Silke and Ingrid Loose in London

Trip Start Jun 01, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Sunday, October 24, 2010

Entry 3 of 4 from England:

London, London, London. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. My dear friend Silke, whom I met in Monterey, who once shared my studio apartment in DC with me for three months (without even one argument!), and who now lives in Brussels, came up on the Eurostar train to spend a few days with me in London. Dilip and I met up with her and her beau, Patrick, on Sunday. The meeting point was in front of Buckingham Palace during a parade and, believe it or not, we actually found each other. We spent Sunday with the boys traipsing around various sites ... the London Eye, the Tate Modern museum, a film at the London International Film Festival (which was so bad I don't even want to mention it, and especially the fact that I picked it,) and a lovely Indian, er, sorry, Asian (curry) dinner on Brick Lane.

Monday and Tuesday, it was girls' days out in London. Silke and I, wanting to catch up on lost time, had coffee all over the city ... at the Costa by our hotel in King's Cross, in Kensington by the pretty row, er, sorry, terraced houses, at the cafe outside the Tower of London, and at the cafe inside the British museum. Okay, we did spend some time in the Tower of London and in the British Museum, but I think we spent about the same amount of time sipping our java and having girl talk as we did checking out the royal crown jewels and the spoils of war, er, sorry, artifacts, in the British museum.

In other tourist laziness, normally quite the walkers, Silke and I forwent our feet in exchange for riding around the city on the upper level of the double-decker buses ... not the tourist buses, mind you, the normal, commuter two-level buses. It rained on us on Monday, so we tooled around the city on the buses and took in the West End, Piccadilly, and Trafalgar Square from the comfort of our seats. Silke and I also made sure we devoted the appropriate amount of time to the pubs and real English ale, except we learned the hard way that it is really hard to find a British pub open in London after 10pm on a Sunday. (Note: Irish pubs are still open at this time, but they play really bad 80's music). On Monday night, we had dinner in the Covent Garden area with my former roommate from Beijing, Philipp. Facebook had informed me two days earlier that he lived in London and this was just enough time to arrange to have dinner. Having dinner with Philipp was just like old times ... except that we weren't in China, and we weren't roommates, and we had different jobs, and none of the people we knew in Beijing were around. But other than that, it felt exactly the same.

Tuesday evening, Dilip came back into the city to collect me and also take me to a show at the well-known London Jazz Cafe. Now, you might think that the Jazz Cafe was an intimate locale with small, round, candlelit tables, with couples sitting and holding hands between sips of wine from elegant glasses and tapping their feet to mellow music in 5/4 time. Not so. The show at the Jazz Cafe Tuesday night was a raging hip hop show. The group was from Detroit. Talk about hitting close to home!

Cont. ...
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Roland Perreault on

Ingrid, so much of your trip brought back memories of my first experience in London in 1968. Of course it has changed but the joy of their fish and chips and the breakfasts, the pubs (90% of which were advertised as the oldest pub in England) cold toast, etc. I am happy you finally made the trip and that you had such a great time!
Best wishes, Roland

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