Friday, June 17, 2005

Part 2: London Postcards

17.6.05 5pm local time: London Tower

A moment´s pause after a day of non-stop trekking and sight-seeing.

Leicester Square: tick
Trafalgar Square: tick
St James´Park: (and without going into details, it wasn´t just the ducklings on the pond with which I frolicked here) tick
Buckingham Palace: tick
Big Ben: tick
Houses of Parliamen¨: tick
London Eye ride: tick
Dali Exhibit at County Hall Gallery: tick
London Bridge: tick
Tower Bridge, which I realised I had thought was London Bridge and wondered what all the fuss was about, as LB not TB is really quite dull: tick

(Ed note: Since got in Knightsbridge/Harrod´s, Madame Tussaud´s, Albert and Victoria Museum, Carnaby Street, Portobello Road, Hyde Park, shopping at Oxford Street and homosexualising at Soho).

Have still been pleasantly surprised by demeanour of Londoners. Any time I´ve asked directions I´ve only been greeted with friendly assistance (although quite a few turned out to be tourists themselves. Damn Yankees.)

Heard an Indian woman say as she stopped her husband from taking a snap of London Tower: "Stop taking postcard pictures!" I fear I got sucked into doing likewise my first couple of days here. I can already hear my friends stifling yawns behind manufactured enthusiasm as I flip through my photo album of postcards. I´m too nice - or maybe too paranoid - to give strangers my camera and ask to take a photo of me*, although I had the pleasure of a Spanish? - Brazilian? - mamma stop me in my tracks outside of BP and ask in a delightfully incomprehensible language to me if she could have her photo taken with me as her giggling family of daughters, son, mother, aunt etc looked on. If only she had been a Brazilian Capoeira instructor, maybe 26, Capricorn, 3-day stubble...I digress.

(*Sidebar: Don´t try and buy a non-digital camera. When I was asking around for one in Bondi Junction last week I was mostly greeted with looks of abject horror, as though I were asking for BetaMax cassette players.)

So the next goal in my journey is to get my hands a little more dirty, less of the postcard pictures and more jumping over the velvet ropes to touch.


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