Friday, July 30, 2010

The Old Smoke

So I touched down in London almost 4 days ago and the last few days have been incredibly hectic. Not necessarily physically hectic but mentally hectic for sure. That's what happens I guess when you undertake filming a short while attempting to sight-see and experience a city.

So first impressions of London. It's incredibly nice to be back in an English speaking country. I feel strange actually being able to fully communicate what I want to people haha but in all honesty I really do love London. Having never been to New York I feel like London is the kind of city I could see myself living in. It is the center of so many different things and just being here makes me feel important. That and the fact that seemingly everyone is always walking around in suits and work clothes. It's funny how different London is from the rest of Europe. The main difference I've seen is that the normal 9-5 workday seems so structured. They work during that period and right afterwards head to a pub to get some drinks. So walking around the city you literally see hundreds of people standing around outside (another thing, many people take their drinks and stand outside on the sidewalks drinking them) and because they start so early the rest of the nightlife starts early as well. It literally is winding down when people in Spain are just beginning to head out.

Sight-seeing in general has been taking second string to Greg and my movie making and I'm completely okay with that. Seems fitting that after three months of nearly straight sight-seeing the final stop is a tone down. Funny also how my first impressions of London being a spacious city turned out to be the complete opposite. The city is ALWAYS busy and ALWAYS crowded. But anyways so the first day I arrived late and we just caught up and planned out the week. The next day was spent sight-seeing and I saw a chunk of the "must sees". The next day was spent shooting for the majority and we ended up getting all of the shots we needed done. Then we headed over to see Inception (great movie as expected) and got ready for shooting the next day. Thursday Greg had to work so I met up with another friend from Cannes: Alexandra. We ended up hanging out and going to get Pho (a vietnamese noodle soup) with her friends at night in Old Town London. Funny thing about the food in London is that it basically is a collaboration of all other foods. The city is so incredibly diverse that you can literally eat anything you want and have pretty good versions of it. For example, I had some great Mexican food the second night there and today I actually ate Jamaican food which turned out to be a lot like Kebabs (jerk chicken wraps are delicious).

Getting around the city which is one of if not the biggest city in Europe is the one thing that would get to me. The public transportation is great. Buses run nearly everywhere and the tube is quite effective especially giving you only have to put the oyster card near the censor to make it work, but the city is so huge that it can take up to 30 minutes just to get anywhere. This I'm not used to. I've found that trying to cram in everything would not have been good for my sanity because once you're in one area it would be a decent trip to get to the next. This was true with Madrid as well but the thing was that there were only a few main places to go in Madrid. London it seems like everywhere has something for you and so you honestly don't need to leave and see everything; you can stay in one place and by rounds all you like and then hit up the club if you fancy (I'm already being influenced). But overall I am having a great time and only have tomorrow afternoon of shooting left and then we have Saturday night and all of Sunday packed full of fun--including an Arsenal game, a very unique screening of Manhattan, and a BBQ!

So yah the days have been very busy but at the same time kind of relaxing. There were only a few things that I felt I needed to see in the city and the rest of the time I've spent just experiencing what it's like to live here. It's a hectic life (referencing my first statement) but it's one that never has a dull moment.

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