The next day, we were flying out to Iceland at night, so we planned to head to the airport at 6pm. This gave me time to bum around the house until noon (this actually was a theme of my London trip, probably because I found a really trashy tell-all biography of Princess Diana on Giulia’s bookshelf & literally could not stop reading it) before heading to Borough Market.
(Cheese stall in Borough Market)
It turned out to be my favorite stop in London—probably because it revolved around food. The way I see it is: why spend 80 USD seeing a show (people dancing around in costumes, singing stuff, whatever— when you could spend it on…food? That’s like 10 sandwiches, or 20 coffees (all at different trendy cafes, of course) or 2 really nice meals! Okay, since this is London, one really nice meal. But with alcohol! So Borough Market is a bit like Chelsea Market, but with more stalls. I tried Monmouth Coffee, which is the London answer to NYC’s Blue Bottle—eh. It was okay, and for over 4 USD for a tiny cup of iced coffee sans milk, not the greatest deal ever. Actually, the meat pie I had was not that great either (…maybe it’s my diva Asian taste buds clamoring for a mouth numbing amount of seasoning, but I thought the food in England was so…bland) However, they had this “all you can eat bread, butter & jam” deal that you could buy, which I thought was adorable.
After Borough Market, I made my way down the river to the Tate Modern (which was awesome, and I love that all the permanent collections in nearly every museum in London are free entry! Take that, Stockholm! 20USD for your Moderna Museet, and your collection doesn’t even rival Tate’s!) & finally over to the horrible, horrible Oxford Circus—I originally wanted to see the big flagship Topshop. It was cool I guess, since I’ve never been to a Topshop, but the clothes were way more expensive than I thought. And I saw a shirt that I bought in the Taipei night market, literally the same exact lacy white shirt—selling for 50 USD when I bought it for 6 USD)
& so to the airport I went, and said a not-very-sad goodbye to London. I wish I could have been in London on a Sunday, as I’ve heard great things about the Columbia Road Flower Market & some other weekend market events. Maybe next time, like after I’ve crossed off the 70 or so other cities on my to-visit list. So, maybe not anytime soon.
My advice on London–
I know that so many people love London (just look at all the tourists!) & my experience is limited to just three days in the city. But if I could do it all again, I would head to Amsterdam instead scratch out half the stuff on the ‘must-do’ list: out of the things I did, I would recommend: Borough Market, walking across Waterloo bridge or some other bridge that I forgot the name of to the South Bank & on to the Tate Modern, going to a few nice cafes in Soho; visiting the Victoria & Albert Museum. Oh, and getting a big greasy packet of fish & chips, obviously. I assume this would take around…two days to do.
It has convenient & cheap public transportation, and it is incredibly easy to navigate around the city. Absolutely incredible. There were signs literally at every street corner, with detailed maps of where you could walk to in 5 minutes, 15 minutes. But there were just too. many. tourists, the parks are ugly, the food is bland & expensive and my previous notion that British accents all sounded wonderfully posh (like Giulia’s) was totally shattered by the appalling butchering of the English language I heard all around the city. I just felt like I kept walking around, waiting for the moment I would look around me and be all OMG111 LOVE LONDON1!!1!—but it just never happened.
All that ran through my mind was—why the fuck do so many people wear midriff shirts here?
Because…they do. And that was London.