Portishead Fakeout

FIRST, sorry for the delay in posting this. My internet was so slow last night that it never went through after I clicked “publish” and I only now realized it. Annoying!

Today I was determined to be more productive. It doesn’t feel like it, but this is one of my last days to work on that paper–I mean, it’s really one of my last days in Brighton. I meet my parents for our Love Actually style Heathrow reunion on Wednesday.

My bags are packed. All that’s left is my laptop and some knicknacks, and figuring out how in god’s name I’m going to navigate to the train station and through London with so much baggage.

I got a slow start today. Then again, sometimes being productive doesn’t really feel like much. I didn’t write any more of my paper before lunch, but I went through and started siting my sources in what I’ve already written. I found paintings to illustrate most of the points I’ve made so far. I finally got information from my classmates about what the format of the paper is supposed to be like. It was all little stuff, but it had to be done one way or another. So, although I didn’t write much, I wasn’t wholly unproductive.

After lunch I found myself craving diet coke. I didn’t have any in the house at the moment. My fridge and my pantry are pretty bare, what with the whole moving situation. Now, I know this soda thing a nasty habit and it’s not one that I want to go out of my way to indulge. But, these are my last days in Brighton. It would be a shame to spend the whole day indoors. Moreover, the sun was shining! It was a gorgeous day, and I thought perhaps a little walk might help me focus better on my paper in the afternoon.

There are lots of markets and corner stores near my house, but I refuse to pay the obscene price they demand. Soda in England is an absolute scam. I’ve worked in enough restaurants to know that the most expensive part of serving soda is the paper cup you put it in. In (God Bless) America, you can get any size soda you want for a dollar. Thank you, McDonald’s. Here, you have to pay a pound for like a teeny tiny, 8 oz soda. or 3 pounds for a 12 oz. It’s a racket.

The closest thing to normal prices are what you get at PoundLand, where you can get not one, not two, but THREE cans of diet coke for a pound. That’s like… 990 ml of diet coke for a pound. Them there’s ‘Merica prices. It’s about a 10 minute walk to get to the nearest PoundLand, but since I wanted to stretch my legs anyway this seemed about perfect.

I ended up going to Aldi instead, which is right next door. I thought I could also use a bottle of wine, and soda at Aldi is only a few pence more expensive.

So, I was walking back, enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful weather and such. There are several unavoidable intersections between my house and “town” that are just a pain in the butt for pedestrians. The kind of intersections that have different one-way streets bypassing each other and then lanes for opposing bus-and-taxi traffic, with some fun turn lanes and then like a fifth road just for fun without being a roundabout. There are like, three islands in the middle, and if you want to cross the street you only get to go one island at a time. Then you have to press another button and wait again. Very fun.

I was at one of these. Now, I really never pay any attention whatsoever to signs stapled on lightposts. Something funny registers about this one though, and I do a double take. It says “Massive Attack” across the top, and “bank holiday” somewhere, and I was thinking to myself that surely this wasn’t really like THE Massive Attack. It took a minute for my brain to process, and then I realize that right underneath Massive Attack, the poster reads Portishead–and the date is today.

The light changed and I had to hurry across the street. I was elated. I absolutely love Portishead, something is going on in Brighton tonight, and I am free as a bird. I’m smiling the whole way home. It was not how I expected the day to go.

I google it immediately to find out the details. Crushing disappointment: the bands are not actually in Brighton, just two DJ’s best known for their work with the respective bands. I should have known it was too good to be true, but stranger things have happened in Brighton. I do still love the bands, though, which makes me consider going to see this show thing anyways*. I’ve been living in Brighton for nearly five months now without hitting the nightlife, which is one of the things its best known for. But do I really want to? Is that something I feel comfortable doing by myself? A wild night out on the town isn’t really my idea of fun no matter who I’m with, but is it safe? The “door” is from 11:00 PM to 4:00 AM, which makes me feel like things will be getting pretty crazy.

My afternoon was extraordinarily frustrating. I was supposed to skype with my handsome boyfriend, but we were foiled by a glitch in the Skype program. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this has happened to us. I didn’t know at first why I hadn’t hear from him, and begin to have suspicions when my Mom told me she was skyping me but no call ever came through. I did have a nice chat with my family and hear my brother David play guitar, which he is awesome at. Three hours after my planned skype with Matthew, a message with a timestamp three hours old showed up in my Skype inbox from him. I am so angry! It’s been ages since I’ve talked to him, and I might not have another chance til I’m back in America! Of course, he had other obligations today and moved on. I stayed up as late as I could manage in case he had free time later on, but eventually just had to go to bed.

Oh, and I decided not to go to the rip-off Massive Attack/Portishead show. It just didn’t seem like my cup of tea.

*that’s for you, Mom

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