Boris bikes, India and unicorns

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Did you know that you can slide down the handrail at the Piccadilly Circus underground station? It’s only possible in the late evening, say 11PM or later because there’s less people and one of the escalators stops – that’s the one where you can slide down the handrail. And then you can do it all again because you’ve got two of those escalators until you get down under.

A bit earlier that day it was another late night at work. I finished (I’m lying, I didn’t finish anything, I just gave up on the day) and left. I knew I would be late for my zouk class, so instead of walking I should figure out a quicker way to get back home. Then I thought it will probably be faster if I took one of those Santander or ‘Boris Bikes’ nicknamed after London’s mayor Boris Johnson.

There was only one bike left at the rack/docking station, so I figured it must be my lucky day. I went to the machine (which looks more or less like a parking meter if you have no clue what I’m talking about) to book/rent my bike. This was the first time renting one of these babies, so it took me a while until I got the release code.

In the truest meaning of carpe diem another Londoner thought the same thing. However, I think he was a member of the Santander bike thing, which gave him a key of sorts or maybe he already had a release code (I’m not sure how all this works). Basically, he didn’t need to rent the bike from the machine. Instead he could unlock it himself with his key. Since it was the last bike in the rack I only saw his back riding away at the moment I got my release code, which by the way was valid for 10 minutes and only for bikes from this rack. FML!

I’ve been trying to muster the courage to make this happen for months and then I finally go for it, the bike rides away without me. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be.

My spirits were quite low. I think I need some professional help to turn this all around. Luckily my housemates are both armchair psychologists. I’ll ask them to help me through this very late childhood trauma.

Speaking of my housemates… we went to India the other day. I remember like it was last Saturday. I woke up a little later than usual – around 2 PM – and went downstairs to make myself some breakfast. Then Pilar had an idea and we all decided to go to have a late lunch or dinner ‘somewhere nice’ instead. It took ages to decide on a restaurant and then, once we found one, it was closed at the time.

So we went to a place Romario was familiar with. It was a 40 minute tube ride away in East Ham – the moment I came out of the station I felt like I was overseas. Everyone I saw was Indian. The only thing missing was the melting heat and chaotic driving which I would associate with that part of the world.

Anywho, we got to the restaurant. I can’t remember its name but it sounded like Abubu Khapapapi.  This was a proper Indian establishment – none of that watered down stuff they feed Westeners in central London. Everything was cheap as well, so I ordered a bunch of stuff as I wanted this to be as authentic as possible so whenever I saw the words ‘spicy’ in the menu I would order it (subject to it being vegan of course).

My food was spicy AF. I thought I could handle it but it was too much. Stuffing my face with dosas and curries, with tears in my eyes, wasn’t my best hour. However, Romario thought this was the funniest thing ever. Pilar gave up on the Indian train after a few bites and with a great amount of shame I must confess that I had to throw in the towel as well. The dinner was followed by our trio going to the pictures to see Tarantino’s movie The Hateful Eight – not his best, but worth watching.

unicorn

The next day I was at ZoukOff – a very cool monthly zouk event in London. Every party I’ve been to has been great. That’s where I saw Gerli. Well… technically we’ve met before but we never talked. I usually skip the small talk and go for a dance immediately. I’ve actually danced with her on a few occasions. Previously I thought that she was Norwegian – she looked very Scandinavian. We didn’t talk much because I was a bit shocked once I found out she’s from Estonia. But it was magical, just like seeing a unicorn.

Lots of love,

Ivar

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