topiary cats

topiary cats

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Some London Observations

I have been awake for 35 hours. I relaxed on the plane but didn't really fall asleep even though that was the best and most comfy flight EVER. After I got off the plane, I kept hearing over and over like a mantra, Monty Python singing "I'm so worried about the baggage retrieval system they've got at Heathrow!"

Fortunately the baggage system worked out just fine for me. But I genuinely appreciated Monty Python's concern.

I feel very comfortable in London. Maybe it's because I'm so accustomed to being in a city already- I love to walk and I'm comfy on subways. Also, I can read a map. Which makes exploring fun.

Here's what I like about London:
*All the street crossings tell you to look left or right, depending on what direction cars will come from.
*The Tube signs don't say Exit- they say "Way Out". I like that. There is something friendly and encouraging about it. How many times throughout life do we say to ourselves, "Oh, I need a way out of this situation, a way out of debt, a way out of this horrid relationship etc"...well, in the Tube there is a Way Out. And it's clearly labeled. (Also, I like to add a silent "there" at the end, which makes me feel like I'm "way out there".)
*Accents. EVERYONE here has a cool accent. Americans do NOT have cool accents.
*Manners. People say please and thanks and sorry. And they call you "my dear" and "my love". There is something very human about it. Take for example when I bought my Oyster card (for the Tube (subway)). The guy in the ticket booth was super nice. In NYC, they just kind of yell at you. Or don't say anything at all.
*London is neither as crowded nor as frantic as NYC. I like that.
*The black taxis. So I took this black taxi from Paddington Station to my hotel. At the end of the trip I told the cabbie that these London cabs are really much better than cabs in NYC. His response: "We're the best in the world! It took me three years to learn how to do my job." This dude was very, very proud of his job. Soulbrush (who I am meeting tomorrow YAY) told me they actually have to write exams to drive those taxis.

What I do not like about London:
*Places close. 8pm and everything is shutting down and going quiet except for some pubs.
*The electrical outlets. They are UGLY.
*The street signs are not on sign posts at the street corners. They are (sometimes) posted high up on buildings. So it can be challenging to tell what street you are on. I keep looking automatically at the corners. NYC is good like that; you always know what street you are on.

So far I have managed to not get into any trouble. And of course I did end up in the local witchy shop. Of course. :)

I bought a dress for Daya. This photo does no justice to the color- it GLOWS. I *had* to get it. It has petticoats and tulle, was made in Nottingham and is beautiful.

Say what you will about pomp and ritual and Buckingham Palace- this dude has the most BORING job ever. Just because it's world famous doesn't make it fun.

Also, I haven't seen an iPood t-shirt in NYC yet, which is kind of amazing. It's the kind of thing you'd think would definitely be there. Maybe it is there and I just missed it. But I'm pretty sure I haven't seen it.

Am going to sleep now. Nite!


  1. What fun What fun!! I so envy you your days of exploration. I hope that jet lag doesn't hit until you return home. Have a blast and keep us informed. Give Soul a big ole hug from me. Wish I could be there to give you both a big ole hug.

  2. very interesting! I love the comparisons. I spent 5 days in NYC then flew to London for 5 days once, and I was able to do a similar comparison. My most notable difference, was that people wre able to have a joke in London, and it was all shiny and clean in comparisson. The negatives were that is was dark by 4pm!

  3. Oh, I am so glad you got there safely!!! Glad you got a bit of time to time to look around, before you fell asleep!!

    That dress for Daya is gorgeous! The color is devine (I love orange, ya know)! LOL!

    Have a great time tomorrow with Soulbrush!!!

  4. Gorgeous dress for Daya!

    We stayed in London way back when I was fourteen and, even then, I noticed how big they were on their manners over there. I was seen as a young lady to them and not a felt really nice.

    Enjoy your time with Soulbrush!

  5. Ooh, I loooove English accents. Love.

  6. Wonderful trip...wonderful observations! Great reading! :)


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