Today, I exchanged money for a key to a house in Lewisham, London. I have a gigantic room that looks out on a garden. The garden is magnificently overgrown. Somebody planted many lovely flowers several years ago and then it's been neglected for years, so the flowers grow and twine in glorious tumult. The room has tile floors. It's kind of echo-y, but that will improve as I move my stuff in. It's large enough that I will be able to set up my gear and have enough room left over that I think I'm going to try to freecycle a couch.
I found the room via Outlet, a gay flatmate-finding service. I don't know if the owner is queer herself or not, but she's part of that community in that she makes costumes for drag queens. She's off to some week long festival in Scotland to work with a drag troupe. She also has a gigantic german shepherd (alsatian). Xena get along famously with the other dog. And the owner's daughter is willing to make pocket money dogsitting, so it seems I won't have to find a kennel when I go to that States in July.
Lewisham is in the south east of London. South of the Themes is not considered as hip as north, but I'm not hip. This room is big and the rent is less than my mortgage used to be, so I'm happy. After I let the room, I walked into the center of Lewisham. There was a market going on, which was unremarkable except that a march came through it. There was a guy with a bullhorn and some chanting people and another guy with a trumpet, who would play a lick in between the chant lines. The chant lines didn't change, so neither did the lick. He played the same 3 or 4 (out of tune) notes over and over and over again. I thought it was weird just on the basis of that, but then as they approached, it turned out that they were doing publicity for a faith healer. Friday night!
Is this every friday night? Is this a one time thing? How do you get 50+ people to march around chanting and handing out pamphlets for a faith healer? As entertaining as this spectacle was, it was also kind of alarming as highly-motivated Christians don't tend to get on well with my people.
Nearly everyone marching was black. The rest of the market was mixed. After they went by, the commentary among the spectators was amusing. They mostly seemed confused, actually. I've always thought of faith healers as an American phenomenon. Some of the commenters were clearly unfamiliar with the concept and not exactly open to it.
The area has a very Oakland-like vibe in general. Including both diversity and snark! I went to a nifty diner and chatted with some people there.
I went to see two other flats on Saturday. The landlords for them were also really cool. I hope I can keep in contact with them. I had two more to see, but canceled, since I've got this room.
So I'm going to be moving in the next week.