London (Day 2)
Reg took me out today for a bit of a tour around some of his favorite spots. We started at Hyde Park, which we got to via bus via Shepard’s Bush. It was huge and very plesent indeed. We took some photos of the squirrels and saw the Peter Pan Memorial. I also had a look around a gallery just within the park. It had some really contemporary work, with lots of projectors, which I enjoyed. We saw the palace in the gardens also, and walked through the streets, stopping off a few times at some good local pubs that Reg knew, and of course having a beer. We had lunch in a pub where several famous people were known to drink, and I had steak and ale pie, very very good! We then continued on through the city, as Reg pointed out the places that they have stayed and good places to visit.
His knowledge is amazing, its almost like he makes it up, but every fact is backed up and when i checked a few, he was very correct. We made our way back towards Hanwell, (the suburb where we are staying). We took the bus instead of the train, which is cheaper but takes longer. I enjoy it more, despite my like of train, because you can see the people and the shops pass you by. You also get a better idea of where you are, and that is a big deal around here, as all the train lines operate in a direction on the compass, Northeast, Southwest… It gets very confusing and i often find myself staring at the tube map making sure i am going the right way.
We got back to Hanwell and back to the house. I checked my email and Reg complained about the BBC website not working. We then went down to the local pub “The Dolphin” which isn’t exactly the closest local, but is the best. The closest one was involved in one of the biggest drug hauls in London recently and doesn’t invite people with open arms. The pub is very interesting. The drinking culture over here is amazing, people simply pop by the pub for a beer on the way home, regardless of if they are meeting someone, or want to have a chat, or play darts, or avoid the wife; its what they do, and the bar manager knows them all by name and greets them upon their arrival. The pub is quite typical, similar to my uncle Phill’s pub, a nice place to relax with a few tables, and a separate eating area, a few gambling machines and a few TVs. Reg and I arrived and I avoided the Fosters and got a Stella.
Fosters is amazingly popular over here, which i find very interesting. Fosters and Neighbors, two things that typical Australians couldn’t give a toss about are Australian icons over here. The Stella was quite good and soon enough Elle’s Mum arrived and we ordered. I ordered the Bangers and Mash, to sample the true English cuisine. It was very good and the mash was particularly nice. Elle was at her other job (Internet Chatsite Monitor) so it was just us three, we went through about three rounds of drinks and then Reg retired home. Janice and I stayed on for a bit and then followed, waving goodbye to the bartender as we went.
This is the kind of London experience i want. I dont want to go home and for people to ask me how London was, and whether i saw Bucking Huge Palace and Big Ben and the Tower Bridge. I want them to ask me how i liked it, in regards to the people and the culture, i mean after all these people are responsible for the creation of our country… We came from this culture, and bizarrely enough, i find only slight similarities. I will see the main sights, but the cultural experiences are what i really want.