Thursday, March 11, 2010

i was thrown into the sea

I asked:
- So what is Danae the goddess of?
She replied:
- I was the lover of Zeus.

That was not really the answer I was after, but I was not as surprised about the fact that she referred to the source of her name as an "I" as I was surprised by the fact that 'we do not learn Greek mythology until 2nd year of high school, all other cultures do, this is stupid!'. She was in London for a few days for a dance seminar. She said she is from lower-classes of the society, she works in different towns, teaching all ages between 3 and 50, body movements for the former, salsa for the latter and any other advanced dance courses for whatever in between...

I moved to my new house finally about a week ago. It was a bliss waking up to sunshine and the noises of the ducks for the first week. After a temporary 9-day accommodation at R.'s kind offer and using the storage room in my office as my own, I finally started moving into my new home. Y. gave me a helping hand on Monday to move the final bits from the office to the house. She had never walked by the canal over the last half a year she lived in London, so I thought it would be a good idea to introduce her to this one of the most underrated features of London, despite the cold and the lonesome evening. After an just-over-half-an-hour walk to Angel, accompanied by mind puzzles (i.e. you tell the end of a story and the other has to guess the story and the only way to information is by asking the narrator 'yes' or 'no' questions), she took a bus home from Angel.

It was cold and I could not be bothered to walk back. I walked to a convenient bus stop where I could take the 349 for the first time ever: an easy 20-minute bus ride back home.

She had a bag of heavy books and she said she likes to learn more and more about dancing. She said she hasn't seen any of London although this was her 3rd time in the UK. "I come and attend the seminar, then I have to go back and continue working". She also said:
- The only thing I remember about that park is that huge writing about some "city farm". That's where I need to go, that's where my hotel is.

349 did not look as if it wanted to arrive. A Turkish girl made about 5 different phone calls in the meanwhile. "I came to London, it was not an easy decision, but I go on with my life now, I don't have to have a new one, I made this decision", she was saying in one of them. In the latter, she was telling N. Teyze not to worry, the bus was late, and she could walk if it hadn't arrived in the next 5 minutes.

Danae was confused and wanted to know whether 349 would take her to 'the park where the hotel' was. Another lady at the bus stop was complaining about the failing London Buses. I personally never trusted them! She said she will 'hit at the driver about this!' We told Danae that 349 was the only single-vehicle-route for her to get closest to where she needed to go. When asked 'how long do I need to walk?' and then said 'I don't want to walk in that area', we both said 'it is safe, don't worry'.

She exclaimed:
- The crisis is bad. But, it affects the poor much worse. The poor is even poorer now. You know, when we have a crisis in Greece, we all go for a coffee, if things go bad, we need some Greek coffee.
(I did not have any intention to go into the debate of the 'real name' of that type of coffee...)

349 arrived. Apparently the Turkish girl only needed 3-4 stops, if I were her, I would have already walked that distance! Well, maybe this was the only chance to make 4 phone calls without having to respond to N. Teyze whilst being kept away legitimately by the London Bus system.

We got off where I thought the 349 would divert from the main road with Danae. The short walk became a 12-minute one through the cold. I helped her carry the bag of books as she rolled me a cigarette. She said she spent the whole day in Old Street at the seminar and decided to have coffee with a friend in Angel. She did not eat anything in London since she came.

- What do you eat here? It's expensive and the food outside is really bad. I don't eat... or, hehe, I eat coffees, 3 cups of coffees, every day.

When I first assumed she was from Spain, I should have known from her accent that she was Greek. I asked what Danae meant. That was after when I accepted to have a beer at her hotel bar before I left for home. In fact, I was craving to go home, finish the rest of the tortellini and have a 'michelada' style of beer.

- I was the lover of Zeus.
- How many did he have? Lovers, I mean?
- Hahahaha, he had so many!!
- So what happened to Danae? I'm sure Hera wasn't happy about all this.
- Hera threw me into the sea, and I died.
- That's a shame. Didn't Poseidon or someone help?
- No.

She said she did not know much about London. I gave her the advice to walk around the canal, she said she did not even have time. I left after the round of beer she offered me. I learned more about Greece, dancing, Danae's fate, what Greek people do in a financial crisis, 3 new town names in Greece (which I now forgot), see the shiny eyes of a 'fallen goddess'. It was even colder outside, I was hungry and had to pee soon, so I took a cab back home. The cab driver said he grew up with Turks in Stoke Newington. I told him a bit about the similarities and differences between Turks and Kurds. He said 'yarrak' and 'pezevenk' as I left the cab. I told him he learned the 'correct words'. He was actually a joyful man who seemed to have a big heart. The cab was warm and I got off of the bridge. I looked over the canal and thought how underestimated some things are.

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