london, baby! in bullet points

The highlights of my brief, brief trip to London:

-it was weird to be in a country that speaks English, but not quite my English. An elevator is a lift, real estate is to let instead of for rent, and people move homes instead of just moving. I was also very conscious of my American accent and how it marked me as an outsider.

-connected to that is the feeling that I was almost home, but, again, not quite. I saw so many things that connected me to the years I spent in the US (food products, cultural icons like Paddington Bear, the language) but at the same time London had a very obvious European vibe. Plus, people drive on the wrong side of the road. There’s nothing like feeling almost at home but then almost getting run over because you automatically look left instead of right before crossing to make one feel like an outsider.

Paddington bear!

and Dr. Seuss!

and all the food I know from home!

-Harrod’s has to be the most decadent place on earth.

The Pet Kingdom - where dogs go for 2,500 pounds and ever unnecessary accessory known to man and beast can be found

I really really wanted to eat several of these.

-watching the World Cup game between the Netherlands and Brazil was quite an experience. We watched in a pub near Leicester Square with the expectation that we would lose the game. You can imagine our reaction when all of a sudden, we were winning. Holy cow, that was an exciting match! One friend was so excited she pretty much kept bouncing off her stool, while the other expressed the sentiment that it was nice that we were winning but she felt bad for the opponents. I totally got what she meant and it leads me to the conclusion that we’re just really not competitive.

-The changing of the guards was impressive. Not so much because of what was actually happening in front of Buckingham Palace (there were too many people and I was too short to actually see much) but because it was an illustration of the power of touristic attractions. Because so many people come to watch it, it continues to be a hot attraction. Even when most people don’t even know what’s going on (ourselves included. We were so unprepared).

-3 days is too short. We had time for two museums (the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Gallery) but could only spend about 20 minutes to half an hour in each. I definitely need to come back.

-We spent the last day on Portobello Road in Notting Hill. We had our morning coffee in a cafe that was serving more cocktails than coffee by 11:30 AM. The barkeeper actually sighed when I asked for three cappuccinos and he had to put his cocktail shaker down. Then we ate lunch on this beautiful upstairs terrace – some kind of Asian restaurant that served really good fish and chips.

the view during lunch

me in front of Books for Cooks, where I got to spend a lovely 20 minutes looking at all the cookbooks I one day will own

Obviously, I need to come back.

7 thoughts on “london, baby! in bullet points

  1. I love the way you write about going places and seeing things. Please visit more of these familiar slash unfamiliar places and share your stories!

    • Saskia says:

      I’ll do my best! I have trips planned to the US, Sweden and the Middle East in the next year, so expect some more stories😉

  2. Elske Tielens says:

    love the whole; ‘it almost- but not quite- feels like home’. so how about visiting london in our 3 day trip in august? i’d love to go to a musical, few museums and spend hours drinking coffee with you. my last visit (5 hours in between flights returning from kenya) didn’t quite cover everything, so I’m in!

    • Saskia says:

      Yup, we went to We Will Rock You in the Dominion Theatre. Hebben onze kaartjes netjes gekocht bij Leicester Square🙂 was best leuk, al was het wel een beetje een slap verhaal met veel cliches🙂

  3. butterflydreams24 says:

    Oooh VET! Ik wil ook nog naar We Will Rock You…(maar dan gewoon hier in NL haha). Ben wel benieuwd! Wordt altijd blij van Queen liedjes haha.

    • Saskia says:

      ik ook..ik ben donderdag naar All Shook Up geweest, en ik vond het heel leuk omdat ik alle Americana herkende (mijn zusjes en ik lagen in een deuk de hele tijd terwijl “echte” Nederlanders niet begrepen waar we om lachten) maar het was wel raar om de teksten in het Nederlands te horen. “He’s nothing but a hound dog” werd “hij is een kleine keeshond” wat nog wel ging (dat was een erg leuk stukje) maar “heartbreak hotel” werd “de uithuil hotel” wat gewoon niet klinkt…ik kan me voorstellen dat de liedjes van Queen hetzelfde probleem vormen.

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