London by Foot, not Meters (Days 8-10)

Last Sunday, I asked our tour guide “Who pays for the upkeep of Buckingham Palace and the lifestyle of the royalty?” Apparently, the monarchy actually turns a profit through events on its land and donates back to the taxpayers, so it’s the opposite of a tax. There you go. But still any time I hear any mention of the British royalty, this is what plays in my head.

There’s another really irritating language difference in the soccer dialogue…Bear with me here please…When you say the West Ham-Everton “tie,” it just means the West Ham-Everton game. And a “draw” in English means a tie in the normal sense, as in each team had the same score. But there is a second meaning for “draw” in English – you can say West Ham “drew” Everton in the third round, meaning that West Ham and Everton were randomly paired together to play this matchup. We have come full circle, as this is the same meaning as “tie”. In cricket, there are even more meanings of these two words. Too confusing.

Also, I learned a new British slang word: quid. When you say “It cost 40 quid,” that means 40 pounds in the way we use the word “bucks.”

Friday, I was dressed up for a meeting in Central London and upon its completion just decided to meander through the city. I just walked whichever direction seemed the most interesting to me. I ended up crossing the Thames four different times – across the Golden Jubilee Bridges, the Millennium Bridge (from Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince), London Bridge, and Tower Bridge. During this route, I passed the National Gallery, Leicester Square, the London Eye, the Tate Modern, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Tower of London. Here was my general route:Snip20150116_26

So far, this was the most liberating experience of my first two weeks here in London. I had no class – no responsibilities. No one knew where I was. No one cared (at least in the immediate sense) what I was doing. No one could contact me. I just walked until my feet gave out after about 6-7 miles of walking in dress shoes. I got to see some of the Wonders of London and experience it in my own way. There was no one else to pull me away from my intended path. My experience was exactly what I wanted it to be. By asking people to take pictures of me, I met people from different nations and backgrounds. All of them had different reasons for being where they were, and they were experiencing London in their own way too. Here are some of those pictures.

2015-01-16 13.28.392015-01-16 13.47.14
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