Archive for July, 2005

“Et tu, Brute?”

Yesterday as a friend and I were along a road next to Chinatown, a bunch of young teenage white boys walked past us, and one of them poked his head forward and said: “China” to our faces, which I found bizarre enough.

In another beat, probably in a bid to appear cool and to up his friend’s “China” comment (statement? insult?), another member of the group sneered: “Bitches”

And I’m thinking: Dude… you’re next to Chinatown of places! Is it Surprising to find chinese people walking around?

I’m this petite, harmless girl walking along minding my own business, enjoying one of my rare moments out of the office, breathing in foul London air. Why me?

I am disturbed, but dismiss the incident as the result of silly adolescent boredom.

Later that night, at 11.10pm at night as I was walking past Holborn station to take a bus home, I heard a guy shout from the shadows: “Chinese cunt” in my direction.

It had been a long day, it was a quiet street, and I was wearing heels. I decided that confronting the guy was probably more hassle than it was worth. So I ignored him and walked on.

But I was upset. Dismayed. I try to brush it off as just isolated incidents of random insular and ill-bred nonentities taking out their frustration on passer-bys. And that is probably true. As a whole, I believe that Londoners aren’t racists. London is too mixed-up, too much of a cultural melting pot for that.

But that’s why it came as an even greater shock to me. London is so incredibly cosmopolitan. And yet, even here!

Maybe London has been too open and welcoming of diverse cultures and immigrants that the locals have become disenfranchised and this is part of a backlast post bomb blasts. Certainly, I get the sense that there has been a noticeable increase in the Oriental population since I first came to London in October 2001.

I’ve never been the target of overt racism. Or at least I’ve been too good-natured and/or oblivious to notice it. This is my first experience with it. And even though it’s relatively mild, and in theory, I can rationalise it away, it is still not a pleasant feeling.

And it has made me think. While I’ve always been against racism, I’ve never actually thought about the effects on peoples’ lives. For the first time, I have a real sense of empathy for the people who are the targets of racism.

I guess I’ve been lucky or privileged enough to escape from such attitudes thus far, such that I’ve almost forgotten that the most negative, overt and hostile kind of racism still exists. Racism has always been more of a theoretical concept than a tangible one for me.

It is discouraging to think that even in London, attitudes from the Dark Ages can still exist. The road ahead is a long one I fear.

Dont forget your ……..

Mail from one of our friends in Fabulous Montreal

Hi Vikki,

In a not too rare moment of insanity, I decided to design something for any backpack-carrying user of London public transport.

What do you think?
http://www.cafepress.com/bombfree

Andr

gimp?

gimp.jpg
i suppose that’s one way of putting it…

(photo taken in Shoreditch)

Nooo… I won’t do it

I am refusing to put my heating back on……

*shivers*

It is Summer.. really…

Harmony!

I wrote on here some time ago about the urban foxes, that seem to have taken up residence in my small Walthamstow backgarden. I thought I would share with you, an update of sorts.

When these foxy visitors first appeared in my garden, my three cats were constantly either staring at them angrily through the window, or belting back into my house through the cat flap all fluffed up. They were not happy pussies!

Now however, there seems to be an uneasy truce or even a degree of harmony. They don’t exactly curl up together, but they do seem happy to now share my garden. Here is a photo I took yesterday, with one of my cats and two of the foxes, just keeping an eye on each other.

Cat_and_Foxes.jpg

I will keep you posted on any further developments.

Beware Skaters!

I thought I would share something that made me smile last night. I was on my way home to Walthamstow, after going to see a rather fine band called Tired Irie. They had been playing at the Betsy Trotwood, a venue smaller than my living room!

Tired_Irie_at_Betsey_Trotwood.jpg

I had to take three buses for my journey from Farringdon, the 55, 257 and 97. Whilst on the second bus, I heard the driver’s radio crackle out a message. With things as they are in London these days, I now pay close attention to these messages.

It went something like this…” To all buses in the Trafalgar Square area beware. We have a number of reported…(you can imagine what I dreaded to hear next!)…skaters! They are skating in the road, all over the place. Try not to run them over!”

I smiled, as I pictured these skaters, and the bus drivers trying to do as they were being instructed. I hope these skaters, just like myself, had a great evening; and got home safely too.

We did it.

All,

Just a small note to say that at about 2pm this afternoon we took possession of our first home. From renters to owners in less than six months. We’ve finally did it.

Cheers

Sean

be prepared…

So that 112 emergency number e-mail was a sham. You can’t be patched through to the emergency services from areas which have no signal—go figure…

Kits for being prepared for emergencies are selling rather well apparently.

And the court jesters at gawker point us to a site called ‘you blew me up you bastard’ where you can get super hyper-sorted.

Haw’s Law

Whether one agrees with him or not, Brian Haw has deservedly won the right to continue his protest outside Parliament. That badly drafted legislation rather than civil liberty and freedom of speech was the primary instrument of his success is less comforting.

Unlike most Fridays at the end of the month, tonight I won’t be joining Critical Mass and so I won’t be passing Mr Haw if the ride passes round Parliament Square. That said, depending on how the 2005 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act is interpreted, neither may anyone else observing Mass after August 1st if permission is refused and the half-mile exclusion zone enforced.

Choppers

there is something happening around here.

there is a lot of helicopters and the BBC is reporting Armed police on the other estate down the road, controlled explosions and that said police are wearing gas masks.

apparently one arrest, but I honestly cant work out what is happening and I have no intentions on leaving the house to find out.

There is a mega mega cordon going on and the sirens and humm of the choppers are slighty unnerving.

There are kids outside smoking weed though, so it cant be that bad.

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