Back in Gay London

Picture pink_phone.jpg Just when I thought Tokyo might be an expensive choice of a city to live in, all I need to do is go back to good ole blighty to realize that 800 yens is a cheap price for a drink compared to the 10 quids you’ll have to cough up at your average semi-hip London tavern. And the worst part is not the price, it’s the sudden and sad realization that I don’t care so much about mindlessly spending in a day what I used to live on for a month less than ten years ago, in the same city.

Granted, that warehouse we occupied was mostly… “rent-optional”. and candles do not make for high utility bills…

Not sure what squatter Dave-of-then would think of jaded petit-bourgeois Dave-of-now, comfortably sitting in his friend’s living room a block away from Bond St., only slightly phased at the thought of having spent a daily three digits allowance that didn’t even involve getting high for that price… He probably would not have anything particularly nice to say. Then again, Dave-of-then was a particularly insufferable self-satisfied prick (yea, I know. even more than now).

But I don’t think I am a total sell-out to the stiff upper-lip establishment yet…
Not even a year ago, when an unlucky set of circumstances had sent said friend and the keys to his posh flat on vacation somewhere in the balearic islands, along with about every surviving friends I might still have known in the city, I was left with little option but to be reunited with the abode of my early London years. As this was where my girlfriend of then was still living and nonchalantly invited me to stay in order to spare me the choice between sleeping somewhere in Hyde Park with two crates of records chained to my arms, and blowing a month rent money I didn’t have on a single hotel night. The latter option a very unlikely one, since the essential purpose of my stay was precisely to try and earn the missing part of the deposit for our new place in Tokyo with a few hastily booked gigs.

And though it certainly did not raise any desire to resume that lifestyle any time soon, it wasn’t a completely foreign experience. Sharing a room with my ex of seven years and her own current girlfriend of two, probably felt stranger than the place itself. Comfort had been greatly improved suggesting that most tenants had become near-permanent residents. Water was now kinda running and heated, electricity was available every once in a while during the day and no hypodermic needles peppered the kitchen… hell: they had even struck some kind of deal with the legitimate owner of the warehouse involving payment of a rent on a regular basis…

While my ex hadn’t yet taken on watching Martha Stewart’s while knitting synthetic wool glass mats, there certainly had been important efforts on interior decorations. It made me feel somehow more at ease to see that I wasn’t the only one whose punkish tendencies had eroded over the years…

Back to this week. Hanging out with old schoolmates and their friends, all involved one way or another in the ways of the financial world and happily buzzing on the stock market everyday, strongly reminded me why I want no part of it. It’s not the people and their actual nature, but what this system quickly makes of them: you can tell where it’s headed and it’s nothing to be really envious of.

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