Taking leave is so difficult. I am attempting to do it well. The first step is to give up the old and that part is definitely getting easy. Two days ago I was descending on the old, creepy, cramped elevator in Drake House at Dolphin Square. I remarked to my elevator mate that I had been evicted. He responded that my circumstances were exactly the same as those of his friend. His friend was an American and this friend complained vociferously about the mismanagement and inefficiency of the place to the general manager, that man who shall remain nameless. What happened to the friend? He got kicked out but then went and lived elsewhere, around on the corner in a flat that was cheaper, larger and better furnished. The American friend was not a little old lady on a student visa. God rest your souls Dolphin Square management personal. Is it God rest your soul or God save your soul? A friend replied: “Some souls are so evil they can not be saved, so for them it is God rest your soul.
But looking ahead what will happen with this institution, and that is what it looks like. The construction of the American Embassy is nearing completion. It is directly across the Thames from Dolphin Square, Therefore, Dolphin Square could be hot property to the staff of the embassy. But they would be Americans or at least have American values. Americans do not suffer fools or inefficiency lightly. They are bound to complain vociferously to management. They will not be like Brits who just keep a stiff upper lip and complain amongst themselves. So if practices continue then many Americans will be given the heave-ho. But their numbers will be numerous and they will be able to coordinate legal services. There are retaliatory eviction defenses in this country, young and untested perhaps but still on the books. Management might just get in trouble if they continue their inhumane treatment of tenants. This is a strange place though, this Dolphin Square. The profit motive does not seem to be a consideration. Vacancies persist, services are not properly resulting in loss profits. Dolphin Square is supposed to be owned by Americans, this does not make any sense to me. But I will be out of here soon, so who cares? I am curious, that is why I care.
But back to more pleasant topics. I cannot really say that the Car Boot Sale was a great success, speaking of profit motive and all. However, I met a lot of very nice people, referred many to my blog and that is what life is all about to me at the moment. Anita was next to me and she was so wonderfully sweet and helpful and charming. She manned my booth when I became exhausted and promised to help me out if I needed to get rid of more stuff. Friends Greg and David showed up and I was ecstatic to see them. So I guess it is better to shop than be shopped.
I went to the Rex Whistler after the Car Boot Sale for another marvelous lunch. Afterwards I went over to the cafe and spoke with the boss of the cafe whose name is Saimir. We had a wonderful conversation. Saimir s forty, from Albania and has held his job at the cafe for six years. Would I ever be having a conversation with such a man if I still lived in Marin County, California. The answer is no because there are probably no Albanians in Marin County. He asks of my time in London: “Has this been hard?” “Oh yes was it ever! But it has been worth it!” We then went on to talk about our dreams and our ambitions and it is so interesting to talk with someone so young and with such a different background. He is very brave, he is very introspective. He does say of me: “I have never seen you so soft!! You look like Samantha in Sex and the City.” That did sound like a compliment but I do not watch TV so I have no idea. Saimir left to do his job, I continue to sit at the table and write. I suddenly look up to find I am the only one in the restaurant. They must have left me alone because I had been siting with the boss. I try the doors, they are locked. I am locked in the Tate Britain Cafe and no one at all is around. Some degree of panic set in enhanced by the fact that that there was no food around. It had been locked up as well. What to do? I brilliantly decided that texting Saimir would be my best bet. “I am locked in, Help. Really I am.” He texts back: “Where are u.” Well actually at that moment I am in the loo. But I get out, round the corner and there he is in the hallway just beyond the glass door. He opens the door and amidst great laughter I depart.
I return to Dolphin Square and have a very funny and long FaceTime conversation with my favorite cousin Gail who lives in Vancouver. Near the end of the call I get a message that E. is calling. I say bye to Gail and connect with E. E suggests that our Tuesday appointment time be changed to 6 so that we can go and get a bite afterwards. I assume he is talking about food. I have not really ever been into the werewolf thing. I admit that I have not tried it but it does not seem to be my cup of tea. Stay tuned, if you dare.
I forgot to mention this. Saimir looks eerily like an Iranian man I met when he was 40, I was 24. He did become a rather major figure in my life for a while and we became friends again about fifteen years ago. He died in 2010. I confirm this with a friend who worked at McAuley Neuropsychiatric Institute at that same time. He confirms this suspicion: “He looks exactly like Soufi.” That borders on spooky.