Monday, May 26, 2014

Recounting 1 Night in London

The first time I was in London was in 2003. Aside it being a long time, I was quite young. I hadn't started partying more seriously. I am beginning to not party more seriously though, the clubbing thing is a phase that is passing. But on February 22nd, I was excited to be in Jand! Long don! Babylon system! Home of serious African partying! 
I picked what to wear very carefully. I was keen to meet as many people I knew or didn't know in the few hours I'd be in London.
Given that I wasn't roaming on any telecommunication network - would you try it if you used Airtel - wi-fi was my way to get the internet and communicate. Thank heavens for airports like London Heathrow that offer free wi-fi.
I checked the Premier League fixtures before I left Belfast for London. My favorite club +Manchester United would be playing +Crystal Palace FC in London at the time I was around. Because I am crazy like that, I was going to find a ticket to go watch this game of football live! It couldn't be that difficult, could it?
This is when I finally realised that I was in the same country as I was in 2003. A different part, but the same country - United Kingdom. I thought that maybe, just maybe, the Pounds Sterling in Northern Ireland would be different from that of England.
The way I walked freely into England struck me. But that's the thing? It's the same country. I can't stress this enough.
The Ghanaian Londoners welcome me. I was beside myself with joy. I've been following their work for ages. +Adwoa Agyemang and co. +hephzia tagoe too has been doing her thing.
Made a new friend at Heathrow. She allowed me to use her Mac to post my #233moments post and tweet.
London is home to many Ghanaians. For many Ghanaians, London is a home away from home. You can find many things that make you feel at home there. A real melting pot. My cousin gave me jollof rice with shito and beef. Edizban a! Dzidzi!
It'd been a really tough for all Manchester United fans. I can't even bring myself to write about David Moyes. I hope I don't have to. Well, we won this one. I wasn't at the stadium but I was much much closer than I normally am.
This was the weekend after Facebook had bought Whatsapp. And then Whatsapp went down for a few hours and the world went ballistic. Especially people on Facebook? Oh, was that the idea?
I looked for wi-fi everywhere I went. On my way to meet +Yaw Mante, I stopped by a Starbucks Coffee spot in Canary Wharf to see if I'd get free-wifi. This is after I'd seen a bunch of people carrying beer and alcoholic drinks on a train. It'd been a while since I saw that. Anyway, O2 was offering free wi-fi here. I had to verify my connection with a phone number, a local one that is. I asked a black bystander to help me. He obliged. So I tweeted the above :-)
I didn't have enough battery power and I was communicating with the world based on free wi-fi. Thank you London. This is worth repeating.
Turns out Yaw and his South African friend love Kizomba too. They love a lot of wine too. Had a good little house party before we hit up ShoreDitch. I didn't get free wi-fi there and before I could search for it more seriously, my phone died. People dey booze for London papa! I saw a fight between one black guy and two white guys, full assault. It was crazy! Multiple police cars arrived at the scene to pata the fight.
I'd be back for a longer time and would club more seriously. Oh wait, I said something different in the first paragraph eh? I'd party a bit, just a lil bit :-)
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