Friday, April 18, 2008

A foggy day in London town

It's not foggy here but chilly but this song keeps going through my head. I couldn't find the Julie London version but this Judy Garland version is just as good.

Yesterday, I when to the British Library and the British Art Gallery at Trafalgar Square. I got to see some very rare documents at the library. At the Art Gallery, I must have spend two hours just standing there looking at portraits. Standing in the gallery reminded me of those portraits that they have in the Harry Potter movies. They look so life like, as if they were staring back at you.

I saw Van Gogh's sunflower painting and some Monet paintings. It was a lot larger than I expected. When you see it on the internet and in posters, you don't see the texture of the paintings. It does look very different in real life.

Trafalgar Square was a lot smaller than I expected. I was thinking of something you could drive a few tanks through and stage a revolution, but I guess not. It's more like the size of Dataran Merdeka.

At first I thought I might have a hard time understanding their English, as I once had a hard time understanding English in Chicago. English is spoken differently in every country. Luckily, they could understand me very clearly. In Chicago, I called a hotel once and the lady on the other end sounded like she was speaking a totally different language. I had to tell her to speak very slowly so I could dissect what she was saying.

Here in London, I can hear people speaking French and other EU languages. Very interesting. I also see a lot of Koreans, Japanese and Chinese... besides the Africans and Indians / Pakistanis. London is full of people from their previous colonies.

If you only spoke Hindi you could probably just get by living here. The other day, while we were shooting near the Big Ben, we got stopped by their 'community police'. I think their cameras picked us up. We had set up a tripod to shoot with our cameras. They came over a few minutes later to ask us what we were doing and took our details down. They were extremely polite. Polite cops, fantastic. Actually, they're not real cops, but close enough.

I only have GB40 left. Wonder what else I have to buy. I still have to get some cheesy souvenirs with the word London on it. Personally, I don't like it when people give me these type of things. I rather have something a little bit more specific. Something that says the British Library or the British Art Gallery would be better.

I'm leaving tomorrow already. Will I miss London? Maybe... I'm not sure. I miss driving everywhere but I'm also enjoying taking the tube now. London is a city of pedestrian. Looks like Ken Livingstone, their mayor is going to be raising the congestion charges again.

I also miss shopping at 9PM. Over here, most of the shops close early. I wonder what people do at night. Central London is almost dead at night. I think TV ratings are really high here in the evening.

The previous evening I spend the night walking in their red light district, Soho. They have interesting bookshops which were actually sex shops. They have sex toys I've never even heard of. Most amusing. People walked in and were shopping as if they were buying groceries. I saw couples shopping together.

Later today I'll be meeting Kelly and Steve, they're coming all the way up from Portsmouth to meet me. I wonder if we can catch a play in time.

Anyway... as they say it here, cheers!

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