Jan 26 – Vagina Monologues
Sunday was the one day I didn’t have any shows planned. We’d thought about trying to get tickets for something else, but the only things available for Sunday were outrageously (for us at least) expensive. This left us open for other endeavors and without any time constraints.
First up was meeting with friends from Lithuania.
Ruta and Joris were my students way back during my first year at VDU. Both of them are into fantasy and D&D and all that speculative stuff and are actually responsible for me having multi-color hair. Back when I first bleached it blonde here, they yelled and told me I should have consulted with them first and then produced a big bottle of blue dye and let me know that was for next time. I’ve never looked back!
Since they lived a ways away, we decided to meet in the middle (at least I think that’s what we did) at Camden Market. This is like one big, permanent art festival with shops and booths and kiosks and restaurants and whatever else. Lin had been raving about the place and, unlikely as it sounds, I had never been there (hell, even if I had, it would have been years since and it would certainly have been worth a revisit). So off we went…except for one thing – the train station was closed (which Lin had discovered when she went out early to replenish the supply of buns for our regular morning fried egg and bacon sandwiches). So instead of the train, we ended up taking a replacement bus which did get us to the underground station, but we arrived late to our rendezvous.
No worries, really, as Ruta and Joris were hanging out a nearby coffee place and sauntered over once we finally showed up. We spent the first part of our time together wandering through some shops and seeing some really cool art (all of which I couldn’t afford, but some of which gave me ideas for things to do on my own) before heading to Dingwalls for drinks and snacks and, really the most important thing, good conversation.
While there, in addition to the chats we four were having (it was the first time Lin had met the other two) I had a nice couple of chats with James, from Nigeria, who was the bathroom attendant. Sure, it’s a little weird to start a conversation with someone while you’re standing in front of a urinal doing your business, but since the bathroom was way to small to actually have and support a bathroom attendant, it wasn’t like there was much distance separating us. As it turned out, when he heard my accent, he wanted to talk American politics and we had a nice, thoughtful conversation, continued every time I had to relieve myself (which, since I was drinking cider, was often).
From there, we went back out into the stalls and shops, finding a cool geeky place and a denim patch shop where I picked up some cool patches for my new jean jacket that Rasa got me for the holidays. But there were two places I must call out by name. The first (not in order of visitation) was Cyberdog.
Cyberdog is a techno rave supply shop, with fluorescent, glow in the dark clothes, psychedelic accoutrements, and even a sex shop downstairs. It’s a sensory overload and worth a visit, even if you don’t buy anything. I thought about getting a T-shirt for Monki but in the end, didn’t. Mostly because I wasn’t sure she would like the color. Next time we’re in London, however, I’m totally bringing here down to see this place!
Then there was the Vagina Museum. Lin saw the hanging outdoor sign first and immediately declared we had to at least pop our heads in and see what was what. When it turned out there was free admission to this two room exhibit space/gift shop all for the promotion, education, and welfare of and for the vagina, we were in.
I met Eve, the manager, by asking how many times she had heard the joke “You know, been looking for this place but never thought I’d find it”? She replied that it was indeed numerous, but that was okay, she loved it. She was so delightful and full of excitement and enthusiastic energy I doubt she would know a bad mood walking down the street.
If you find yourself anywhere near Camden, stop by and say hello. And promote this little museum to make sure the information they’re spreading gets out to where it needs to be!
At the end of all this, the rain was really coming down and we all had some long commutes ahead of us, so we said goodbye and Lin and I grabbed a bus to head back to town. Lin was in the mood for Shisha (hookah) and found a place which was sort of on our way home, so we headed in that direction. Once we arrived, though, it wasn’t right for us. There was no atmosphere, it was just a storefront with some tables and a deli counter. And the guys working there were a bit sketchy. We had a brief discussion about it and decided to just move along.
So we grabbed another bus and began the LOOOOOOOONG ride home. On the bus we watched some videos and then grabbed a Chinese takeaway from a place right by the bus stop. It was really good, and pretty inexpensive and made a delightful end of the day — okay, not exactly end. After we ate, we decided to re-dye my hair since Lin had a bunch of purple dye hanging around her place from days gone by.
So with freshly vibrant hair, we went to bed relatively early for us, another great day in the books.