Saturday, 18 April 2009

My Daily Life in London: Humorous Escapades in Food, Ducks and Strange Alleyways

I have a predictable routine or variations thereof,
that I do almost everyday. Recently,a friend of mine, Keith Van Loen,(I playfully call him Lord Van Loen),photographer for Grazia magazine took some 200 odd photos of me of portraying some of my daily routine in London. My daily routine usually consists of eating a traditional hearty English Breakfast at my Hotel, including some really black strong tea.Or if I am not in the mood to talk to the local guests I 'll just have breakfast in my room usually porridge and grapefruit. For lunch, I head over to Whitelys ( the shopping mall) for Lebanese food. So far, I have eaten the same Lebanese food for 10 days and I don't get sick of it. It's always Mujjaddara(Lentils and Rice), Mousakka(Aubergine and Garbanzos Salad) and then some sort of Chicken variation. I love it! Then, I'll have another cup of tea, this time it's China Rose Tea,roses are good for you,so fragrant and elegant. While I am eating I usually brush up on my French. (I finally decided to focus on my French. It was the language of the aristocracy, after all. Many Britons speak French as a second language.) They play Julio Iglesias or the Gypsy Kings in the background and for that time I am so relaxed and in heaven. After that, I head to Kensingston Gardens and walk a bit (walk of the sausages,hehee!, that's right!),get some fresh air and feed the ducks. After that, I go to my office,(the local Internet Cafe)to surf the web,do market research, put my ads up,and do some writing. Then,when I've had enough,I cross the street to Planet Organic (the UK's version of Whole Foods),to have a Chai Latte and have a chat with my friends that work there. Sometimes, I'll go for lunch on Portobello Road down the block and have some really interesting Thai food lunch specials ( just £6-).One day I went on a date there in the afternoon and they were shooting a Bollywood type of movie with this man in pink sari.On days I am more energetic I'll go to a Gallery or Museum for about an hour, check out the artwork or artifacts have a tea and then get their schedule so that later I can come back for a proper tour. Most of the museums are free in London so it's easy just to pop in and out, whenever you have a chance. The Victoria and Albert Museum , is across from Hyde Park and right next to it the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum.If I am in the mood just to escape I'll go to Whitely's Mall,(the oldest shopping mall in London)to the Odeon theater and catch a matinee. Sometimes a really shallow lighthearted movie, is all I need to clear my head and get me motivated for the tasks that lie ahead of me. The last movie I saw was, He's not that into you. When are the going to make, She's not that into you? Perhaps a sequel is in order.

At night, I usually work teaching Spanish, go to a buddhist meeting in Notting Hill, dance class or try to catch a play or a movie. Late a night,I'll go have a glass of wine at my favorite hotel, The Blakemore Hotel or go to this club where they play an intersting mix of two music genres that I absolutely love, Latin and Arabic.Sometimes, I'll check out the Palmyra News that's owned by Pakistanis, they have a lot of chic International magazines and are opened 24 hours. Anyone that knows me knows I am crazy about magazines, so it's a magazinaholics paradise ! They have Russian, Italian and Spanish Vogue. They also carry the posh British magazines like Tatler and Red.

Sometimes late at night,I love going on walks by myself,(or if I am lucky with a friend), especially when it's foggy, because my neighborhood has the most mysterious old world alleys and side streets, that make me feel I am walking in a different century. Very romantic ! It's times like this when I most appreicate being in London. After having some skullcap, passiflora tea I fall asleep with a smile and thank my lucky stars for my beautiful life.

Safiq, Sabrina and Hashim at Queens Hotel

Me at Planet Organic

Feeding the Ducks Kensinston Gardens

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