CFFC: Catching People Unaware

It’s easy to catch people unaware in a city of 9 million people (according to the internet), especially during rush hour.

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UK Trip Day 4

This is Day 4 and our final day in London.

Of course, what’s a trip to the UK without seeing the famous Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard. It was surprising underwhelming as it began and ended before I knew it. I couldn’t really see much of anything as there was a huge crowd. People was even sitting at the top of the fountain across from the palace.

As we were walking there, mom asked, “Do you think we’ll see King Charles?”

“I doubt it,” I told her. Buckingham Palace is currently being remodeled and not allow in. I doubt the King would work in an “under-construction” office.

After getting a glimpse of the Guard, we continued to St. James Park toward the underground station to Tower Hill for the Tower Bridge and Tower of London.

If there’s one thing I love, it’s listening to stories about imprisonment and beheading. Call me gruesome but these things fascinate me. Thankfully, there was a tour for that. We gathered at the moat where familiar herbs and wildflowers grew and someone called Yeoman Warder told stories about the place.

The tower had been so many things and it was absolutely fascinating to learn all those things.

As mom and I posted our trip on social media, mom’s friends thought we were weird that we went to the UK to go to museums unlike most people who travel to shop. Call us crazy but we hate shopping. It’s just one of those things I would rather do online on Amazon, not in person.

I am writing this on Day 5 – May 18 – on the train to Scotland, which I’m looking forward because we will be staying at a 4-Star hotel in Glasgow for the next 3 nights. After being in the smallest hotel room I’ve ever been in (beside Hong Kong), I’m looking forward to a room where I can turn without bumping elbows with Mom.

UK Trip Day 3

I have been trying to enjoy the city but inside, every second of everyday, I’ve been counting down the days until when I can get home.

London is not for me.

I have been dodging people left and right today. People here don’t seem to look where they walk or they are purposely walking into people or they are blind. I was standing outside the restaurant waiting for mom to get dinner when someone walk right into me and bumped my sore shoulder.

My sore shoulder from sleeping on the plane and walking around with a heavy backpack in the airport that day.

Turned out, the guy was looking down at his phone. Dude, looking down at a phone can’t be more important than watching out where you walk.

Anyway, I’m not sure I’m liking London – bicycles don’t stop for pedestrians, people crossing the streets wherever they want, and the stampede of zombie-like people rushing from the opposite direction. It added so much to my existing anxiety. Also, what’s up with shops closing at 6 PM on Sunday? Still, I’m quite impressed at the space utilization like dropping a library in the middle of the city and almost every building in the city has a rich history.

We went on a river cruise today and toured the River Thames, saw Big Ben, learned a bit of history of London’s bridges, and took a walk around Greenwich – Royal Maritime Museum, Old Naval College, etc. It turned out Big Ben is not the clock but the bell that goes off every 15 minutes and the Waterloo Bridge was built entirely by women and it’s the only bridge project to be completed on time and on budget. I didn’t know that.

This was the sky when we were returning to Westminster from Greenwich. I still can’t believe how the weather changes in London. Mom said the weather here is like an emotional child. It’s crazy that the day started out clear and blue but ended with dark clouds that threatened to rain. Talk about a dramatic sky, something I don’t really get to experience often at home. Thankfully, there was no rain.

We’ve been lucky that the worst weather we’ve experienced so far was a few minutes of mist. Hopefully, it will hold.

UK Trip Day 2

We visited the British Museum today and boy oh boy, did it feel like deja vu.

It felt exactly like day #2 of the trip last year. Mom seemed to want a million pictures taken of her and no matter how I took it, it’s never good enough. “There’s a pole shooting out of my head.” “I look so ugly.” “Don’t you know how to take good pictures?”

It just made me about to boil!

Anyway, I still saw a lot at the museum despite a majority of it didn’t interest me. I might be one of those weirdos who only likes US history. World history like looking at Egyptian mummies and trying to be amused by a tablet that’s thousands of years old and contain an ancient language absolutely bores me. I wasn’t interested when I was in 6th grade and certainly not interested in it now.

Everything somehow looked similar to me. Perhaps it’s because they are all the color but like I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I’m as tone-deaf about art as some people about music.

That is not to say I found nothing interesting about my visit. I thoroughly enjoyed the clocks and watches exhibit. I enjoyed looking at the evolution of these time-telling devices and as someone who likes to take things apart to find out how it works, I was fascinated by the mechanics behind these ancient times pieces.

I was also intrigued by things like this Japanese bowl, which took the artist 6 months to make. I think I found this intriguing because as someone who’s never satisfied with the ordinary, this is not anything that’s ordinary.

