This is a small town near to the ruins of Ephesus, the capital of the Eastern part of the Roman empire. I have been told to procure photos of the site so that they may be entered into a database.
Sitting in the Cafe de Paris yesterday drinking a coffee and old Lithuanian guy sat next to me and started talking to me, in Lithuanian at first. He asked me if I was writing a book on my laptop, and then started talking about rock music. He said he got lots of emails telling him the latest rock music news. I asked him what kind of rock music and he said the old stuff. I said like what and he said donovan. But then he mentioned Steppenwolf, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and Nazareth. Nazareth were Scottish, he said. I looked up their website – www.nazarethdirect.co.uk – and found out they are indeed Scottish. I’d vaguely heard of them and always thought they were American. The old guy also said they were jewish, but I’m not sure what point he was making about that. He said something about Gershwin. Possibly anti-semitic but I’m not sure. His English wasn’t that good.
Sitting in a window seat of Cafe Moskva with my laptop on my lap, having just had two double espressos and a plate of pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and chicken. The waitress, wearing a tight black mini-skirt, just asked me if I wanted anything else. I’ve been here for a few hours, browsing the web, trying out different templates on thios blog and getting rid of the adverts I put on it the other day. Meanwhile in the real world jazz music is playing. The cafe is quite full. There’s a cold Baltic wind blowing outside. Last night I went to the Von Krahli Theatre Bar where I thought there was going to be live music but it turned out to be live DJs, but very good ones. Something or someone called Tallinn Express, someone sitting in front of a laptop creating images on a screen and all the bar staff wearing headphones. It was quite loud.
Back in London after a couple of weeks in Eastbourne, now staying in Peckham Rye, but probably only for a few more days. I’ve been looking into getting a boat to Cuba, which seems to be possible but not so easy. There was a freighter going there from Lisbon, which took passengers and charged 90 Euros a day, but that’s fallen through, so now I’m looking into cruise ships, which aren’t as expensive as I’d thought they might be, about £500 to £700 for trans-Atlantic.
On the number 12 bendy bus heading up to town a gang of ticket inspectors backed by police get on at Trafalgar Square. One of them scans my Oyster card, which seems okay – I assume he can tell whether or not I swiped it on this bus, which on this occasion I did. (The other day, coming home when the bus was packed and I had to stand among people eating fast food and shouting into mobiles, I decided not to fight my way past them just to swipe 80p off my card.) Someone on the back seat doesn’t have a ticket. He says he’s homeless. You’d better get off the bus then, says the inspector. He says he’s homeless, he tells the policeman waiting outside. They have about three people out there. One is struggling. They put hand cuffs on him.
Having breakfast the fruit salad I ordered is taking ages to arrive. I’ve already had my coffee and cinnamon roll – would have preferred it if they’d come later, but you never get things in the order that you want them in India. I tell the waiter that if they haven’t done the fruit salad yet then I’ll forget it because I have to go, but then he shows up with it.
Mangoes always taste like vomit. The rest of the fruits are good though: pineapple, banana, apple and one or two other things.
Sitting in the cafe overlooking the pedestrian suspension bridge across the Ganges. An Indian guy in a turban comes in and goes over the the corner table and whistles towards the bridge. He then takes out a mobile phone and looks at it but doesn’t make a call. He sits down at the table where a tourist is sitting on his own smoking a cigarette. A short while later the friend he must have been whistling to on the bridge comes in and sits down at the table next to the tourist. There are other empty tables but they choose to sit at this one. In India there appears to be a different conception of personal space to that in the west. Someone sitting at a table doesn’t own that table. Another Indian comes and sits in the last vacant seat. The tourist gets up. The guy next to him lets him out. The tourist goes up to the desk to pay. Another Indian comes in and sits down at the table.
I’ve walked around a bit of the city now. The grid system makes it quite easy to find your way around. There seems to be more of a cafe culture rather than a pub culture here. And it’s quite warm. People are still sitting outside, usually the smokers since it’s not allowed inside.
I don’t know why they call this place Moose Jaw but they do. I haven’t asked though. Maybe I should ask the waitress the next time she comes to refill my coffee – I’m on the third cup now.