England is a funny country. Between using the metric and imperial systems simultaneously (miles, anyone?), speaking like, well, Brits, not being able to decide if they’re a country (The UK is a country! No, England is a country! No, one is a constituent country and the other is a country! Oh, bollocks.), and driving on the left side (ha-ha), they’re quite charming. I jest, of course (but not about the charming bit).
My first experience in the country was a silly one: when my friend came to pick me up from the Stansted airport, I walked around his car, much to his confusion: I had forgotten England drives on the left side! This seemed so ridiculous to me considering I had known this fact nearly all of my teen-and-beyond years, and of course my friend just had to make fun of me for it. So I pouted and stalked to the left side of the car – the passenger’s side – and got in. From the airport, he took me on the not-too-long ride back to his place in a London suburb where I would spend the next eight or so days.
Between my binges of playing Tropico 4 (don’t ask, the addiction is real) and sampling the varied English cuisine (garnered stylishly at Tesco), I explored London from the starting point of the London City Airport where my friend worked. Before I get into all that, though, I have to mention something: the air pollution. I could start smelling it soon after we began driving into central London, and it was pretty apparent. I got used to it quickly, but of course that didn’t mean it disappeared. This is important to note for anyone who has asthma or any other sort of breathing problems.
Anyway, one of the first places we went to was the Science Museum. My recent and latest obsession with Fable 3 made me pay particular attention to the walls listing facts about the Industrial Revolution. We explored all floors of this monolith museum, and though I also wanted to see the National History Museum (even moreso, in fact), we were pretty worn out after the first one. Deciding to come back sometime in the future, we ventured out onto the busy London streets to head back to the house, which had very steep stairs…it was almost as if I was in the Netherlands again!
The next day, which was a Saturday, we used a park&ride bus to drive up to Cambridge to get a view of a city that wasn’t London for a wee bit. I learned of the wonders (terrors?) of Primark, and we went to a very fancy-looking park. I was able to take a couple of pretty decent photos.
That night we had Asian food. Oh, the glories of it. Even an Asian buffet is pretty expensive in the outskirts of London, though!
And I obsessed over my new adorable thing over Snapchat.
To shake things up a bit, we went on a leisurely stroll the following afternoon to explore in a quieter and calmer manner. I saw a lot of bridges and a couple of horses up close, which was nifty. Oh, also, trees, lots of trees. Surprise!
The two days after that were spent largely at home. Tropico 4 was still a thing, and miscellaneous things happened. For example, we watched some ducks that were up to some shenanigans.
After that, the next thing we visited was the famous London Bridge (which was incidentally not falling). After taking a bunch of touristy photos, we walked around the area and people-watched. I saw a lot of really interesting-looking buildings and architecture over the ensuing hours; there was so much laid out in such a small spot of London; the attractions were all very close to each other! After buying some magnets (as I tend to do), we went home.
For the most part after that, we didn’t do anything outside of the house; I had seen a decent deal of London, and though I’d go back for more, I had had enough for that one trip. The rest of the trip was spent eating pretty good food and playing pretty good games. And taking pictures of the toilets.
And my Norwegian friend endured my Sainsbury’s commentary.
Ah, ’twas a good trip. I shall see you again sometime, London.