Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I'm in London still

So, London. I'm still all lurgy but I'll battle through with a bit of hot lemon and honey. Just don't be surprised if the sentence constructs are a bit off.
So, as I was saying, London. I really do have a soft spot for the UK, slowly developed over many short visits. My first impression of London is quite possibly the most entertaining first impression I've ever had of a city. As I hesitantly crept out of the underground system somewhere in Hammersmith the first thing I clap my eyes on is a woman sitting spreadlegged on the footpath, torn stockings, crazy hair, talking loudly and obviously into a mobile phone. The message scrawled on a ripped off piece of cardboard in front of her reads 'I am a psychopath'. Welcome to London (though on later reflection I do wonder if it wasn't a 4 non-blondes comedy sketch)
I've found Londoners to be, on the whole, excessively polite people. With the exception of club bouncers and bus drivers. Willing to go well and truely out of their way so that you should not be put out. But then, that's just my experience. And seeing as my experiences in London include door to door scottish fishmongers, it might be exceptional. Or not.
Now I had great intentions of making it out to Portobello AND Camden Town to tour the secondhand bookstores, but hey, who am I kidding right? 4 hours, one foot cramp, 148 photos and about 4 kilos of books later I emergered hot and flustered from the portobello road markets.
The main reason for my visit this time round was for a friends 30th, but with her living in the south in zone 3 and me staying in the north in zone 6, I got to experience much of all that is truely great about the London underground transport system (seriously, you guys are going to have it fixed for the Olympics, right?). It also meant I had to cut my time at her party a bit short to catch the last tube back up to Stanmore. Remember how I said experiencing everything that is good and great about the underground transport system? (insert complete tube meltdown here). So, the only alternative rapid Plan B was taking the bus up to Westminster and running like mad to catch the last Jubilee train. You know that scene in Doctor Who, whey're they're running happily past Big Ben through the night, on some new exciting adventure quest? Well, replace the characters, replace the TARDIS with the tube and replace the impending doom of the living plastic takeover with the impending doom of having the underground grills shut in my face, and you've pretty much got it. Also replace someone who is capable of running with, well, me.

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