This morning i woke again with aching feet, i never expected to be doing so much walking in London… Well acually i did i just didnt expect it to hurt as much as it is. It didnt take me long to get over it. My main goal for today was to get a sleeping bag. Kim was wonderful in letting me know how to get around town and she suggested going to Kathmandu in Shepherds Bush Westfields.
I got ready and realised that today was a very important day to any New South Welshman and to any Queenslander. For today was the second game of the State of Origin! I was looking forward to seeing it while I was in Sydney because I thought NSW had a chance of winning. Finally in years, we may actually come away with the title. Andrew was working from home and suggested that since I was heading to Shepherds Bush anyway, that perhaps I should catch the game at the Walkabout. Jeni said se would text me the score after the game, so I wasn’t too worried if I missed the game, although I really did want to see it.(btw thank you Jeni :-D)
I left the house and caught a bus from Chiswick to Hammersmith. I eventually found the right bus to change onto but before then, I got onto a bus that I thought was going in the right direction… Well it said “Via Westfields”. It was the right bus but was heading in the opposite direction. It didn’t take too long for me to come to that realization and turn around. I suppose that those that know their way got lost sometimes. And sometimes we have to get lost to find ourselves… Hmmm again too deep… Back to my day.
I only had a very light lunch and needed some food so before i got on the right bus, i figured that now is as good a time than any to try a London Kebab… Yes you read it correctly, I braved the fast food of this historical town and got a Kebab. The thing is, it’s not quite a kebab. It’s a hybrid, a monstrosity… In fact you have to eat the thing with a fork. The ingredients are almost the same, the meat is the same as a Sydney kebab, they put salad on it the usual lettuce, tomato, onion. I asked for chilli and they put chilli sauce on and added two pickled chillies on the side (Not the ones your thinking of mum, this isn’t Indian) What was wrong is that instead of having all of these things wrapped in Lebanese bread, they put them into something I can only describe as a Turkish bread pocket. It’s filled with meat and all the other ingredients flow over the top. So they have to put it into a takeaway container and serve it with a fork. That is all wrong. Where is the art of carefully wrapping all of the ingredients just enough to hold together until it’s bitten, where is the opportunity to demonstrate ones ability to not end up wearing your food, and the big one… Why did they think it was a good idea to mix Garlic sauce with mayonnaise. Why not mix the chilli sauce with mayo and call it Chillinaise? The garlic sauce wasn’t broken… Why change it! Argh!
I am glad that I didn’t get one of these after any sort of heavy drinking. I would have been as buzzed as a colorblind infant with a rubix cube.
I rejoined the bus and headed to Shepherds bush Green. Upon arrival, there it was. Right now it was my saving grace, possibly the only place that was screening the State of Origin. It stands out like thongs at a funeral. It’s bright green and over looks Shepherds Green. There is nothing classic about it. It looks like it was put together as a means to and end and that end involved beer… I doubt any Aussie would have waited until the end for the beer so its probable safe to say that it was put together by drunken Aussies wearing thongs in the rain… It’s London, trust me it was raining. It would have taken two of them to hammer in any nails, one to hold the hammer and one to hold the nail, and neither likely to put down their beer.
So I walk in to this place, it was about midday, and I am met with an all too familiar sound… “Queenslander, Queenslander, Queenslander!”. The 9 hour diffence in time zone suddenly dissapered because I felt like I was in Australia. There was tooheys extra dry being sold by the six-pack. There were QLD caped fans praising the toades with arms in the air, NSW jerseys were being proudly worn and all and sundry were drinking merrily. I had to take out my camera and take a few shots! Andrew said it would be a “Religious” experience. I found that it was a spectacle. Of course the Welshmen (carn you blues!) won and Queensland now has to find a new tactic to beat the boys in blue. As for me, it was time to go back to London time. I left the Walkabout and walked to Westfields.
I won’t dwell on the details since I’m surer most of you are familiar with Westfields. This one doesn’t have a food court as such, it has restaurants, it is shop after shop of high profile designer labels. Very much like Bondi and Pitt Street Westfields. Touch screen information panels and scores of the beautiful people. I got my sleeping bag at Kathmandu and headed back to my temporary port of call and start packing. Tomorrow begins the European adventure and I intend to make the most of it!
In the evening I arranged to meet up with Samantha, she has been in London for only a week and due to work hasn’t really had a chance to again enjoy what the city has to offer. I was relieved to find out that although I was 45 mins late to meeting, so was she. We strolled around Trafalga square then to the Sherlock Holms pub just down the road from there. After a pint dinner was in conversation and we headed off to china town… The funny thing is although we were surrounded by culinary adventure and international cuisine, we settled on Pizza Express. She hadn’t been and I will try anything. I’m in London, in chinatown in the west end, and we decided to have pizza from one of the most common chain stores around… Glad we did though because the Formaggi Quattro (four cheeses) pizza was awesome.
We chatted til 11pm and she hit the tube home. The sun had gone down and I wasn’t going to give up the opportunity to photograph Picadilly Circus at night. The city at night is beautiful! Absolutely stunning. Regent street just boggles the mind. I can’t wait to go there and do it again. When I left, I took some cool long exposures in the underground. Needless to say that I am having a brilliant time with my camera lol… Oh btw, the lens I bought has been brilliant just stunning.