Billy’s Grill and Camden Town

Two hours after we arrived at the flat, and two hours after we fell asleep, we awoke hungry, thirsty, disoriented, and not quite sure of where we were. We left the flat and wandered around before finding a local restaurant called Billy’s Grill. The waitress “Sue” comes right out of the TV show Alice; or some British soap opera. Our chef was “Mel” with a thick accent and he was yelling out to everyone. Sue took our order then Mel yelled out: “We donna ha no beef buu I’ll mak ya pork if u laike.” The food was standard British fare; dP had the roast pork, mashed potatoes with gravy and three veggies.

As each and every one of the regulars walked in (the regulars were pretty much everyone who walked in) it was like a British soap opera, which we were suddenly a part of. I felt as though we were intruding in on some secret world. Sue wanted to know every little detail about the regulars and the goings-ons of the neighbourhood.

After a while we left and wandered around until we found the main Camden Town strip and a Starbucks. Coffee is cheap; in fact, everything is cheap considering London is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. Camden Town has tons of little cafes, pubs, and gads of people wandering around and drinking on the streets. Camden Town was originally home to a large Irish community. However, this has diminished and the neighborhood has become rather bohemian with lots of yuppie American chain stores (Starbucks, the Gap). We saw the Dockland (home of Doc Martins) on High Street and the only remnant of the Irish community was a pub called the Dublin Castle.

Believe it or not, one thing that’s hard to get used to is the driving on the left side of the road thing. Why does this affect someone who is walking, you might ask? As a pedestrian I instinctively and automatically check to the left to make sure it’s safe before crossing the road. However, in the UK you need to look to the right. Also, sometimes things are confusing because of the plethora of mini traffic circles and sudden turn offs. I almost got smoked right away as I did my left check and started to step out; dP managed to yank me back as a car whizzed by. This must be an ongoing problem because they have it written on the street which way to look.

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