Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wet Waste of Time and a Haunted London Uncannily Disappointing

Alright, big delay, I know. Sorry about that. As it recently was my mother's birthday, I was back in Germany for just one night over the weekend, hence the neglect. Sure it was nice being home for a few hours - so to say - but I almost could not wait to be back in London again. Love it. Oh yeah. Try getting from Hamlet on the Street... erm. alright, the dump that is called STREATHAM to Liverpool Street Station and then to Stansted in the middle of the night. Good luck with that. I got up at 2:40 AM, walked up to Becmead Avenue hoping for the night bus to come who was supposed to take me there. I actually was assured that the night buses are just as reliable as the buses at daytime - but that might not mean a lot. I looked up the route on the tfl website. Two days prior I already went up to Becmean just to make sure that I know how to get there (not difficult - found the station right away). The bus came on time - it just did not serve Liverpool Street Station (which was to be the final destination). Awesome. For some reason it ended at Elephant and Castle. Nobody knows why. Nobody. I had the chance to enjoy that feeling that I might not make it to the airport on time and that I honestly don't know how to get to f*cking Liverpool Street in the middle of the night - for about 12 minutes. That's when the next bus arrived. To Liverpool Street Station. Thank. God. It was the second time now that the London transport page gave me the wrong information while it should actually be the most trustworthy source. It is always busy here. Never would you have believed that it was 3:00 am (despite the two foxes I saw). People. Cars. Streetlife. Open stores and restaurants. Once I arrived at the station, everything went smoothly. Although I was not aware that a ticket to Stansted costs 20 Pound one way, or 30 with return. Ridiculous. The bus only takes 8 Pound when you leave at the first station and 10 when you get off at - say - Bakerloo. It might take longer but it is cheaper in the end.

That was what is to say about my last weekend.

The Sunday before was supposed to be Regent Street Festival with "Fashion and Food" being the Motto. I was there, yes, but there was no festival. Well, there HAVE been a few stalls and a very sad looking merry-go-round - but it was literally ruined by the rain. It was beneath a tent with people trying to avoid the water rather than listening to the music where I heard the saddest rendition of Billie Holiday's 'Summertime' ever. The women that played the tune probably felt the same way - just look at their faces...

I just walked pretty much through Regent Street up to a suprisingly empty Piccadilly Circus straight to China Town for lunch. A decision I regretted afterwards. I settled for a newly opened all you can eat buffet restaurant with a 10 pound offer plus one free drink. Most restaurants - and there are plenty of them as china town pretty much consists of places to eat - offer buffets. I might have been the fact that I was alone, or that I might have looked like a gluttonous pig to them - who knows  - but they gave me the crappiest table in the restaurant which I only realised after sitting down after the first walk to the buffet with a hardly filled plate (that's the concept of all you can eat - you can come back to the buffet for more). I noticed that if all seats around me were taken, I would have been pretty much caged. It's not like the place was really full, they just always put you to the front so it looks like that from outside (many people = good food). It is rather awkward to always ask people to stand up for you while they are trying to eat (if I'd been that person, it would have bothered me as well), so I just got up once again, coming back with an embarressingly full plate. The food was okay, but I just wanted to finish ASAP and leave - what I did. That was that Sunday (26/09/10).

On Friday the 1st, I attended one of those many so called London Walks - guided walks through  areas of London based on a certain theme - together with Katja. I had high expectations. And was rather gutted. This walk's theme was "Haunted London" and I expected a creepy tour with well told, dreadful stories. The stories were dreadful at times, but the guide was a dislikable guy hastily telling them in a way that made it easy to realise that he did that way too often already. No atmosphere, no nothing, It was nice walking through Central London (it started at Monument) in the evening through the rain, sure, but it surely would have been nicer without the guide and without wasting the 6 pounds we paid (8 if you aren't a student). Not too much, but still.

The Gherkin and the Lloyd's building are impressive, nevertheless. Too bad we were in such a rush due to the guide that there was no good moment for taking decent pictures...