Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

May 31 2012

London trip, part 5

There was a Japanese woman at breakfast this morning, here to attend a greeting card show.

We walked to Euston Station in the bright morning light, gathering shots of people on their way to work. The main hall of the station itself was filled with people staring, zombie-like, at the train schedule, before making sudden rushes to the gates. Apparently they have no idea from which platform the trains will leave from until the last moment, and they are frequently delayed in any case. The train we’d been hoping to take was cancelled, and so we took another without realizing that it was a really slow train. I also noticed a  large number of British women on crutches. Odd.

On board, we could spy out other people who were on their way to Hogwarts, i.e. the film sound stages, by their conversation and generally geeky demeanor.  The place itself was fascinating, with all kinds of details, the actual sets and props, and commentary. As I was walking along Diagon Alley, however, I noticed that there wasn’t a single person who wasn’t recording their experience with a mobile phone, and nobody was actually looking with their eyes at anything. It seems that the appearance of experience has superseded the experience itself.

Delays made getting back to London a bit later than we’d expected. Delays seem to happen often on the rail systems here. At least they seemed very sorry about it, if the announcements were anything to go by.  The Underground tunnels, I’ve noticed, are rather labyrinthine, much like those of Paris. This, I like; every station is different and interesting.

We went to a market. Camden Market. It was rather like the Shilin Night Market and had most of the same stuff, plus a lot of  horse statues. We had Chinese food near a canal and chatted with the staff, who are from all over Asia, as we munched on noodles and various goopy dishes.

On the way back to the subway, we passed a group of screaming girls holding a siege around a restaurant. A policeman told me that there was a famous Japanese band inside, AKB or something.

It had been raining at the market, but once we emerged at Waterloo, the sky clear once again. Across the river was the famous scene of the Parliament and Big Ben. We took the London Eye Ferris wheel, which offered a nice sunset view of the surrounding area, including the spires of famous buildings, all kinds of boats, hotels, trains, and the occasionally violent soccer fan or backpack-wearing jogger. I saw lots of DSLRs around the necks of passersby. I suspect this has precious little to do with the photography festival.

Walking back as night approached, we crossed through Picadilly Circle, with all the shows and laughing young people, and a crowd watching opera on a huge TV set in the square. I was beat by this time, though, so we took the tube back to Kings Cross. No idea what’s up ffor tomorrow. I just need some rest.

posted by Poagao at 7:36 am  

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