Over coffee inside a packed cafe in South Kensington, my friend Kimberly lamented her lack of a lovelife.
Even I am baffled. She has a law degree and had just been given her first London job with a big firm. In her younger days (two years ago) she was a swimsuit model for a bikini calendar. And unlike Angelika Whatshername for Ginebraorsomething, not a single curve of her body was Photoshopped. Also, unlike the other models in that calendar, she was the only one to show off her beautiful physique in two separate months! (January and September.) She tells me she won't be doing any more modeling as, she says, at 23 and soon to practice corporate law, she's too old and it would be unbecoming of a lawyer. I disagree of course. Beauty must always be put on a pedestal, especially if it comes with brains.
And now whenever someone asks me why I don't have a lovelife, I can say Duh, if someone who is pretty and intelligent like Kimberly is having a hard time getting one, how much easier can it get for a poor, short, and fugly guy like me! And it's not as if I'm not trying. I've been very lucky to have really pretty girl friends although my relationships with them have always been platonic as they are way beyond my league. I'd rather keep them as close friends than to lose them by saying something stupid like I love you.
Anyways, I haven't been loitering in London in a while so I did some walking this Saturday...
9:30am: Arrived in Holland Park with Alexandra for brunch. The lady at the counter mocks my bad French pronunciation. Croque monsieur and cafe noir to start the day.
10:30am: I dump Alexandra in Notting Hill to look for trinkets while I head off to the National Gallery. (I can't stand Notting Hill on a Saturday, too many tourists looking for the Hugh Grant bookstore....hello? It's just a movie!)
In Trafalgar, Gulf Veterans erect the unauthorised sculpture of the Broken Soldier.
They are rallying for Veterans' Benefits and better pensions.
The band plays some marching songs to the delight of the crowd.
I proceeded to the National Gallery to catch the Velazquez exhibition.
There is a very looooong queue. Que Horror! The Nashman doesn't do queues.
12:00pm: I walk along the raging Thames to the Tate Modern. The winds were very strong and the Millenium bridge was swaying. I loved it.
1:30pm: Watched kids skate. I felt so old and was frigging envious.
2:00pm: Met up with Kimberley at Hyde Park Corner. Still as pretty as the last time I saw her.
3:00pm: Went into Harrod's. Lots of Blingsheviks and trophy wives. The francophone lady at the Caviar counter is Filipina. I thought there was a Caspian Sea Caviar shortage. Apparently not. Also saw my one of my friend's latest haute couture line. The sad fact is that because he designs for a brand, he is uncredited. Kimberly and I bizarrely went into the Bridal area where she looked at some gowns. I don't know why but that section was scary. I looked at some Tiffany jewelry. I wonder when I will ever find a girl worth giving one to.
4:30pm: My Serbian brother Nemanja shows up and we have late lunch at a Chinese restaurant. Sadly he couldn't linger long and went back to the office. Kimberly and I walk to another joint for desserts.
Coffee and calories. I'm getting morbidly obese by the minute.
6:30pm: I walk Kimberly to her tube stop. Hopefully, we can meet up again in 4 weeks. Assuming she still doesn't have a boyfriend.
7:00pm: I'm at Selfridges and try to resist the temptation to buy anything.
7:30: Resistance is futile as I ended up buying shoes which I really need anyway. I got the price dropped severely because I said it was slightly damaged with a stain. The salesguy walks away for a couple of minutes and comes back to sell me the pair for £10. The original price was £80. What can I say, I'm an ukay-ukay expert. Haggling is second nature to a nakermet like me. I also got Belgian Trappist Beer and cheese. Total damage £18.75. Potangenang shet, that's 3 hours minimum wage.
8:00pm: I'm still at Selfridge's and damn it, at the chocolaterie, it dawns on me that Valentine's is just around the corner. Thank God I don't have a girlfriend.
8:30pm: Self-portrait at the Apple Flagship Store (the largest in the world by sales floor area.) Sadly, no much hyped iPhone yet. I wonder why there are so many peripherals for the iPod (why spend on accessories on something programmed to last no more than 16months???) but no Macbook accessories. (A keyboard protector would be good as mine is beginning to look ewww.). Notice also that there is a stretch limo parked outside the store.
9:30pm: After walking down Regent Street down to Picadilly to visit the former Tower Records (now a Virgin Megastore) for DVDs and CDs, I find nothing interesting (or nothing I can't borrow for free from the library) and head to Victoria to catch the bus back home. I stop at Wasabi to get a bento box.