Queen Mary

The last time I encountered anyone called Mary, she was drowned in tomato juice, cheap vodka and getting acquainted with stick of celery. A miserable experience, one might suggest, but nothing to what I am currently occupied with.

I am sitting in a modern lecture theatre, designed by someone who never wanted to be lectured to in it, and being spoken at by a man with greying hair, slicked back and wearing a fleece that the Geography department would be jealous of. I am waiting to be told all the reasons why I want to study English at Queen Mary University. Edge of your seat stuff.

The rest of the room are listening perhaps even less intently than myself. A collection of hijabs sit in the front row eating crisps (not burkas – a little too difficult to eat and wear a burka, no? think about it…) and the girl behind me is whining on the phone in a dialect that I cannot even begin to understand.

My journey here was more interesting. I have an irrational fear of Bank tube station (too many employed people, there are gaps in the tiling and you can see the earth from inside the tunnels – a little too metafictional for my liking) and so I decided to traverse accross the bridges from Waterloo to Embankment, with all the meander and swagger of a Romantic poet. Before which, I evaluated my coffee budget, and requested that Emmanuel, the French ‘barista’ at Costa that he “put all the caffeine you have in a large Americano to go”. He complied.

On my happy wander from Waterloo, I observed a gaggle of Koreans queuing outside a hired out building near the Savoy. Some were stretching, others were warming up vocals in an unfamiliar, Gangnam style (pop culture! Ha) sort of way. On further inspection, I discovered that today are the auditions for ‘e-pop’, some desperate entrepreneur’s answer to the hideously successful chain of reality music shows. So if you see yourself as the next K-pop star, sorry but you missed your chance. You’re just going to have to sulk in lack of kawaii.

The chap with the fleece has introduced his colleague. A chirpy woman with a PhD that you’d probably describe as having a “nice personality” or “good sense of humour”. I think she can tell I’m not listening.

I should’ve stayed home and juiced a tomato.


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