Current Location: Brighton, England
I’m now in a computer room at the University of Sussex in Brighton England. I’m surrounded by messy-haired Polish girls staring questioningly at their computer screen, bespectacled Asian guys squinting at Chinese emails from home, and a posh British girl yapping about last night on her mobile.
I arrived yesterday having caught the free megabus from London’s Victoria Greenline coach station. My seat was free; I only had to pay a 50p booking fee online. For the two and a half hour bus ride, I essentially paid 97 cents.
I was dropped off right near the pier which faces towards Antarctica. The first thing I did was put on my jacket as it was extremely blustery. Walking to the end of the pier, I had considerable trouble managing the large wind sail on my back. The beach was pebbley, but it was completely empty as I’m sure it wasn’t much fun to walk on.
The people of Brighton and the atmosphere they create reminds me of Santa Cruz. Long-hairs, street-folk who seem to like their state of being, English-major types with 12 foot scarves blowing behind them, and hip old bearded men roam the narrow streets. It has a very ‘co-op’ feel to it.
I passed a slow-walking old couple and heard the woman say ‘ooh looks like a spot of rain’s coming.’ I took their warning seriously, and sat down in a very cheap-looking fish and chips cafe with bag and all. Of course it immediately started raining.
From my vantage point on the pier 10 minutes earlier, I knew I had seen this coast before. I recalled a vague fight scene in a UK film where the gangs jumped down from the street level to battle on a stony beach… then it came to me ‘Quadrophenia’… I had seen it during one of the Punk Film screenings at Vassar. I did a little research just now and I was right. I want to find the cliffs that the star of the movie launched his scooter off at the end of the film. Perhaps I’ll sendoff a biodegradable scooter model and you’ll get some photos out of it, dear reader.
I had left London knowing people at the University at Brighton and Sussex, and the address of what seemed like a very nice hostel located within the ‘Palace Hotel’ about a minute’s walk from the pier. I managed to find shelter with a friend at Sussex only after a couple minutes of searching.
Last night I was in the most impressive dance club I’ve ever seen. The club’s name is ‘Creation’ and was was the last stop on a hectic Pub Crawl/Exodus through Brighton. ‘Creation’ as it’s called was filled to the brim with Brighton and Sussex students. Three dance floors. I couldn’t even count how many bars there were. The small ‘cheese room’ featured songs like ‘Eye of the Tiger’ and ‘Build me up Buttercup’ with heavy doses of Van Halen and Ah-Hah. I felt oddly estranged from the endless American music that I found myself unable to sing along to. It was like 80s night in there, except more British. The main room was teeming with over 200 wasted kids dancing to songs like ‘Blur – Song 2′, Strokes, The Killers, and Gorillaz. I had trouble realizing what country I was in. The ‘Act Three’ room was Kanye West, Diddy, Tupac, and other hometown heroes.
I know for sure I’m developing an accent, so I guess I better head up to Scotland soon to throw myself another language curve-ball. I’ll first stop in York, though. Word on the street is that Constantine the Great, founder of Constantinople, became Emperor up in York.
So Brighton is like this: Alternative folks, organic foods, white bleached dreds and goth costumes, long narrow lanes with smoke shops, smoothie bars, african imports, and the like. A very eclectic city if you’re in the right places, but for most people it’s a posh place to go to H&M, vacation for a bit, or gaze at the tumultuous Atlantic while enjoying the gusty cold winds. For me, It’s been settling in with a lot of Freshman and my friend Martine to Sussex University all the while knowing I’ll be gone in a flash.