Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My Bubble: Bickerings & Chills In London!

This time it is really taking me a longer time to process my travel pics and blog about them. It has been almost a month since we are back and only now I am blogging about our stay in London. Gosh! This is utter LAZINESS!! PROCRASTINATION!!!

Anyway, just like my last post on our stay in Paris, I think I am going to start along the same line ... the people. After all, our stay in the various cities we visited includes the experiences and interactions with their people and their differing cultures.

The Brits have been stereotyped as snobs and have the reputation of being cold.  Well, I can't say that it's on the contrary nor is it entirely true.  I can only sum up my conclusion that they are from two extreme divide.  While there are those who are extremely snobbish  because they think they are somewhat sitting in a place of authority, I definitely encountered friendly and helpful Brits who will not hesitate to give you a welcoming smile or stop in their tracks to help you out.  Sadly, the bad apples who held their noses high up in the air are mostly the ones whom tourists had to turn to for assistance like at the train stations and the airport.  The truth of the matter is ... the attitude of the majority of our civil servants back here in Malaysia kinda mirror this group of people too! I guess the apple never falls far from the tree ... influence from the colonial rule.

Anyway, whatever type of people we came across couldn't really damper our holiday in London but the weather certainly did.  It was wet and windy during the most of our stay and unfortunately it was paralysing for my dear lo kong. Indeed it was cold but since I am already at the threshold of the 6th decade of my life where body temperature is skyrocketing, the cold weather was a BIG welcome!

Much of our days out were set-backed by the rain. Our 2-day hop-on-hop-off Big Bus Tours was a great shelter from the wind and rain as we take in most of the major landmarks in London from inside their prompt double-decker buses, going from the Big Ben to the Tower Bridge to Trafalgar Square, St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and not forgetting the London Eye. However, much of our sight-seeing was also dampered by our frequent bickering with one another. Lo kong's disinterest and extreme snail pace whenever we are on foot upsets me a lot! Running a full marathon had been such a breeze for him but taking walks turned out to be agonizing of sorts! Can you believe this?

The weather was pretty unpredictable and to me time was running out fast to be taking slow strolls. One moment it is sunny and the next down with shower. Sadly coupled with the bickerings, we missed the Changing of Guards ceremony at Buckingham Palace ... one of London's main tourist attractions. However, we were lucky enough to catch the inspection of the Horse Guards ... a ceremonial tradition that has been carried out daily at 4pm for over a century at St. James' Palace. We also missed the walking ghost pub tour that was supposed to takes us through some of the local old pubs. We managed to hitch the free boat cruise on River Thames but it didn't turn out to be anything spectacular in the rainy weather and on choppy waters. Talk about pubs, we also managed an authentic English dinner of the Irish kind in one of their pub, O'Neill's Pub & Grill. We had chosen 2 English pubs earlier but they were full. Well, no regrets for our 3rd choice ... the food was great and so was the ambience!

Fully-utilised or not, our 2-day ticket ended and we headed out to Manchester the next morning to visit the Old Trafford, the second largest stadium in Britain and home to Manchester United FC ... lo kong's favourite team. There won't be any surprise when his disinterest and slower than snail pace disappeared!!

Anyway, the best part of our stay in London where bickerings don't happen was when we are trying out food or when lo kong went on a shopping spree.  I must clarify that he is the reigning shopaholic in the family ... it isn't me!  He managed to buy 3 pairs of shoes plus one for our son on day #1 of arrival and added two more on our last day in London!  Me?  Only a pair which I wore immediately from the shop!

Again there were more than 600 shots of what we did in London and while I am fearful of my relapsing trigger finger ... here's our snapshots downsized to less than 200.  Hope you don't get bored by them.

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