Saturday, January 31, 2009


I always love visiting London but most times I am there in January so it is usually gray, miserable and cold. This time I was a bit better, the occasional bit of sunshine and temperatures around 7 or 8. I was also in better spirits because prices in London were a bit cheaper thanks to the pound plummeting against the US dollar in recent months, something like 30%. So things went from being stupidly expensive to "kind of expensive".

One surprise came the first morning I was there and I went to the nearby post office to mail a package. At 11:00am there was a long queue and after I waited in line for a while there was a bit of commotion behind me. It appeared that one lady jumped the queue a bit and went in front of another lady. Here's an approximation of how the conversation went:

"Hey, I was in the queue you know!"
"F*** you".
"WHAT! F*** you, you #^$&%@ !!"
" $^%$^# !!"
" *%#^& !!"

etc, etc. a few other people got involved as well shouting insults and stuff. Needless to say I was quite taken aback by the whole thing and couldn't wait to get out of there. I have never experienced such instantaneous swearing for queue-jumping in Canada.

Usually when us North Americans think of the English we tend to view them as polite and mannerly. Most of them are, but the English seem to have it at both ends of the spectrum. For every polite one there are downright crude ones. Cruder than I would usually see in North America. Who knows why that is, I'll leave it to the English to figure out.

Otherwise things went great during my brief stay. My friends and I went to the pub one evening and had dinner at a Brazilian restaurant the next. I did find some decent deals on Oxford Street so I picked up a few things. I also looked around a few stories in Kensington but the huge sales there were not enough to put things in my price range. And my friend Mary came up from Bournesmuth (sp?) so that we could tour the National Gallery and have lunch at a nice restaurant at the top floor of the Portrait Gallery with a view of Nelson's Column and the skyline of London.

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