A Times advert on my tube from Highbury & Islington to Kings Cross St.Pancras told me that “the average Londoner wakes up at 6.04am”. I probably read this message at around 10, and I doubt I’ll see it much earlier. On the same journey I’d seen graffiti on the railtracks declaring “Art Yuppies Go Home”. Despite this, and the seriously hard work that goes on in this city of 6.04am risers, I can’t help but feel that London is uniquely suited to “Art Yuppies”. It’s certainly well suited to me. The area around SOAS is Central London at its very best- old buildings, great academic institutions and great public buildings- the British Library, the National Gallery, and the British Museum, to name three. There is also a proliferation of Japanese eateries- “Samurai”, “Wasabi” and “Itsu” all seem to be leading the charge with low-priced, reasonable quality sushi. When I left the UK, Yo!Sushi served up a pair of salmon nigiri’s for around £3.50- now Wasabi can do the same for £1. Edamame are everywhere, if you look for them- and to top all of this Japan-ness off, there’s the Japan Centre in Piccadilly, with an expensive but thorough selection of Japanese goods and groceries.
SOAS itself is very different to Nottingham- while the huge library is impressive, and I approve of its general old-ness, its not got the communal sense that a campus university has. Step out, around the corner, and you are into UCL. A few more metres and more universities open up to you. It may be ideally suited to research, and a good spot for a Masters course, but I wouldn’t have wanted to do my undergraduate degree here. Still, I’m going to be seeing a LOT of the library, as my reading lists are intense and workload more than expected. I’ll try to keep posting about things, and taking photographs, although there may be a bit of a hiatus while I settle into the course.