|Phew...this weekend offered a much needed break from my disorganized reading/school schedule.
Although Saturday is one of my heavy reading days, I didn't read. I didn't even go running. I just sat around all day and watched T.V. and talked to my dad and relaxed. I forgot Sunday was Football day or I would have gotten on task. But I didn't remember and I had a great day because of it.
My dad's girlfriend came over to visit and have dinner. We watched "The X Factor" (sorry Xa). It is basically American Idol in the UK with a twist. Simon's on it, Sharon Osbourne (yes Ozzy's wife) and some other guy. Each of the judges has their own team and they have to help the contestants with their songs, etc. Basically more mindless T.V. luckily that night I had an escape. I went to this restaurant/bar called Hara's/The Circle Bar. It's an Indian restaurant off of the Thames by the Tower Bridge. There was a birthday party there that I got invited to via the local FAMUans. I had a great time. The music was great. Everyone just had a nice time. There were actually two funny events that evening. The first is that these two guys from Howard tried to come at me with the "Sorry you went to FAM" bit. And I know what you're thinking Grace but I didn't start it. I would have, but they beat me to it. Regardless, as we all know FAM is the better school, I beat them hands down. Their funniest line was that they produced such greats as Paul Robeson, Phylicia Rashad and some other actor. So when I asked them what Paul Robeson's major was and they said Biology, I had an 'all clear' to rip them on how a Howard education obviously sucks. The other funny event for the evening involved a collaboration between the restaurant owner Sascha and the party planners. Basically the lounge/bar/dancefloor area had been reserved for our party after dinner. While the group was eating dinner, another 'birthday' party group came into the restaurant to celebrate at the spur of the moment. The restaurant closed at 1am. So in true fashion, since our party paid for the DJ, it was only right that the other party had to go. So at 1am the music stopped and the restaurant owners attempted to encourage the other partygoers to exit. Well clearly they couldn't ask them to leave, that's bad business. But they stopped serving liquor, opened the doors and did the 'walk around' enough times that they got the hint. It took a little bit longer than expected but by 1:40 (after losing some of our own folks), the DJ, as Cedric the Entertainer would say, kept the party going. Like I said, I had a great evening. I took a taxi home (yes the authentic black taxi - Check out the pics) with a girl that I met at the party and thank goodness I did because the entire ride was equivalent to $65 +. London is NO JOKE!!! Unfortunately though, since the "TUBE" stops running at about 12:30, even on weekends, I had to take the 'L'.
So Sunday, dad and I went to check out another church. Yet another style but still not the one for me.
We came home, I read until football came on. I didn't watch the Kansas City/Pittsburgh game though. I had too much reading left.
Monday, I read all day. Still no running (man I was lazy). But that evening, I was invited to this event held by a group called Indigenous Diaspora. In honor of British Black History Month (October), they had an event called RougeNoir. It featured local performances by various spoken word, singers, etc. It was a GREAT show. There was even a few people in town from South Africa who performed. One girl, named Kheti, had an incredible voice (check out the pics.) And for those of you who went to South Africa, I definitely have to say it must be something in the water because EVERYONE there can sing. She moved the crowd so much the girl got up and started dancing and her mother came out to dance and show what True African Dance is all about (see the pics.) Another local girl named Magda sang a couple songs. I mean the lyrics were not the best but this girl's voice brought tears to our eyes. For you myspacers, I recommend you check out the tracks on her page www.myspace.com/magdasinit . Proceeds from this event went to a group called AFRUCA, Africans Unite against Child Abuse. One of the representatives told a sad story about two African children who were brought to the UK to stay with 'family' members when their parents were shot and killed by rebel forces. Unfortunately, the children were not able to attend school. Their 'aunt' enslaved them in her home to cook and clean all day from the time they were six to the time they left the house at 23. The 'aunt' was a caterer and relied on these two boys to cook ALL of the food that helped her business succeed. Check out www.afruca.org. There was also an opera singer from South Africa who performed. Talk about a new level for 'Open Mic Nite'.
On Tuesday, I thought I was going to get a special treat. A Somalian rapper named K'Naan, aka the dusty foot philospher, was coming to SOAS to perform. Check out www.thedustyfoot.com . However Mr. Dusty Foot must not have taken off his shoes at security because he was "detained" in transit in the US. Whatever that means. Anyways, he gained recent notoriety for performing a spoken word piece in Geneva at the United Nations Convention on Refugees basically dissing the UN for their failed attempts to help the Somalis. Though he fled Somalia when he was young and grew up in Canada (Yes Grace big up Toronto), he was still witness to so many of the conflict and violence that is far too frequent in Africa today.