Alright, instead of overly elaborate excuses and apologies—

(fill this space with an admission of laziness to write 400 word posts every day, and thus resorting to posting once every couple of days)

By my reckoning, I’ve spent (including today) three days tourist-ing London. The first couple of days don’t count, then there was the four days in Ireland. Wednesday’s covered in the previous post. So, begin with Thursday’s exploits is something I will do. Here. Now.

I did mention our plans to visit the Tower of London, Tate museums, the Thames, and Tower Bridge, yes? Being a lazy bum, thursday morning was a wasted. Accomplishment of the morning: looking for discounts and deciding to save money by not going on the London Eye.

Following lunch, we cycled to the Tower of London. Which, surprisingly enough, isn’t just a tower. It’s got two rings of walls, thirteen stone towers archers can shoot out of, a formerly typhoid-carrying moat (now grass) and fortified just about everything. In other words, military waving-my-wang-in-your face, or what the British would consider for a royal residence.

Oh, and the Crown Jewels are kept in the Tower (Castle) of London as well. Won’t go in to too much detail here; suffice to say, the Tower was interesting, much.

Right, Tower of London. Done. Next, Tower Bridge. Skip, because it’s not worth £3 just to go up. Admiring it like a boxing match (from afar) is rather enough. Okay, so, no Tower Bridge. St Paul’s Cathedral, biggest in the world after St Peter’s basilica, then. Except, that you have to pay to tour the Cathedral, and if you go in for free during times of worship, you can’t really walk around and all that. Unless you want to piss off quite a few Anglicans. So, short walk around the outside and a little bit of the inside then. By which time it’s dark. As dark as the darkest night of 4 o’clock wintertime London. (Not to say that the Cathedral isn’t beautiful. It’s magnificent. But magnificent buildings can only be admired for this long by a layperson like myself. A length of time between how long a painting could hold me and the duration an exhibit at the science museum interests me)

So, what do you follow a thirteen-and-a-half century old cathedral up with other than the Millennium Bridge eh? Which offers a scintillating view of the Cathedral framed between other buildings when one crosses it. Crossing, we visited the Tate Modern for a little while. It really is a pity I have no eye for art (nor ear for music, but that’s for another time). Especially modern or contemporary art.

So, Castle, Cathedral, Museum already. What’s next? the Thames of course. Walked along the banks, through the Christmas markets, past the London Eye (you decide, does it add to or ruin the skyline and the countless beautiful ancient buildings in London?), and on towards Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Trafalgar Square.

So, Parliament looks even better for real than a thousand James Bond films put together could make it seem. It’s just so surreal to be seeing it in the flesh stone, to feel the history, even from across the Thames. Too bad then that Parliament’s closed (most likely, for Christmas), and there weren’t, and won’t be any tours. Westminster Abbey was closed by the time we got there, so I intend another visit. Soon. Trafalgar Square has a 30-metre high memorial dedicated to Admiral Nelson. Wow.

Oh, and I met my brother’s Indian landlady for the first time. She was quite nice. I think.

And now, for today. Woke up and got moving earlier today, in order to purchase best remaining seats for £20 for Avenue Q (more about that later). See, how it works is that on the day of the musical, any unbooked seats are sold to students for the low low price of £20. So we got stall seats usually costing some £60 for cheap. Excellent. From Leicester Square, we proceeded to a street market recommended by my brother’s Indian landlady to take a looksee. It was varied and colourful, but we ended up buying nothing except for a £7.50 Gaiman book for me, and a £20 secondhand bicycle for my brother. Which he then proceeded to tow for some 5(?) miles.

The original plan was to go do more sightseeing in the afternoon, before catching an early dinner and heading off to the theatre. Foiled by an additional bicycle, we made our way home to eat home-cooked-baked-rice-with-butter-cheese-leftover-roast-chicken-and-spices. Did I mention it was some two cups of rice? For two people? (Well, we didn’t actually eat all of it. We had four “servings” each, and left one. So that’s 8/9ths of a cup of rice and a quarter block of butter each. Yaymmmm fats!)

Ate dinner, lazed around. Finished the £1.98 tub of Ben & Jerry’s (with Bailey’s Irish Cream). Cycled back to Leicester Square for Avenue Q. And boy, was it great.

It wasn’t side-split tingly funny, though it was definitely very, very funny. Might have been uproariously funny with different company though. (Not that I’m suggesting anything. Other than that the RI boys I know would be very tickled by Avenue Q’s humour. And lewdness).

If you let it, Avenue Q also touches the heart. And provokes some very thought provoking questions. While still entertaining with lewd, sometimes slapstick humour and also with wit, the purpose of showcasing the drudgery of purposesless life is more than accomplished. Kudos to the excellent cast (well, they’ve done it for nearly three years). The music and songs are inspired, crude, lewd, provocative, and yet still funny and charming. All in all, brava!

After leaving the theatre, we walked the West End, Leicester Square, and Piccadilly for some time, soaking in the London weekend night vibe. Pretty happening if you ask me. Although London is so big and such a melting pot that there are bound to be jackasses sometimes. Anyway, we walked around just soaking up the vibe (there was a mini Christmas carnival), and then cycled back at midnight.

And now, I’m posting this at it approaches two. Intend to do some souvenir shopping, see Westminster Abbey, and visit the Emirates Stadium. Too bad Arsenal v Liverpool tickets for Sunday are all sold out, and scalpers will probably be selling them at 300 quid apiece. We’ll see. Cheers!


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