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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Excellent weekend, or, spot the theme. [20041122|10:59]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
On Friday I visited the Borough Market, which is south of the Thames near the London Bridge tube stop. It's a farmer's market. I went a little nuts. The best things I bought were a bottle of basil-infused extra virgin olive oil, some fresh pesto, and a loaf of bread to eat them with. Yum. There was a stand with about 4000 different kinds of sausages. Another had whole braces of rabbit and pheasant (unskinned, unplucked) hanging up, and another was selling exclusively ostrich meat products, including some delicious-looking steaks and burgers, that was so popular I couldn't stand in line long enough to buy anything. My backpack was too heavy by that point. I will have to return.

That evening we went to Stay Beautiful at the Purple Turtle in Camden and met capitalflash and sparklepbass. Unfortunately, we were all miffed at having been carded at the door. It's an over-18 club. Mary and Joanna's roommate had to go all the way back home to fetch her ID. They very nearly didn't let me in because I didn't have my wallet with me. In the end, Marco convinced the bouncer that he wasn't robbing the cradle. I know I look young, but I don't look that young. A few gin and tonics for us, some snakebite and black for the others, a little bit of the Wu (RIP, ODB) and we were mostly happy and dancing again. A band called The Modern played a short set. Like capitalflash, I felt transported back to 1983. However, I'm of the firm opinion that retro-anything almost always looks way better than the original style. No one can do 80s like the indie kids of now. Seriously. I looked ridiculous in legwarmers. These people look hot.

We got up late on Saturday and cooked ourselves a full English. This is has become a ritual, and a mighty tasty one it is. We were responsible and did some important shopping, and then we were irresponsible and went to the Oxford Arms on Camden High Street to watch the Barcelona vs. Real Madrid game and eat bangers and mash. We were dressed for our subsequent club venture and so attracted a lot of attention, including that of some lovely Brazilian people who were also Barca fans. There was a lady behind us perving on Henrik Larsson, so I felt right at home. (Mmm. Bald.) Barcelona won 3-0. We went off to Strength Through Joy with much noisy glee. The three pints we consumed during the game might have had something to do with that.

Strength Through Joy billed itself as an old-school industrial club, and boy did it deliver. I think I'm glad it's only once a month, otherwise we might end up getting to know some of the scenesters. I prefer to be anonymous. You can get more dancing in that way. Additionally, it means you can giggle at people's dancing without offending anyone. And I have to say, I was not impressed by a single person's dancing at this club. It's not good when I feel cocky enough to go all out and do whatever I want on the dance floor the first night I'm attending a particular club. I would rank myself as a slightly above average dancer for the following reasons:

1) I have a sense of rhythm.
2) I can lift my feet AND turn them. Ooh!
3) I can move my elbows above chest height.
4) I can be bothered to move my hips to do more than grind on my friends for the benefit of other clubgoers.

I am not the best industrial dancer I have ever seen. ladybug007 and vndictivesprite are better than I am, along with a number of other LA and SD scenesters I recognize but don't know by name. However, when I look around a club and see that most of the other people in the room aren't in possession of (1), I am slightly appalled. It did mean that we largely had plenty of room to dance, and everyone was polite about their dance floor space. I have noticed that people have more of a tendency to bring their drinks (and cigarettes) onto the dance floor than they do in the US. This could partly be because a lot of club and bars get very crowded and smoky, which makes it difficult to keep an eye on your drink. I confess, it does still make me a leetle bit stabby.

In spite of the lack of dancing eye candy (although some of it looked pretty while standing still), the venue was intimate - the perfect size for the some sixty-odd people in attendance - and the music was very pleasing to a grumpy old-schooler's ears. Einstuerzende Neubauten, KMFDM, Puppy, FLA, 242, YAY.

On Sunday, we got up late and went to La Fromagerie off of Baker Street and had some nostril-hair-scorching soft cheeses and bread. The service was, as we were told by the French girls ahead of us in line, "typically English." I guess this means that any time you want something extravagant, like say, a menu, or possibly to place your order, you have to attract the attention of your waiter through some fairly dramatic waving action. Afterwards, I bought a bottle of delicious mead for only six quid. We drank the whole thing that evening and played X-Men Legends until way past bedtime.

~*~


In summary, we got pissed on Friday and went dancing, got pissed on Saturday and went dancing and got pissed on Sunday and played video games. It doesn't get much better than that.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: nationofsheep
2004-11-22 13:25 (UTC)

hmmm

Wow! That sounds like a decent life so far.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-22 16:35 (UTC)
It has been, yes. And so very different from my previous one.
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[User Picture]From: ironed_orchid
2004-11-22 14:08 (UTC)
Do brit goth/industrial types still do that dance where they lift one foot and then the other while jerking their arms around with no sense of timing? I put it down to the very heavy chunky boots, but maybe the problem is even more insidious. I remember meeting 2 people I thought were great dancers, on was from LA, the other from San Francisco. Oh, and our french friends all two stepped, so cute, but at least they did it in time and with a bit of swaying ;-)

Also, this may be a stupid question as you've been to london before, but have you been to Slimelight yet? When we were there it was a BYO club, so you check your alcohol at the bar if you want it to say cold, but the good bit is that it stays open until 7am, which is great if you're like me and don't usually get around to clubbing until about midnight. It's also members only, but we never had any probs saying "we're from overseas" and getting someone to sign us in. They even have an live journal community.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-22 16:49 (UTC)
It looked like that was what they were doing, yeah. Transmuters are really popular here. I like wearing them, too, but they restrict your dancing style. The French people sound like a lot of the San Diegans! They were legendary for the two-step.

