Embodying ‘Quaint’ in London

Let me begin by saying, these last few days have made me question the shock and surprise of Captain James Cook when he discovered New Zealand after the long journey from England. New Zealand must have appeared a pre-historic Jurassic Park from the dark ages after leaving this cobbled and quaint little nation. I’m not sure what I was expecting upon arrival in England, but it wasn’t the medieval masterpiece that I found here. What a stunning display of history and culture.

After a hideous 11 hour flight from Los Angeles with broken air conditioning (thus a sauna like plane) a seat with no working electricals (no movies, reading light, or crew call button for more drinks), and a mere two hours sleep thanks to the vodka stricken complaining American Nanna next to me, I landed in England with the worst airline in the world (British Airways). The coolness and rain was a pleasant surprise after the stickiness of my flight, and reminded me of what country I’d arrived in.

I made my way to Windsor and instantly lost the plot when… “no way is that a castle?” I’d completely forgotten that I’d arrived in this country full of rich history and was far too excited when spying Windsor castle – home of the Queen and sometimes Prince Harry (my favorite royal cause he’s way too mischievous)!

The cobbled streets proved too much for my heeled boots and left me feeling a little unorthodox and swervvy, but nothing could wipe the smile off my face as I wandered around in awe of my British ancestry.

Windsor is the home of the Queen, and also my first pub meal. This is one stereotypical element of England that must be embraced. It’s like being at your gran’s house for dinner. The meals are huge, it’s always cozy food, and its a warm relief from the miserable day outside! I delighted in my first pie in four months after the oppression that was America, and downed my first ever pint! Definitely wont be the last either. I should probably do a pre-Europe weigh in…

My first full day in London consisted of getting the touristy attractions out of the way. The sun showed her face for a while and turned the Thames into a glittery dream for me. I explored South Bank which was littered with buskers and almost reminded me of Hollywood with the weird doubles of Yoda and Darth Vader trying to make a quick buck. I got into conversation with one busker who’s skill consisted of making giant bubbles. This man was from Sudan and had made the trip all the way to London in search of a better life. I’m not sure what inspired this choice considering he was now sharing a single room with 4 others in response to the steep cost of living, but I guess it’s working for him. He seemed jolly enough.

South Bank was a mecca of festivity with this stunning carousel, pop-up Christmas stalls and a tempting amount of candy. Big Ben proved worthy of his grand stature also. 
Highlight of the day however was stumbling across an ‘old-favourite’ of the locals – a pub by the name of ‘John Snow‘. This bloke is a celebrated anesthetist, and hence becomes a fitting name for the likes of this pub which serves a delicious and deadly variety of beers and ciders. A large variety was sampled and resulted in songs by the British, and a push-up battle with a drunk 59 year old Jew who wanted to hold his own among the English lads. A jolly winters evening was had by all, and a great introduction to this cozy and quaint country that is England.
This entry was published on December 23, 2012 at 2:23 pm. It’s filed under London and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Embodying ‘Quaint’ in London

  1. Very interesting reading.Wish I was sixty years plus, younger.Lovely images.

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