mardi 29 janvier 2008

london day 2 and 3

Went to Spitalfields Market, one of the open air markets I was interested in seeing. A lot of independent clothing designers and other cool things like jewelry and stuffs. I got a royal blue sweatshirt with a bird on it. It's really cute, and I love it. Maek showed me all these Banksy (graffiti artist) prints that are not real, just photographs, but he has a real print at home worth $4,000. And for Loz, we went to little antique shops on the way.Then walked along the Southbank, and they took me to the BFI! That's the British Film Institute. SO COOL. I spent almost half an hour perusing their film bookstore while Maek, Loz, and Jaiya were hanging out at their cafe. I absolutely went ape-shit over their books, especially the Faber and Faber books that are scripts with forewords written by the scriptwriter or director. I bought 6 books! And I don't feel badly at all about the purchase. I bought 4 scripts and 2 books. They were having a sale of the scripts, and I couldn't help it. I love reading scripts and using them as a reference to how to write my own. And they're cheaper here than in the States where I have to special order them sometimes. We had a coffee at the cafe afterwards, then walked back along the river Thames.

Before going home, Loz and I rented Blood Diamond and Death Sentence at Blockbuster. Watched Blood Diamond, which was amazing, while Maek cooked roast chicken and vegetables. It was tasty. Home cooked meals are so nice.

After dinner, Maek and Loz tol me all about all the traveling they'd done. They were together at my age and had done so much traveling. They told me to definitely visit Marrakech and Rome. That those should be my top two. They've been everywhere, their bookshelves and their home prove it. The proof is hanging and displayed in their home. It's definitely easier when you're living in England to be able to travel to so many places. And I felt, being surrounded by their pictures, and the beautiful mural of old keys that Loz and Maek bought in an open market in Marrakech (they found really large and small keys, and Maek hung them on a canvas), I felt like I have done absolutely nothing with my life. I mean, I'm lucky to have seen what I've seen and been able to travel to where I've been, but I still feel that I haven't seen enough, that I should have seen more by my age. And it makes me sad to know people who don't feel they need to travel and leave their comfort zone, who won't make sacrifices to see the world.

And at that moment, hearing their fascinating stories, I felt ready to make the sacrifices I needed to make to see things that I've never seen. They told me how they payed a driver in Marrakech to take them 3 hours through the desert to a beach that's supposedly a surfing haven. How in Colombia (of all places! and while the drug thing wasn't so huge) they slept in hammocks in a rain forest and when Loz wanted to pee during the night, the floor was covered in blue crabs. Exciting!

I felt very close to them, my wandering cousins, in that I have itchy feet too, I want to be on the move too (they've lived in Australia and are now on the move to Bangkok), and it's been very hard for me to be close with my cousins because there's a huge age gap between me and them. I'm the youngest of them all at 21 and there's at least a gap of 7 years. But this desire to travel bonded us, me with my older, wiser cousins.

I saw how important traveling meant to me, how it means as much to me now as writing or film. How I want to be friends and meet someone who cares just as much about traveling as I do. I don't have many friends back home who feel as strongly about traveling. They say they do, but they don't really. I don't see them saving their pennies for the next big trip or planning their month of backpacking across Europe. Some have never owned passports or been out of the country. They say that they'll do it, but I don't think they ever will until they realize it's too late. Until they have jobs, families, responsibilities.

Instead they work, work, work like all Americans, and I commend them for their hard work. They use their vacations to work on non-work things or relax where they are. I don't see their sense of adventure, and I know I'm generalizing but a lot of American are like this. I told Loz this, and she agrees with me.

But I felt so proud to be part of an American family who loves to travel. My Mom, Aunt, and Grandma once stayed at a spa resort in the Czech Republic. We've made family trips to the Philippines, Thailand, England, and Norway. My Dad was stationed in Spain way back when and rode his motorcycle through various European countries. My parents saw the Great Wall in China and the Coliseum in Rome.

It's genetic, this itchy feet thing.


The next day, Loz and I spent the morning with Jaiya going around to some shops while Maek worked. Maek designs websites and you can see his portfolio here. Loz runs a website that rents locations for filming, you can see her site here. Their house is under Heath House! You can see that Marrakech keys thing I was talking about. I love how their jobs can let them be anywhere. They work freelance. So cool.

I rode on the back of Maek's scooter back to St. Pancras station. It was amazing. I've always wanted to ride on the back of a scooter! I just wanted to keep riding all over the city, I didn't want to get off. I saw Parliament, Big Ben, the National Theatre, all on the scooter. Maek was totally careful, and I wore a helmet. When we first started off I had my hands wrapped tightly all around his waist, but 5 minutes in I was no longer scared, and just had my hands at his sides. So much fun. I want a scooter myself!We bid goodbye at the station, and Maek said I could come over anytime with a friend before they move to Bangkok in March. Cool! It's so awesome to have family all over the world. I'm very blessed for an amazing family and being able to travel.