This is my third morning in London. The first day was so tiring that though I could get connected to the Internet with May’s (Jessica’s cousin) PC, I had no strength to write the diary, however much I wished to do so.
I was at Heathrow Airport like 5:35am and I picked upmy luggages and got on the car I pre-ordered in Hong Kong until I finally got to May’s house it was not yet 8am. I called back home to say I was there. I got a couch to myself and May went back to bed. I unpacked and packed and unpacked my stuff, checked emails and MSNed with Jessica, took a shower, sat down, tried the SIM card May gave me, and read my maps. Then May got up and we set off to lunch at Regent Street, since there was a festival. I bought an Oysters card (like the Octopus card in HK – the curious “O”) and we took the tube from Pimlico to Oxford Circus by the Victoria line. There are much more lines here in London but it isn’t too difficult actually. Later I learnt that bus costs much less than tube and I decided I would take buses as often as I can And I prefer walking anyway – keeps one fit and feeds the eye.
A friend of May’s joined us and we ate at a Japanese restaurant. I had a Cha Shu Men. Eating (everything,in fact) is so expensive here We walked down Regent Street and then onwards to China Town and Soho. It was so hot! Drained out all my strength, when there had not been much already. I was in my Lovers Rock jacket and new trousers and VANS then, and the girls alongside wore tube-tops and mini-pants and sandals. Is this London? The cool and wet and depressed London? It was hot and dry and bright! Totally unexpected
May asked me if I would join her in her friend’s BBQ and I declined – we went back by bus but then the route was altered because there was a bike match and the bus driver hit another car and I got stifled in the bus (they don’t have air-con here in tube and bus ). But it was good because then the bus passed by Trafalga Square and Waterloo Station and Big Ben and Parliament House so that I kind of previewed some places of interest. I went back to the house and slept until 9:30pm Then I woke up, took a shower, May was back, and I slept again… So much for the first day.
The second day was same as hot I had wanted to set out early but it ended up when I finally set foot it was already 10am which meant the midday sun would soon kill me. I think I ought to give a BRAVO to myself. I decided to walk a station’s distance to Victoria instead of Pimlico and so May and I parted at the junction, and I walked on by myself. I queued and bought some stamps in the post office And then I went into Tesco and bought some bread and fruit juice for the day
I walked on to Victoria station and the funny thing happened. It seems that whenever I am going to a new place, it happens that I, the foreign, am the one to answer the inquiries of the locals, instead of vice versa When I was on the platform a black woman asked me about the next train and an elderly woman asked me another train and then a third elderly gentleman asked me about another station – it was curious and more curious that I was able to answer them (except the third one)
I was taking the District line from Victoria to Mile End as I was surveying my future school. I walked past the building and then suddenly I saw the board with “Queen Mary Arts Research Centre” and I halted. I walked around and I should say I was disappointed The campus itself was nothing beautiful… I began to miss HKU Main Building then. I finally found the Residences Office and handed in the deposit. But when I got to Stocks Court I got disappointed again. The surrounding was so shabby I thought regretfully why hadn’t Goodenough given me a place and still more that why hadn’t BRISTOL given me a place… And then I consoled myself that I would spend my time outside class to go to see all the beautiful places in the country…
And then I caught a No.25 bus to Oxford Circus and walked all the way down Regent Street to find the Britain and London Vistors’ Centre. Finally I got there and picked up some pamphlets and went to find a bus home. It again took me some time walking around finding the right number and station. When I was wandering to and fro I was again acosted and misrecognized as a teenage Japanese Then I remembered that cool-looking guy who stopped his car beside me at Amsterdam I should really say hi to him but I was so taken by surprise then. English men here look and wear better than Americans generally, but then the men in Madrid and Amsterdam are really hot!
So I took the No.38 bus back to Victoria and walked down back to Tesco to join May. And then we went home. At first I wanted to change my shoes (the narrow-tip of my Katie Judith hurt) and then set off to Tate Britain. But then I was so tired after a whole-day’s walking and sun-bathing and I finally “tart-payed” and watched “Weakest Link” and ate corn with butter with May instead. Dinner May made spaghette and I fell asleep before 8pm again. Woke up at 10pm to take a shower, read the guide book, and then slept again at midnight. So much for the second day.