July 23, 2016
The weather was super nice today, again.
I had lunch with Jane and Rosie, and Christina joined when we nearly finished. We were sitting out under the sun (there is a little garden sitting next to the canteen), and we couldn’t stand the scorching sun any longer than 10 minutes so moved to the table at a shadowy corner. Naturally, we talked about how easily my skin gets tanned and how quickly your skin gets burnt etc, and I and Rosie promised to swap our skin (cuz a white girl Rosie wants to have a tanned skin and a yellow girl myself want to have a white skin of course). Still, Jane and Rosie were planning to go out to the park to sunbathe (hopefully to get tanned, not burnt).
My plan was to go to the Southbank on a photography mission. So I took my heavy EOS and out in a second.
I was on a bus, when I started to see the unbelievable crowd closer to the Thames, so got off the bus at Westminster. Wow. The crowd. Exactly looks like around Eiffel Tower in Paris. But it looks more mixed, a mix of locals, tourists and half-local-half-travellers like me. It was clear who was who though. Locals in groups were sitting on a lawn drinking and chatting where there is the full view of Palace of Westminster with Big Ben on the left, and people who were walking towards somewhere and taking photos at the same time were travellers/tourists. I was on traveller’s side today. Of course I am still a traveller here in London. I haven’t got a place to call home yet, and I know only a couple of neighbourhoods. Hopefully, I would become a local soon and explore the city as a new Londoner.
I crossed the Thames on the Westminster Bridge and got down to Southbank. As soon as I started walking on the bank in the crowd, I could tell all the locals were here enjoying Saturday afternoon eating and drinking alfresco. Oh, except the crowd in the line for London Eye. I am sure it was the perfect day to get on the Eye for the view, but the line… I couldn’t even see the end of the line and it looked like there were more than one line! I wonder when I will get to go on the Eye, well, maybe when I have a visit from my family and friends from Korea? I will have to do it with them no matter what.
But London Eye wasn’t the only thing at the Southbank. When you look southwards from the northern side of the river, the Eye is so powerful and dominating, but once you get there, the Eye is actually one of the big rides in an amusement park, which can be easily ignored if you are not lining up for it. There are so many more things to see and to do. There were lots of buskers, good and bad, but they kept the audience happy and entertained. There was a guy who was blowing bubbles with a big customised blower, and it made kids (and adults too!) so so so happy. The bubbles were really pretty under the sunshine – damn I couldn’t get those sparking bubbles in a shot. I am not a skilled photographer.
The best performer that I saw today was a dancer. I passed a fountain with kids and a terrace bar with drinking people and went on towards somewhere with a loud music, and there was a girl dancing and encouraging people to dance together. She was sweating like hell, but she looked like she was enjoying the moment and happy for people who joined her and danced. Yeah, life is simple. Let’s dance and be happy. She spread a happy virus in the crowd.
After madly taking shots of the dancer, I felt hungry and spotted a nice looking bakery café, Le Pain Quotidien. I ordered a Pot of Coffee (wonder what it is whereas there is Americano on the menu – I should ask them next time) and a Freshly Baked Scone. Yummmm… As good as an afternoon coffee break gets. I stayed at the café for an hour sorting my photo shots.
On the way back, I spent some time at a book shop, Foyles, and bought The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest by Stieg Larsson. I have been very much into Nordic thrillers since I read Voices by Arnaldur Indriðason. Gosh, so many new thrillers came out and I don’t have enough time to read all of them!