Sunday, June 26, 2016

Keeping it Classy: Self-Guided "Sightseeing"

In comparison to yesterday, today's events were fairly unplanned. I found out yesterday from my pedometer app that I clocked 21km yesterday. No wonder my feet and legs hurt so much! That's almost a half marathon...and I sure am out of practice, not being able to walk freely around Bahrain - my legs just aren't used to it. I sound like an old woman! Have grown concerned enough that I have taken to crawling around the house on all fours, to give my legs a much needed rest. I hope I'm not developing shin splints...what a way to start a holiday...(cruising on the interislander, sailing to the other side.) 

Excuse the terrible composition: The Underground
Significantly better shot of the view, not so overcast

So anyway, today's itinerary took a more intuitive route. I went where I felt like, and a few times I had deja vu upon realising that it wasn't in my head and I had in fact walked this very same street just hours before. I utilised the fantastic free bicycle system, my new favourite mode of transportation. They are not only free, and faster than walking, but they are easier on the legs, and many streets even have proper bike lanes. When I say bike lanes, I don't mean your rudimentary little strip of road by the footpath, I mean like legitimate lanes with traffic lights and road markings and it is the cutest thing I ever did see.

Is texting while cycling hazardous?

My first and most significant outing of the day was browsing Somerset House and Strand. They just happened to be having their annual exhibition involving artwork and projects completed by 13-16 year olds involved with a programme called Saturday Club. In a nutshell, it gives young teenagers the opportunity to have weekly taster workshops in universities all around the UK. Typically workshops are art and design based, though sometimes they involve science and film also. It was stunning to see the work that these youth had created for themselves, and we were lucky enough to be allowed to take photos..

Upon further traversing around Somerset House I also found a exhibition/project called Utopia, which explores what an ideal world would look like, how it would interact, and how our current society compares to that ideal. Somerset House has an open garden in its centre and today was the last day of the Utopia market, which had many interactive stalls with art projects to partake in or food to purchase. I even met a Wellingtonian manning a stall who had created her own business distributing day old artisan bakery goods to the general public at a cheaper rate. Funds raised went to support local impoverished and vulnerable communities. It reminded me a little of Wellington's Free Store, a similar concept.

Somerset House Utopia Markets

Can you spot the "Abby-sounding" Utopia? (centre card)
I also spent a stupid amount of time (mainly due to my senseless wandering into markets, galleries and shops) looking for a particular plant-based ice cream parlour called Yorica. It was excellent, and expectedly overpriced. I had to roll my eyes at the hipster people the creamery attracted. That, and the coconut water for sale with the physical shell intact, punctured with a removable soda can cap. You could peel the aluminium cap off and sip out of the coconut like a fizzy drink. Trust vegans to do something so "trendy". 

Notable Moments:
  • I was chuffed to be mistaken for a Londoner by a Parisian asking for directions to Covent Garden. A few people asked me for directions today actually. Glad to know I'm not perceived as a tourist to most, makes me a less vulnerable target for scams.
  • That said about being less vulnerable, I forgot to mention yesterday's run in on Oxford Street at around 9.30pm, with an old woman handing out roses. Basically, she seemed to be just giving them away, and practically forced one into my hand. I stood there stunned, and she proceeded to demand money for it. I tried to hand it back but she wouldn't take it, growing more and more insistent. Eventually I fumbled for some change and she went mad when I handed her 20p. At that moment I shoved the stupid rose back into her hand and gapped it as fast as my sore legs could take me.
  • I had a warm fuzzy moment seeing a gay couple kiss on a park bench...I know that seems real stalkerish but I was just soaking up the sun in the park, listening to some adorable British children's accents...I turned and saw them and just thought, what a time to be alive. To be honest I don't think I had ever seen two men kissing in public before. I loved how the whole thing was just so ordinary and normal; no one even batted an eyelid. How it should be.
  • I was perplexed upon seeing a teenage girl with a tampon stuck up her nose while passing over Waterloo Bridge. Apparently people actually test out Amanda Byne's solution to nose bleeds in She's the Man?
I don't want to end this blog entry with that bullet point so I'll just say off to bed I go, hopefully I go easier on my wallet tomorrow...

No comments :

Post a Comment