Legends from our own lunchtimes

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tourists in London

Walking is rather like being on a topless tourist bus, except that since we didn't have a bus, we were saved the bother of getting on and off when we saw something interesting I suppose, and we did manage to ward off the rain for five hours or so as we ambled past London, leaving no stone unturned.

Her Majesty was home, although her guards in dark winter dress looked quite innocuous standing silent with legs apart, compared to the machine gun toting constabulary wandering within the grounds. The Krishnas were hanging around Oxford Circus, although they too seemed to be in some sort of winter uniform, their saffron garbs now replaced by a uniform in blue and white, how very chic.

At Covent Garden, for just a second in the Jubilee Market we thought we were in Kowloon as we wandered among vendors selling sticky heads of Princess Di and Silver Big Ben charms which looked for all the world like Eiffel Tower charms with the legs squished in, but the place still looked far too devoid of anything contraband to be real.

In Leicester Square among the ticket touts, preparations were underway for a film premiere, with rows of people wrapped in clear plastic bags sitting in their camping stools with thermos' in hand, waiting patiently for Will Ferrel to wander past many hours hence. It mustn't be cool to wait in raincoats. Waiting in the rain for Will Ferrel doesn't seem like the epitome of cool either come to think of it.

Fashion from Italy, food from Germany, hotels from America, and souvenirs from China mix in what must be some sort of new Blitz, a sort of neutron bomb where only the outer veneer of the culture is destroyed, the buildings remain to be re-used as bagel and yoghurt bars and the people remain to pour ten pound notes in to the machine. As we started to think too much we found ourselves amid the relative calm of Whitehall and the National Gallery loos, wondering if the world would ever run out of zany names for retail businesses.

And then we found the Gastro Cafe, and new it never would.

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