communal table.

[london, england]
so on friday night i got together with my good friend dexter. it was nice to hang out with him like old times -- he used to live in vancouver. we met at picadilly circus, and proceeded to go to the gay ghetto where we found ourselves having coffee on old compton street. we had prime people watching seats, it is actually quite amazing to see the tonnes and tonnes of people just out and about. he asked me about vancouver, and what's up with the city. we got around talking about how hard it was/is to meet people in vancouver. it seems that most people have an attitude about them, an invisible wall. i mean sure, i think most vancouverites are friendly once you get to know them or are introduced to them through other friends, but in general, people walking down the street or on the skytrain with you stare blankly into space while listening to their ipods. in london, dexter has had no problems meeting people. his experience is that people are very friendly, and it probably has to due with the fact that it truly is a crossroads of people from all around the world. vancouver, we both agreed, could be a very lonely place sometimes. i would have to agree with him.

what do you guys think?

afterwards, we went pub hopping, which was fun, and then ended up at the 'astoria' (or g-a-y). it was a friday night, and the music was totally 'brit' style, much to our disliking. we did however make our way to the stage, to be in the same space that madonnna was just a few weeks ago where she performed. you've gotta hand it to's her year.

today's saturday, and after sleeping in, i walked central london, side by side with the gillions of people doing their christmas shopping. i found a few pieces which were sort of deal even with the exchange. after braving oxford street, carnaby street, i found myself in soho again and went for dinner at satsuma. sitting at the communal table in very close quarters, the lovely woman next to me said hello. soon after, conversation ensued, i started talking with the man she was dining with. very nice people, the woman was from namibia, and the guy was also from africa, but i forget the country's name. i told them that it was refreshing for them to be so friendly. they said that it is very normal to acknowledge people from where they are from, so it was kind of shocking for them when they first moved to london, where the opposite was true. soon after a german sat right across from me, and all four of us became engrossed in conversation.

i wonder if something like that would ever happen in vancouver. sometimes i think that in an urban setting we become so detached from each other, even though we're all physically close together. sometimes i think even though we have those walls, we would like to make contact. its almost as if one day, one person decided to put a wall up, an untouchable air, and soon enough, everyone else followed suit.

anyways, i didn't make life long friends with those people, but i think about how much more interesting my dinner was with the conversation. i'm going to try to connect more with the people i come in contact with everyday. with strangers. with people who will potentially think i'm crazy. so if you don't know me, and you see me smiling at you, all i'm doing is acknowledging that you're not alone in this urban jungle.

here's some pictures from the day...

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