Monday, 15 December 2008

Days 2 and 3

Day 2
I keep on hearing/looking out for hearing Scandinavian languages! I heard some Danish on the tube and I was thinking, "Hey!" Maybe I've been living in a Scandinavian country for too long.

Anyway, London seems to have a complete lack of rubbish bins. I find that I am in complete disorientation when it comes to the city, or that I just have a really bad tourist map with me. It's the subway -er, tube-stations that get to me. You're underground for a long time and then you spin and spin to get up the steps and when you're above ground there is no way of knowing whether you're facing east, west, north or towards planet earth.

I went on a free walking tour and saw all the sites. I then went to the British Museum. It was amazing, just being amongst all those artefacts, although I'm not one too keen on those.

At night I went to Chinatown to eat. It's good to hear Cantonese being spoken again. In Ottawa and in Reykjavik, if you hear Chinese it's 95% going to be Mandarin, which makes me feel even more isolated because that ensures that there is no community I can mesh with. I don't know what I'm trying to point out; you'd have to experience it to feel what I'm trying to say. Anyway, I go to eat fried dumplings and since those are Northern China cuisine I am dissapointed that I finally go into a Chinatown for the first time in half a year and guess what I have to speak...English! Because the waitress speaks Mandarin. The dumplings are okay; they're good for now but I've had better. I wander around Chinatown, being surprised at how touristy and natural this place is at the same time. In Toronto there is now more than one Chinatown, the more modern one being north of the actual city. It was a natural effect of demographic immigration. But here, tourists come here. I guess they go to Pacific Mall too...

And so I go into a bakery for two reasons: a) breakfast and b) I purposely want to speak some Cantonese! I order (in Cantonese, of course) a Napolean cake and a lotus cream-filled pineapple bun. I eat the Napolean for dessert, but it tastes distgusting. That's because instead of sweet cream they put in salty whipped cream! You're not supposed to do that! Oh, London, how you amuse me. The bun I save for tomorrow's breakfast while on a tour trip...


Day 3
I get up early for an Evan Evans full day trip to Windsor Castle-Stonehenge-Bath. In retrospect, it was too early in my days in London to be taking a trip outside the city.

The bun I eat is wholly filled with that yellowy, good, not-too-sweet filling. Way better than Canadian-made versions where they put a drop of the filling in surrounded by tasteless dry bread. After I polish the bun off, I hear the announcement, "Since our driver is so kind to us, usually there is no food allowed on the bus but he will let you eat lunch in here this time." Oops. Too late.

Windsor Castle is great, Stonehenge is mysterious, and Bath is intriguing. Too bad I didn't get much time for Bath, though, because I was about to explore the town when I saw a Barratt's shoe store manufacturer closing down sale and I spent the rest of my time picking out shoes! Reminds me of outlet mall shopping.

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