Ladies and gentlemen, it has been an odd few days. All I can say is SMH! I knew London wasn't going to be perfect, and I don't want to focus on the negatives, but I'm trying to record things as they happen, and smh's are errwherr.
*For those of you wondering what 'smh' is, it is an abbreviation for 'shake my head', and at the Kappa Kastle we actually pronounce it 'smuh'. So if somebody does something/something happens that you disapprove of or dislike, you might say 'smh'.
Here are some recent 'smh'-s I've come across in London over the past few days:
Excessive body odor? SMH!
Fat guys who wear shirts that say "I came on Eileen"? SMH!
People who talk too loudly on buses? SMH!
Leg cramps from walking for five hours straight everyday? SMH!
Dirty old men who smell like booze and old fish and almost vomit on me? SMH!! Now, I can handle drunk froshies or crying sorority girls, but this was different.
People who can't clap to the correct beat at a concert? SMH! Glue your hands together and sit quietly!
Gap-tooth homeboys who confront me at the bus stop, mumble 'you look amazing', and then believe me when I say that my name is Kelly and I'm from California? Major SMH! (By the way, I enjoy lying to men I don't approve of or show no interest in. It's a hobby.)
But the ultimate SMH of the day happened tonight at dinner. My boss Mark and his wife Lawry took me to dinner at a Turkish restaurant in Hackney. She'koyokh, one of the acts for our music festival this summer was playing a show of Eastern European folk music there, and I was having a lovely time drinking beer and trying new food. Out of nowhere, a man dressed in hasidic clothing asks to sit down at our table. At first I think, what are the odds that a rabbi would come in right as I'm getting drunk? Is God trying to tell me something? I mean, this guy has the long beard, traditional black suit, side curls, etc. He's the real deal, and I have no idea what to do in this situation but smile and finish my beer.
When he ordered a beer, I was sincerely confused. I don't know much about rabbis, and I have never met one that drank turkish beer. But as the band called for a break in their set, our new friend toasted his beer with us and explained that he was some sort of religious medicine man. He told us how his father had survived Auschwitz, and the mood suddenly became awfully heavy. He began telling us a story of how he met a woman who had a stomach tumor but refused chemotherapy and western medicine. Her family begged him to do something, so he took her to the depths of the rainforest in Brazil, changed her diet, fed her a plant mixture, and meditated with her for six months. Finally, he told us that her stomach tumor shrank over time and her cancer disappeared. It had been nine years since their trip to Brazil, and she was still going strong. No big deal, he just cured cancer.
Throughout this story, I'm not sure if I'm just drunk or if this is really happening. He started to speculate that big pharmaceutical companies know what the plants in the rainforest can do but are destroying it for their own profit. He told us how he attended Harvard divinity school for graduate work, but confessed to Mark that he had never heard of Martin Luther, which I found odd. Then, out of nowhere he looks me straight in the eye and tells me that all women should be vegetarians. Apparently, meat is incredibly acidic, and not good for our bodies. But the explanation took an odd turn when he started talking about the acidity of semen and how that should be the only 'acid' we put into our bodies. I know I was drifting in and out of the conversation, but I truly didn't know what to think about this.
Luckily the music started up again, and he sang and danced along to the yiddish and gypsy songs they played. After the show, Mark explained that I was from America and the old man started rambling about the places I had to visit in the states so that I could really 'see America.' It's not like I have lived there for nearly 23 years, but his suggestions were nice. Mark and Lawry found him enchanting and not weird like I did, so they exchanged contact information and he offered his services anytime he was needed. I still don't really know what to think.
So what can we take away from these few days? Sometimes, all you can do is smile and SMH...