London, ENGLAND: Beefeaters and Frozen Pizza
Thursday, 24 March 2005.
And so it began, with a miserable overnight twelve-hour bus ride to London. Upon arrival, my traveling partners – Amelia and Julianne from home (see “How Many University Students does it take…) – and I were greeted and served a full-fry British breakfast by Amelia’s cousin: a thirty-eight year old bachelor, former garbage-collector turned corporate-outsourcing firm owner and apartment entrepeneur, former soldier who served in NATO’s Bosnia operations, and soon-to-be pilot after three weeks in Australia. The cousin in question also admitted to sleeping only two hours a night. I imagine if I did that, I would have to go skydiving and flying helicopters, too, just to stay awake.
Our two days in London were tourist days: Shakespeare’s globe, the London Tower and Bridge, Hyde Park, Big Ben and the Westminster, Covent Garden, etc. I discovered very quickly that I am a city “wanderer.” I like to roam with a map and a predilection for turning down strange alleyways. My favorite site in London by far, however, was this:
The man with the instrument (someone help me out here) is one of London’s homeless. The children, passing by with their parents and ended up with some music lessons. Our homeless friend, in return, likely had the most rewarding moments of his month, or year. The new band’s smiles spread their way even to the faces of the boys’ hesitant parents.
I will save thoughts on homelessness for an entry on Rome, where the contrast between “haves” and “have-nots” was most striking. For now, pictures, anyone?
Amelia’s cousin’s ridiculous flat
The London Tower Bridge tourist picture
My new friend on one of the Thames’ bridges
Another shot of the music lesson
And from somewhere inside the London Tower
Now, on to Croatia, but barely – had Amelia’s cousin’s flatmate not informed me that Europeans celebrated the birthday of Saint Daylight Savings early, I might still be in London. “Must be living right,” my father might say.