube passengers noticed my copy of GQ Magazine in German and we actually struck up a friendly conversation. This may not seem noteworthy unless you're familiar with the mandatory surliness rules for London transport. To be fair, the conversation did take a turn for the worse when they discovered my vegetarian tendencies. They seemed to consider it a kind of frightening disability, on par with losing one's legs or waking up deaf.

Also, a tornado caused some grief a couple of kilometers from my house. My own roof appears to be intact!

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6 Comments:

  • At 6:24 PM AEDT, Blogger Jungle Rhino said…

    Man I'd hate it if I caught vegetarianism, I love meat!

    MMmmmmm Turducken

     
  • At 10:12 AM AEDT, Blogger Joel said…

    Yeah, it's quite funny how some people react to vegan/vegetarianism. Either like it's a disease, you come from another planet, or some start acting all defensive (because deep down they feel bad, but are not willing to give up their own pleasure).

    So are there any good vegetarian restaurants in London?

     
  • At 11:19 AM AEDT, Blogger Jungle Rhino said…

    What confounds me is people who are vegetarian because they don't want to cause the death of animals. These same people however will quite happily wear leather shoes, while living comfortably in our modern society.

    But do they realise that modern society is built on the back of mass animal slaughter? Every product or service in our modern economy can be considered the product of 'work'. This 'work' is a number of man hours based on the amount of time and energy it would take people to make the product and all it's constituent parts. We simplify this and call it money - however the point is that money represents 'work'. Hence things that cost a lot of money require a lot of 'work'.

    Many things in our modern society make our 'work' more efficient, petroleum and electricity powered machines are capable of multiplying the amount of 'work' one man can do by a staggering amount. HOWEVER no matter how much you improve your work efficiency there are three simple tenants to consider.

    1/ To create products and services people must 'work'.

    2/ In order to 'work' people must consume sustaining materials i.e. food.

    3/ For a large proportion of the worlds labour force, meat is consumed as food.

    SO

    Vegetarians for the sake of 'saving the animals' may as well give up because the laptop they are using to read this is the product of thousands of slaughtered animals who have fed the men, women (and chinese child labourers) who 'worked' to create this product.

    Of course if you simply don't like meat that is fine. But don't give me any of that saving the animals crap! :)

     
  • At 12:15 PM AEDT, Blogger Squirk said…

    joel: There are plenty of Indian restaurants in London, and many of them are all-veg (and BYO). Brick Lane is fabulous, and Drummond Street is has a reasonable selection too.

    There are also a whole bunch of "Tai" buffet-style restaurants that sell fake meat dishes. I'm not too keen on that sort of thing myself, but it seems there's one every couple of blocks.

    Red Veg is burger & fast food joint that has a communist theme and an all-veg menu. It's a pity there's not more of these.

    Mildred's is good stuff if you can get a seat. The prices are high but the oh-so-camp waiter and disdainful bar staff make it feel more like dinner and a show.

    I could go on for a while, but I couldn't miss out mentioning Hummus Bros. They somehow make a filling and delicious meal almost entirely out of hummus. And they have a remarkable aloe vera drink!

     
  • At 9:52 PM AEDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Its definetly a disease...

     
  • At 9:55 PM AEDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Rob, Can you drop me an email (jamesp at lifedirect dot co dot nz) - I have lost your email address.

    Cheers, James

     

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