Thu Apr 26, 2012
One day before my flight to London I got a bit worried: the guy who was supposed to be my first host was not answering my messages. So I had to post a last minute request and ask many people on CouchSurfing. I got lucky and an nice young guy from Lithuania offered me his place near Crystal Palace.
This was the first time I did only couch surfing. No hotels. And it’s my favorite trip so far. I really enjoyed it. I stayed in four different neighborhoods. My second host, a good friend from Berlin, lives in Hackney. Then a software developer living in Shacklewell with an Italian sound engineer and a Japanese couch surfer, and finally another Londoner from Brixton who has had a local radio program for a long time. I’m very thankful to them because they are part of what made this a great trip.
Not only did I do couch surfing, but I also flew for the first time with that cheap company that people use just because it’s cheap. They don’t fly from Helsinki, so I took a bus, then a train and another bus to get to Turku. I think that must be one of the smallest airports I’ve seen. The terminal was just awesome. It looked like an abandoned building with a layer of paint :) I wonder what people arriving from London, a city with 14 million people, think about this terminal :)
I don’t know how it would be like to live in London. Being there for an interesting event while couch surfing is a different experience from waking up every morning in this large city and going to work. It’s a very busy place. I took trains, tubes (metros) and buses every day. At busy times the bus would skip my stop, and the tube would be so full that I had to wait for the next one, which arrived a few seconds later. At times I had to cue to get out of the station, which I don’t enjoy. It was a continuous stream of people walking in underground corridors. It’s an expensive place too. But my first impression there was great. Coming from a frozen Finland, it was all so green and full of blossoming trees! The sky was blue during the first week. It almost felt like summer. I found people quite open and friendly. Easy talking to strangers. There are many beautiful green parks, and houses with small design gardens displaying flowers and stone patterns. The center of the city is too full of people and tourists, but the areas where I stayed were very peaceful and with hardly any traffic.
The main excuse for visiting London was the SuperCollider Symposium, a week full of workshops, conferences and performances. I was one of the few lucky persons who received a free ticket to this event full of artists and sound researchers. I learned much, had fun and talked to dozens of like-minded people. You can see here some photos from the event.
I’ve been trying to remember how I got into SuperCollider and I think it was probably Fredrik who mentioned it after one of his performances. I’m still learning and I decided that starting next Monday I will be uploading a new piece of work using SuperCollider every day for 30 days. Yo from Paris, who I met during the symposium, will also take part on this “one month challenge”. I wonder about what kind of sounds will we produce during this time.
Now, if you got a minute to spare, it’s a good time to sign here to protect our privacy. It’s crazy how often they are trying to pass these silly laws. I lost the count already.