This is my fourth time in London, assuming you count a minimum two-year stay as a "visit," and I still haven't been to the Slimelight. The members-only thing sort of weirds me out, I suppose. I want to go at some point, but I think I'd rather go with people I already know than walk up to strangers and ask them to sign me in. Then again, I used to have major problems ordering food in restaurants - couldn't do it until I was a teenager. I know it's silly. I hate feeling like I'm putting somebody out, though.

I don't mind BYO at all. That's what owning a cool silver flask with a large spider on it is for. Oh-so-gawth! :-D
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[User Picture]From: ironed_orchid
2004-11-22 17:23 (UTC)
I skimmed the site, it appears they sell alcohol now until 2am, then they sell soft drinks and tea and cofee... how cute! I imagine they do a fair trade in energy drinks... it also looks like if you dress 'cool enough', membership isn't a hassle...

But still, the best bit for me was the late closing, I hate how london clubs close early and the night buses, while I'm thrilled they exist, are a hassle.

Also it's the site of the infamous story about how I saw a guy I thought was a complete poser trying to look like nick cave... and it was nick cave, but I didn't find out for a week. Argh!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-23 09:44 (UTC)
Some clubs run pretty late, although to me, coming from LA, any club that stays open until 4 am is a bit of a novelty.

It would be nice if the night buses ran more frequently. Also, they need to be hosed out between routes. Also also, the bus drivers need to get their sadistic feet off the brakes. I suspect them of trying to get the drunk people to vomit.

About the Nick Cave story: Awesome! Did you go around sneering at the wannabe all week?
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[User Picture]From: ironed_orchid
2004-11-23 13:31 (UTC)
Um, it wasn't a wannabe, it was god himself the real Nick Cave. But I was convinced that Nick Cave wouldn't go to some trashy goth club when he could be hanging with Kylie or shagging PJ (this was in 1996-7) So I went around kicking myself for a week for being so stupid.

But really, what would I say "Hi, you're god, you're also from the same country as me. What's Berlin like? Do you really have posters of Kylie all over your room?"

I think the most proud to be australian that I ever felt was seeing him play in london with the Bad Seeds, supported by the Dirty Three. A great gig.

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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-23 14:34 (UTC)
No no, I got that, I was just wondering if you'd gone around sneering about him to other people before finding out that it was actually him. Heh.
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[User Picture]From: ironed_orchid
2004-11-23 15:30 (UTC)
OK, yup, just among my friends, who were few...
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[User Picture]From: katyakoshka
2004-11-23 02:03 (UTC)
Gothic. Riverdance. (Or its cousin, the Stompy Riverdance. At least it ain't Gothic Lambada.)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-23 09:41 (UTC)
There was some very clumsy Gothic Lambada on Saturday night. It was kind of cute, in an I-hope-they-don't-fall-on-me way.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-22 15:49 (UTC)
We went to the Electric Ballroom in 2001. That's the last time I was there. It was summer and exactly as you described. Did you go upstairs? It's even worse upstairs. The smoke collects up there. They don't need fog machines. Or lighting, really.

I remember that conversation! No, they don't do the Panzermensch line dance. They actually do what looks more like handbaggging at a trendy/mainstream club. They form little circles and sort of bend their knees and wave their arms (elbows always below shoulders). If you are an active dancer, like me, and accidentally break into the invisible barrier of the circle, they give you a horrified look. I can't imagine what they would have done if I'd bumped into one of them.
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[User Picture]From: ironed_orchid
2004-11-22 17:25 (UTC)
Every time I went to the Electric Ballroom on a friday there was this guy with leather pants and a tail... like a long lizardy tail sewn into them... just weird. Don't suppose he's still around.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-23 09:48 (UTC)
We were there on a Friday! I didn't see a lizard man, though. I'm sure we'll end up there at some point. I'll keep my eyes peeled.
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[User Picture]From: vndictivesprite
2004-11-22 16:00 (UTC)
Thank you for the compliment.

I must say though, I like the way both you and Marco dance. I remember watching you guys at Luminal.

I bet you wow'd everyone at the club.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-23 09:47 (UTC)
Some guy came up to us, introduced himself and informed us with an air of imparting something of great importance that "we'd been noticed." When we attempted to make conversation, he skittered off to dance to Tin Omen without excusing himself. WEIRD!
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[User Picture]From: smallfurry
2004-11-22 16:21 (UTC)
well, i suppose you can't get much whiter than british! therefore, no rhythm.

I am so excited that I will be there soon. Maybe I will get lucky and hit this club night. I sent you an email to assimilation, but not sure if you check that one anymore. Send me contact info so we can hang out!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-23 09:51 (UTC)
Heh. I don't think the next on is until 18th December so am afraid you will miss it. There is plenty of other stuff we can go do though! I haven't been good about checking assimilation, but will send you mobile & home numbers in a minute.
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[User Picture]From: wurlitzerprized
2004-11-23 01:22 (UTC)
if i may...bloody brilliant!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-23 10:03 (UTC)
It was. And tonight, Tom Waits! Woo hoo!
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[User Picture]From: katyakoshka
2004-11-23 02:06 (UTC)
Wow. This all sounds like the antithesis of my Miles Vorkosigan/Sigourney Weaver/PO Box adventures weekend.

Note to self: Trip to London absolutely imperative.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-23 09:52 (UTC)
Your Sim's Fun bar is low. She's waving her hands around and making unhappy, incomprehensible Sim noises. Come and stock up on Fun!
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