After the museum, we made our way to Chinatown and I must admit, London Chinatown is nothing like I’ve imagined and it’s one that’s different than all the other Chinatowns I’ve visited so far. The part I visited was a pedestrian promenade – foot traffic only.

Maybe I’ve watched too many TV shows and movies because London is nothing I thought it’d be or maybe I just haven’t visited the parts of London that hasn’t been in TV or movies yet.

UK Trip Day 1

This is the view from my hotel room near Kings Cross Station. It’s been a long day or rather, a long half-day.

I arrived in the UK at around 11:30 AM with 2 sore shoulders from carrying my heavy backpack through the Salt Lake Airport and LAX the day before. I’m still pissed at mom for making me walk from Terminal 7 to the International terminal and back. Our flight was out of Terminal 7 but because there was hardly anything good to eat there other than sandwiches and coffee, especially for someone like my mom.

When we arrived at the terminal after a 40-minute walk (through terminal 6, 5, and 4), mom threw a tantrum when I said I need a minute to get online and find a directory of the restaurants available. She stormed off at a speed I couldn’t keep up because of my already sore shoulders.

In my defense, I didn’t ask her to come along. It was why I dropped my backpack with her. I thought I would walk there, get her something, and walk back. I like walking, you see. My knees actually feel better when I’m not stationary but I don’t like walking when I’m carrying a heavy load on my problematic back.

Nope, she insisted she come along.

We ended up buying Starbucks at Terminal 6.

The 10-and-half-hour plane ride was, you know, a 10-and-half-hour plane ride. The Boeing 787 was exactly like any other planes I’ve been on other than a few advanced features like color-changing windows. Thankfully, I was able to sleep – my Fitbit clocked me sleeping for 4 hours – and I was able to eat unlike the past international flights I’ve been on.

Of course, the thing I was looking forward to – getting the stamp on my passport – was a disappointment. There was no stamp. They say I don’t need it carrying US passport. All I had to do was scan my passport into their system and I was good to go.

So then, I led the way to the Underground where we hopped on the Piccadilly Line and rode until we reached Kings Cross Station. Whoever said London is small is lying because for a small city, I don’t think I’ve ever walked so much in my life.

As I’m writing this, it’s 12:45 AM London time on May 15, 5:45 PM at home, still May 14 and I can’t sleep. I managed to sleep for two hours before mom woke me. Now, I’m wide awake, struggling to sleep because of the time difference. Ugh!

At least it’s finally quiet down out there. It’s been scary – loads of police sirens, loud bangs like fireworks or gun fire, and weird crazy people on the streets. I guess it’s just typical city life.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #249: Art in the Park (and other Places)

Happy Sunday! John from Journey with Johnbo is the host for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and the theme of Art in the Park (and other Places) was chosen.

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#SundayStills: Difficult yet Rewarding #Roads

This week’s topic for #SundayStills is Roads, paths, and streets.

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CFFC: Wheels #WordlessWednesday

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

CFFC: Anything Large #WordlessWednesday

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #245: Environment

Happy Sunday! This week, Tina from Travels and Trifles is the lovely hostess for this week’s Lens-Artists Challenge and she asks whether we’re a city mouse or country mouse as in what’s our favorite environments.

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CFFC: Anything Small #WordlessWednesday

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #243: It’s Tricky

Happy Sunday! Donna from WindKisses is hosting this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and her theme for this week had me thinking about it all day and still, I hardly have anything as cool as her photos – It’s Tricky.

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CFFC: Things People Live in #WordlessWednesday

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #242: New Experiences

Happy Sunday! Anne from Slow Shutter Speed is the hostess and I am reflecting on one of my favorite new experience on this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge with photos I haven’t looked at in nearly 5 years. Hope you enjoy.

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CFFC: Things People Drive #WordlessWednesday

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #240: The Road (Most Often) Taken

Happy Sunday! This week, John from Journeys with Johnbo is the host for this week’s Lens-Artists challenge. Instead of a physical road, the theme he has chosen led me down a metaphoric one and I’m talking about the style of photography.

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CFFC: Things People Visit

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #237: Bringing Softness

Happy Sunday! This week, Bren from Brashley Photography is guest-hosting Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #237 and the theme is… Bringing Softness.

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CBWC: Arches, Domes, Half Circles

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WQ #7: All Sorts of Grids

The word for this week’s Wednesday Quotes is Grid.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #236: East Meets West, North Meets South

Happy Sunday! This week, Amy from The World is a Book… leads Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #236 with a peculiar topic – East meets West, North meets South.

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CMMC: February Calypso (Ocean) Blue Color

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CMMC: February Close Up

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