My Holga, Cafe Chekour, and Excellent Coffee

Surprise! We’re up at 3am and to pass time until the rest of London wakes up, I put a roll of regular film into my Holga. I can’t wait to see how these pictures turn out. I guess you can say that my Holga is being held together with spit, bubble gum, and scotch tape. Actually, it’s all being held together by duct tape, rubber bands, packing foam, and a piece of cardboard.

Holga cameras are an institution; they’re cheap plastic cameras that leak light and easily fall apart; but, this is a part of their charm. The photos (I’m hoping) can be quite artistic and interesting.

I’ve also brought along my K-1000 for B&W photos and my digital camera for quick snaps. We have a card reader for the laptop and have been moving all my photos over instead of storing them on the camera’s memory card. This allows me to take snaps of whatever I want and not worry about running out of space on the disk.

At 6:30am we started wandering around Camden Town looking for a coffee shop or breakfast nook to sit and eat. Nothing really opens in London until 7am and we noticed most places stop serving food at 9pm (except the fish/chip and donair shops). We managed to find one place, the Cafe Chekour, where we had chips, bacon and eggs.

The coffee is amazing. dP told me on the plane that North America has some of the worst coffee in the world and I’m rather inclined to agree. I hate to say it, but Europeans would laugh at Tim Horton’s coffee and the instants people pump into their bodies. At Cafe Chekour we had liquid gold, and it was a great first experience with European coffee. Coffee is run through a cappuccino/espresso machine rather than a drip machine and it’s strong enough to not need a gigantic mug; you just need a tiny little cup, and order it either white or black (with or without cream).

One final note, I’m amazed that in a city of 20 million people, locals still manage to get to know one another and each others business. As we wandered around Camden Town and sat in the Cafe Chekour shop keepers stood out on the street and yelled good mornings to each other. As the morning progressed they popped in and out of each stores to say hello and share the latest gossip.

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