Monday, 23 August 2010

Becoming a Tourist (Completing the Assignment)

August 22

Before I start, I should mention that updates will not usually come this frequently. This day gets mention because it was the last day before classes and involved a lot of stuff. Also, yesterday I got a delicious candy: Galaxy Minstrel's. They are M&M's on steroids.

As mentioned earlier, the assignment was:

- Visit 2 train stations and write some specific information in our journals
- Visit 2 parks and write some specific information in our journals
- Visit 2 of of 10 other places listed on the paper and write some specific information in our journals
- Visit 2 of 6 religious places listed on the paper and write some specific information in our journals
- Buy and go over several Sunday papers and answer lots of questions
- Watch the telly (TV) for an hour and answer specific questions
- One last ridiculously vague and time-consuming question, the details of which aren't important

It should be mentioned that I went with Steve, Michelle, and Meredith. Meredith had not done any of the assignment so we did the whole assignment (leaving yesterday's morning trip (with the exception of the parks) pointless, assignment-wise).

First was Waterloo Station. It was the largest station we had visited. Not much else to say.
It's... uh... big.
That picture does not encompass a significant amount of the station, by the way.

Around the station, we continued our creepy mission of listening to other people talking (to discern the language). We exited the station and began walking when we ran into this...

... a minor obstruction in our walking path.
That is the London Eye, a ridiculously large, famous, and overpriced OBSERVATION wheel (thanks Cat). The line was huge and the crowd where we were standing was really dense. So we did the only thing we could think to: take pictures. We had official relapsed into being tourists, and what better place to do it? We were near Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, The London Eye (of course), and the Prime Minister's office. We walked over to the Westminster Bridge and I realized...

... that Sauron's got nothing on this motherf-
The Westminster Bridge took us damn near 15 minutes to crows due to large crowds and Michelle's inability to stop taking pictures. Noteworthy incident: my hand was partially extended when all of the sudden this gypsy/beggar/potential-owner-of-a-charity places a paper flower in my hand. She then moves toward Steve to give him one and Steve refuses. Now Steve is a very charitable person, which could have meant only one thing. I'm in deep shi- ... er... poop. Actually, not really. She just asked for money for a charity and I could only think to respond with "I don't have any money". This was, of course, an outright fabrication. I gave her back the flower, upon which she remarked to Steve, "Not a very nice bloke, is he?" Surprisingly this actually upset me for some reason that I have not yet figured out. I do regret the whole "I don't have any money" thing. I pride myself on being somewhat quick on my feet with words, so my inability to say something better got to me. Oh well. Continuing across the bridge we saw so many picture-worthy moments. Here are a few.

That's right, we hit Big Ben right at f*ing noon. What.
And in an interesting comparison...
"Nope. No zombies here.", says Cillian Murphy.
"Yep. Plenty of potential zombies here.", says I.
Anyway, with the bridge finally crossed we headed to Westminster Abbey, which was stunning.

Once again, however (and this would prove to be true with all the sights today), the tourist factor was too much. Here is this gorgeous place of worship, and then there are 1000 people immediately outside. We did not even get to see the inside because it was Sunday. We took our notes, eavesdropped, and headed toward Downing Street, one of the most anticlimactic tourist attraction in existence. Address 10 on this street is the Prime Minister's office (not his house, as our assignment paper told us). With that being said, here is the highlight of Downing Street.

Awwwwwwww man!
The gate and the crowd made it so you could not see anything. Here is second best of the shots of downing street.

That's actually all the pictures I have of Downing Street. All in all, very disappointing. We moved on to Trafalgar Square, which was much better. Trafalgar Square was the ultimate rest stop. There we hundreds of people just... resting. There were pubs and restaurants in every direction, you sit on anything (stairs, fountains, lions), there was the National Gallery right there, and it was a beautiful picture site.

I worked really hard to get this shot.

After Trafalgar Square we went to St. Martin-in-the-Field, which was not as impressive as Westminster Abbey but still cool (they we having a sermon in Cantonese). I don't have any pictures of it but that's okay. Finally, we returned to Charing Cross Station (the one from yesterday) so our friend could get the information she needed. We took the Tube home and wrote up about all our experiences. No other noteworthy incidents.

Classes started today (this post was about yesterday) so my posting frequency will be significantly reduced after this post. Hope you all are enjoying it.



  2. Also, I SAT ON THAT VERY SAME LION! YAY! I know feel so much closer to you.

  3. I don't get it. Was the lady with a paper flower a hooker? What is going on? I am slow! S'plain to your dumb friend, Bartholomew!

  4. I am thoroughly, THOROUGHLY enjoying your posts, cuz. You're writing style is hysterical.