hi! sorry for not updating you about yesterday. had been out for the entire day as we had a tour of central london arranged by the uni, and guided by the very cute little old lady who goes by the name susanne.
:: munch pizza ::
reached uni by 12. the tour was to start at 1300. so we decided to get some lunch. went to this place called ‘munch’ run by a pakistani. had a 14″ pizza that came with two servings of garlic bread (more like tandoori roti with cheese and garlic), and a 1.5 litre pepsi. had our fill!! the pizza with chicken tikka was too good!
the tour started at around 1345. it was a long way around, and i was very sleepy as i’d had a heavy breakfast consisting of pasta and toasted (almost burnt!) brown bread. but susanne’s commentary on the coach was pretty lively. the british sense of humour is pretty strange. i cannot put it into words. but i will narrate one incident that may put some light on the subject.
my friends and i were waiting to pay our tuition and accommodation fees at the cooper house, and had put our bags on the very few chairs in the lobby. an old woman entered with a student, looked at our bags, and asked us, pretty sternly to pick them up so that other people could sit. and a she settled into the chair, she said, “that’s pretty nice of you. personally, i don’t know of any bags that need a chair to sit.” it was a quick stab; very effective and amusing in retrospect!
now back to the tour. susanne told us about how london is built up as a city, with 31 boroughs, and how the suburbs and the main city differ (quite like bombay – the south and north divide). we passed richmond park, which was a royal hunting ground, but has now been converted into a public park, quite like most of london’s parks. that’s where i decided to take a small nap.
:: buckingham palace ::
woke up as we entered into london. and suddenly, everything started looking much better, with big names plastered all over the place! and the buildings were much posh than what i’ve been seeing for the last few days. there were a lot more pubs and eateries, though pretty pricey looking. they had that obvious air of being in central london about them. we passed the london college of economics, and i suddenly felt very envious of leena who is going to be there for her masters!! that area looked very very similar to the fort/kala ghoda area. same small lanes and yellow sandstone buildings. the architecture is strikingly similar (that part of bombay was in fact built by them), with the tall fluted corinthian pillars and ornate cornices. our first stop was buckingham palace. the place is awesomely huge! but what i liked most was the fountain outside. reminded me of flora fountain, though this one was much larger and respectfully maintained. that had to be, otherwise the queen would be very angry! the palace was gated. i managed to get some picture from between the railings. everyone was snapping the lonely guard at the main gate. everyone seemed to be very amused at the rock steady expression on his face. it is their reputation, they say. even if you go very close to their faces and try to make them smile, they do not respond. maybe i should try that once…before getting my student id, that is!! hahahah!
:: st. paul’s cathedral ::
next stop, st. paul’s cathedral. extremely beautiful carvings on the facade. actually, all round the building. took some pictures there, though very exclusively, as i now had a black and white film in my camera (ilford delta 400 professional- for shashank). took a really good portrait of susanne, but dumbass balkrishna bhamare deleted it!! will try to get his camera card here and try to recover it. oh! by the way, balu bhamare bought a new fuji digicam yesterday for 200 sterling! nice.
:: tower of london ::
then we went around on the banks of the thames to take some more snaps. during this time, ameya joshi (joshya baaman) got very hungry. he bought a pain au chocolat at a stall run by a very beautiful, tall french girl. it cost him a pound and 49 pence. as he dug into the measly looking bread thingy hoping to dive into a sea of french chocolate, his teeth went straight through dry french bread, without getting even a morsel of the famed chocolat!!!! the one pound 49 pence was a waste, and poor ameya felt the ‘pain’ throughout the tour!
we started on our way back to uni from there. as we went back, susanne showed us the houses of parliament and the london eye without stopping, as it would have made us get stuck into traffic. and as she had warned us before,”people staying in this part of town have to get to work pretty early. if they don’t, they might as well crawl to office.” cute.
by the time we came back, my uni bus back to clayhill had left. so i decided to stay with ameya and gang for the night. they are staying in a rented place owned by mr. patel.now this man owns around 27 houses in the area, stays in central london, and comes in a different car every time he sees the guys for rent and stuff. balu bhamare was asking if mr. patel had a daughter…
had a really nice chat with everyone there. it’s four of them staying in a four bedroom house. very good place. but not kept so well. they have a BMW and cooper showroom close to the house, where ameya goes everyday to admire the car of he wants to buy-the mini cooper. as is well known now, ameya’s camera has more pictures of cars and bikes he has seen till today than of places he has been to!!
well that was for yesterday.
we left from the house today morning at around 12. reached uni where the others had to enroll in their respective faculties. they had to wait for quite some time. so joshi and i went off to do some shopping. got a lot of stuff. lot as in the bag weighed more than ten kilos i suppose!! left the vegetables out of the list as they looked very sad and beaten. not like the markets back home, where you want to buy veggies just because they look so nice! bought potatoes & onions, and quite a lot of other stuff.
total bill – 12.48.
the stocked up kitchen looks pretty impressive. have to get green peas and some veggies tmro. then i can start cooking full time:)
cya later. have to go and take a bath now. and then make dinner. and then sleep. and then wake up. and then write a new blog…heheheheh!! bye.