Packaged food and buses in London are completely separate ideas connected only their geographical proximity. As in, there’s a bus-stand outside of Sainsbury’s and these thoughts always occur to me one after another.

Junot Diaz warned writers that their novels may sound too biographical and that to create distance in your characters, imagine them with deformity. Living in London is like seeing a warped version of America. I expect a biography, a continuation with the reality I am familiar with except I see it through a warped mirror, similar to Diaz’s deformity. There’s distance between these two realities.

It’s not just the frenchified aubergine and courgettes, but the slight warpedness of fast-food. The McDonaolds looks positively saintly but the same problems in nutrition arise from their packaged foods. Indeed, they are packaged very well at Sainsbury’s with affirmations that they contribute to your daily nutrition needs, organic, made with fresh ingredients but also convenient.

Sometimes they get it quite right like the fresh sandwiches in McLaughn library made with actually fresh ingredients and few preservatives.

But other packaged food, “chicken tikki msala for 2,” just seem really dubious. I wonder how healthy those packets really are. Usually they use more oils and preservatives. While S does sell some fresh vegetables, there isn’t much middle ground between completely packaged and completely bare. (The have one type of SHIT veggie burger.) They have one bin of frozen veggies, but loads of frozen chips.

It surprised me that there is little variety, but I realized that the UK’s a lot smaller and must have fewer food producers. Although grocery brand names do have a place on the shelves of Kroger and Genuardis, it’s bizarre when its the dominant brand. It’s been really hard grocery shopping because I’ve relied on stir-fry from frozen veggies and really delicious garden burgers.

Am I so lame to talk about grocery habits? Well, bear with me, or just skip this entry, because the next part’s a rant about buses.

When I first came to London in 1996, I was in love with doubledeckers. I had my own mini model at home that I’d play with and dream until I could ride them again. The second time around, they are less impressive but its cathartic to ride in a quiet nightbus home all the way from Oxford street to Hampstead, seeing all the familiar streets empty at night. And on the weekends when the Jubilee is down, a free tour sitting on the upper level.

The buses are mostly clean and friendly. But they suck during rush-hour. Roads are given an additional bus lane so they won’t be stuck in traffic, but I’ve had three buses refuse to let passengers on because they dont think it’s enough room.

AHHHH!! When it’s cold and windy and you have a shit load of groceries and the buses only come every 10 minutes, that’s at least 20 minutes of waiting. I always contemplate walking back home because its only a half an hour walk, but every time I start walking home, my bus inevitably goes past me before I’ve reached the nearest bus stop.

No, I am still in love with buses. Except I walk to the station instead of take the bus because I am more impatient to wait than walk. But when I do take the bus, and can enjoy a long ride like I used to in a car, I fall in love with the double deckers again.