Random observation #1: People in the UK like to bring their drinks out onto the streets
Walking around London our first two days, we saw dozens of people herded outside the pubs, beers in hand. We ventured into the pubs haltingly at first, nervous to expect a huge mass of people, but they were half empty. Angela said people were mostly outside to enjoy the unusual spot of good cool weather, and to smoke, since they are no longer allowed to smoke indoors.
I got into London the morning of Thursday 8/23, but a combination of jet lag and sheer laziness saw me lazing in Angela’s cosy pad the entire afternoon, much to her, Amanda, and Peirui’s consternation. Amanda, in particular, was clicking her tongue at me the moment she walked into the door, for she had been rushing from museum to museum since she landed. Heh.
That night, Angela brought us Singaporeans, and a bunch of her other London friends to a delicious dinner at her favorite Pakistani restaurant. Mmmm. I’m still salivating over that tandoori chicken.
Peirui and I walked all over town our second day in London (Friday 8/24). Sure, it took us a fair bit longer to get to places of attraction, but we saw so much more of the city that way. Our walks took us through part of the financial district, and past 9 Pret-a-Mangers, 8 EATs, 6 Starbucks, and 3 MacDonalds.
MacDonalds in London have been remodeled to look “upscale”
Visited the Tower of London too, then the Tate Modern. I’m not a fan of contemporary art, but we thought we ought visit at least one museum… Angela met us there since she thought she needed to see it at least once in her year’s stay there. Honestly, I did not think too much of the “Modern Cities” exhibit we saw, but it was still a totally worth it trip: we tasted the best scones I had in my life. It was so good, we spent the rest of the trip searching for more afternoon cream teas to beat that one.
I didn’t think to take a picture of the scone – so deliciously crunchy on the outside, soft, warm and moist on the inside. Spread with smooth clotted cream and fresh jam, it was gone in a jiffy. My latte (yes, very non-British to get coffee with afternoon tea I know) was delightful too though.
Angela went off for a friend’s farewell party after that, while Peirui and I continued our walk around town. We stopped by Leicster’s Square to pick up tickets to Avenue Q that evening, then continued on to the Buckingham Palace and the Big Ben.
After a cloudy day, the sun peeked out just before it dipped below the horizon, and shone squarely on the Big Ben