Pages

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Mind the Gap


My apologies dear readers for being a little less bloggy in 2011. I have been busy with stuff (including putting together Issue 02 of Kalimat which I hope you'll check out), preparations and a visit to London.



Five days is not enough to see swinging London, even if those days are jam packed from 7am until 3am. Regardless, I tried to make the most out of it. I was impressed by a lot of different organisations and people including the Arab arts and cultural scene and the activism scene. There's always something going on here so if you're bored, that's strange. Aside from my jam packed days, London was also the first place where I spent close to 1 hour waiting for a table at a restaurant (Tayyab's). It was well worth it.


I also spent a lot of time comparing the London underground tube system to the TTC, because I enjoy comparing transportation systems. The TTC can learn a thing or two or five from London, and so can New York for that matter. Although the Tube is crammed, terribly hot and expensive, it works and for someone who is using it for the first time, it's simple (despite the intimidating map). Maybe I'll save those for another post.





Despite the warnings that London is expensive, when I think about it, if 1 pound sterling is relative to 1 dollar, then it isn't that much different (food, clothing, etc). Other London observations:
  • the beef tastes really weird
  • for a chain that's on (almost) every street corner, Pret a Manger chocolate croissants are delicious,
  • if you're at Russell Square station, consider taking the lift up
  • I have never encountered so many American tourists in my life,
  • every curry house on Brick Lane claims to be the best one in town, some even include the direct link to the BBC article on their sign
  • I have never seen so many Kuwaiti tourists in my life....


  • British internet is slower than North American internet but it's faster than European internet
  • ask for tap water, otherwise, you'll pay 3 pounds for a glass bottle
  • this place is super multicultural
  • when the sun comes out, everyone's out
  • you must really "mind the gap" on the Tube
  • galleries are free...



  • If you cross the street when there is no "walk" sign, you are fair game, like the Arab world, Londoners do not stop. It's more dangerous in London because they drive on the left and most people are not accustomed to this so it adds to their confusion. The city has painted "Look Right" and "Look Left" on the streets at the crossings to make it easier, I think it was due to the tourist death toll from crossing the street related incidents.



No comments:

Post a Comment