Friday, January 23, 2009

Diverse London

One of the things I've been most surprised with here in London (pleasantly) is the massive amount of diversity here. I was expecting to see English culture, but what I've been presented with is cultures from all over the world. Its a really cool city in that sense. While nothing is cheap, foreign food isn't any more expensive than "regular" food here, so you can literally eat a different culture's food every night.

This building was just across the river from Parliament. The sun was setting really nice so I took a bunch of pictures you'll see if you continue to read.

I'm not sure what this building is. We were just walking down the street, looking for a bus and ran into it. That's what's so cool about London. I heard most of Europe is like that, though.

Monday starts the Chinese New Year, so China Town in London is celebrating immensely (so I've heard). We went there yesterday and it was interesting. It's probably an area I would have completely missed if Adela hadn't told me about it. I've heard today that it's crazy. There's supposed to be over 50,000 people running about with tons of food. We'll see if it lives up to it's guidebook reputation, but that would be awesome.

This is one of the few places I've been outside of China that actually smells like China. Chinese food has a certain smell. It's not really bad, but I wouldn't say it's very appetizing either (for me at least, with Western taste buds). But I get really excited everytime I smell it because it reminds me of

Friday night we went to India Town, also known as "Brick Lane." Food was good, but the real reason I went was to see a Bollywood film. I re-watched the Bollywood film I had seen in India on the airplane on the way over (Bachna Ae Haseeno). I love that movie. Definitely, I would recommend it. So... I was on a little Bollywood fix and discovered that London had a Bollywood theater with tickets for only 5 pounds. I dragged Adela along and it ended up being at this little place in the boonies with three other people in the theater. Oh well. I really liked the movie. We saw Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. It wasn't as good as Bachna in my opinion, but its target was families and it didn't have quite the budget as the other one. Anyway, I'd still definitely reccomend either one to anyone who is interested in seeing a Bollywood movie.

Watch this movie.

Today I really wanted to go to a Catholic church (Adela's catholic and could show me the ropes), but not only are most of the churches out here Anglican, but I also realized that I don't have any nice clothes to wear. That's unfortunate, but I'm going to go to the St. Paul's area anyway and check out the cathedrals. London is so crazy with their cathedrals. These massive, beautiful buildings are just tossed around everywhere. You'll be walking and then just pass an amazing building and the people who live here don't blink or think it's remotely interesting at all. Craziness.

This is Adela and me in front of Parliament. She's the girl who actually lives here who I'm bumming off a bed and such from.

She got really excited here. I'm not sure why. I guess this stand was in some "Friends" episode. Joey allegedly did something with a hat and a map. Adela was ranting about it and I thought it'd calm her down to take her picture.

Westminster Cathedral (An Anglican Church) with the setting sun and Big Ben in the background. I thought this was a nice shot.

I finally got a picture of me in one of these pictures. See, when I wasn't in my right mind and was packing for this trip, I packed my big DSLR camera but left my little point-and-shoot at home. That makes it difficult to both ask people to take your picture and just hold out the camera in front of you.

On a last note, I bought a ticket for Athens yesterday. I'm leaving on Thursday and I'm pretty excited about it. I searched all over their cheap airfares and found a week-long, round trip ticket for US$126. Isn't that awesome? I'm not really sure what I'll do there. I already feel like I've done so much in London and I've only been here about four days. I might try and travel a bit while I'm there. If anyone has any suggestions / stories about their favorite things in Greece, I'd love to hear about it!

1 comment:

Book Look Column Author said...

We just got home from a nice warm cruise. Thanks for sharing your pics with all of us and your stories. I think you look like James Bond's counter agent in the USA. Only reasonable explanation for the interrogation at the border/airport. Super spies trying to sneak in often look and act like you do - just saying.