2007-06-09

She stayed with me until she moved to Notting Hill

Actually, my guess it that whatever it is, it wont be Notting Hill. Too expensive, and we prefer to mix with a lower class of people. Also, it seems clear to me that if there is any benefit to living in London, it is the opportunity to be in a neighbourhood with a funny sounding name, and "notting" is in the 49th percentile, considerably below "shoreditch" and "tufnell." But if anybody has a suggested location (postal codes, please -- the search engines ask for them) for places where residence is not too obscenely expensive, schools are good enough for our brilliant daughter, and the atmosphere caters both to doggies and gourmands, then we will grateful for suggestions.

This is, by the way, the "news" I have cryptically mentioned a couple of times. Our little family is pulling up its carefully cultivated Massachusetts roots and will be adding its own little brdašce to the London Balkanscape. The Ethniette will acquire one of those accents you hear on late night radio saying "oh seven hours, Greenwich mean time" (I intend to keep my Northwest monotone, thank you very much), Sig.ra Ethnia will ply her trade in that foreign land, and I will be Senior Lecturer in Southeast European Politics at UCL's dear old SSEES. As for Lajoš, the vet has stuck one of those horrifying chips into him, so now he will have the added marginal utility of being able to store phone numbers or recipes or something.

Of course I am absolutely thrilled to join up with the outstanding existing faculty there and with the hugely talented people who will be coming in at the same time as me. Add to this the incredible crew of people at other universities in London and elsewhere in the UK (you know who you are), and it is not hard to see where the new Balkanological paradise is coming together. As much as it is the džob of my dreams, I will do my best never to become one of those things they call an "expat." More of a gastarbajter, I should think.

The coming year will be tough. The family will be separated for some portion of it, and we will have to learn to like jellied eels. But mostly I am stunned by my good fortune, and constantly remembering the pop song line, "when you come from a background of bargain bins, you're bound to fear it ends where it begins." It still seems improbable to me, sitting as I am here in Budapest with three weeks worth of stinky t-shirts and socks from the student trip drying to the eclectic sounds of Radio Petöfi.

My colleagues in the Clark University sociology department, who I hope will come to visit us in London, have been informed. I still have to resolve with the administration under what conditions I will be departing. And I told the students who were travelling with me, who were very sweet in offering me their congratulations and a parting gift of 250 grammes of espresso.

14 comments:

Ali da Hodza said...

Sound like good news for London and SSEES if you ask me.

Of course, the answer would normally be Brixton, or perhaps somewhere nearby like Sydenham hill or Dulwich, with better schools. Ger once yomped the area so he can tell you.

Queen Bodicea camped near Brix's stone next to the now buried river Effra. And as Eddie Grant attests, we had the first electric street lights and, much later, tacky neon underglow on cars. What's not to like? ;-)

Anonymous said...

You're coming to SSEES? Woo!
We need new blood...

Eric Gordy said...

I have always craved the company of vampires.

Yakima_Gulag said...

What fantastic good news for you! Svaka Čast! Seriously this is fantastic!
If you've read my blog lately you know that the escape plan is in the all important stage of the house being on the market. Yes I am soon to be an ex-pat myself ako Bog daj.

Catherine said...

Congratulations! The jellied eels aren't compulsory, though. Unless you really, really want to :)

Eric Gordy said...

Thanks for all your kind comgratulations! Ten years in Brixton, you say?
Katja, I have been on the road and so not following my favorite blogs -- where ya headed?

Anonymous said...

Jedini problem ce ti biti da naucis Lajosa da seta levom stranom ulice :-)

Bg anon said...

Great that you are travelling in the 'right' direction but dont think you should be too dismissive of the Hill.

Contrary to popular belief it isnt all about snobby middle class twerps. Inch towards Paddington or even Westbourne Park (use a London Underground map - might as well get used to memorising where everything is) and the rich white faces fade away.

Hmm give Finchley Road a try. Its a very long road, some posh parts (closer to the centre), some downmarket. The best part for me is the stretch close to Golders Green within walking distance of Hampstead Heath and the local Golders Green park. Addded to that those houses on that stretch usually have gardens. They have a loads of local schools in that area too.

I'm sure you will enjoy London.

Any further advice please drop me a mail.

DarkoV said...

Srdacne kongratcije, Eric-u!
Wow! This is almost Joseph Campbell "Follow your Bliss"-ish. I don't think "Follow your Eels" sounds right and "Follow your Blintz" may be leading to the wrong food category.

This is simply fabulous. I hope you keep posting your impressions and letting us in on your new and exciting life.wvs

Paul Stubbs said...

Congratulations Eric!! - I look forward to the cultivating of the kind of cockney accent that only Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins and Elissa Helms can muster. Selfishly, delighted that you will be only an Easy jet (or is it Wizz air) flight away.

Of course, a senior lecturer's salary will allow you to purchase a tent (possibly big enough for the whole family) ... I would advise taking up residence somewhere on the planned Heathrow runway extension. The optimism of your posting that you will be able to afford to live somewhere, eat, and find a good school was touching! Still, health care is free --- just stand in line; and new Labour's experiments always need qualitative sociology to stick in a footnote somewhere!!!

I realise it is 25 years since I lived in London (Balham) and envied those who lived in Brixton or Hackney where I travelled for what some would call 'fieldwork' ... (de Beauvoir sounds rather posher than it is - but is the best part of Hackney, imho) ...

Enjoy, my friend!

Eric Gordy said...

Oh, Paul, you confirm my worst fears ...

Hej Bganon, poslaji mi neku adresu ili telefon, u Beogradu sam.

чип said...

Congrats Eric! Though we east-coasters will miss being able to stop by to see you in Boston. And after I went to all that effort to figure out the tricky route around the train tracks... Ah well, Worcester, Boston, London, what's next??

Anonymous said...

Gordy!!!!!!
Damn it, is this how I suppose to find out such amazing news? I am super happy for you, that is the best news that I have heard in long time. . . But, I will kick your ass for not letting me know sooner. And, I will be in Serbland on June 23rd, so get your ass ready for some kicking. . . and call me. . .

BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO my friend. . .

Sasha

Eric Gordy said...

Sale bona, bio sam u Ausvicu pa nisam mogao da te zovnem. No dobro, kad budes stigla cu ti ispricati sve.