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Day Two: London

Posted on Tuesday, July 27th, 2004

Dave!News: Today's complimentary copy of The Guardian was found hanging in a plastic bag on my door handle this morning. The top story making front-page? A legal battle for the patent of a breath mint. They look like Life Savers candies (with a hole in the middle) but here they are called Polos, and their manufacturer is trying to patent their unique shape. I figure that if breath mints are front page news, I can skip everything else, assume that all is well in London, and head out into the city.

Breakfast: Was at Pret, of course. They make the food I wish I could make if I had any cooking talents at all.

Hasselhoff: While riding the London Underground (subway) this morning, I saw something even more disturbing than yesterday's mention of Jerry Springer: The Opera. A poster advertising that David Hasselhoff is headlining the production of Chicago here. Frightening.

Lunch: The absolute coolest thing about having a blog is that you sometimes get to meet the people who read it in real life. Today I was treated to a wonderful lunch in South Kensington by a new blog-acquainted friend, and was given the most charming compliment I think I've ever received: "You are like a cartoon character come to life! I want to poke you to make sure you're real." (after which she poked me in the arm with her finger). Of course, everything sounds charming when delivered in an English accent, so it certainly seemed like a compliment. In any event, it's always nice when somebody validates your existence (especially in lieu of the accusation I received telling me I am lying about being here in London). After lunch we wandered through the neighborhood where she pointed out this amazing old tile building that's called "The Michelin Building." Sure enough, there's the Michelin Man on the front! Heaven only knows what he's doing, however:

Michelin Man

Has he constructed a martini out of motor oil? You're guess is as good as mine. Hmmm... after a Google search, I found this page, which explains the Michelin slogan at the time was "These tyres drink up obstacles." Pretty slick.

Nothing: With touristy activities removed from my schedule, I planned to do as much "nothing" this afternoon as possible. Most of my "nothing" was spent wandering aimlessly through the surrounding areas of my hotel. I ended up taking a photo of Big Ben after all because, well, it's Big Ben and is an incredibly beautiful structure...

Big Ben

But my favorite sight of the day was that of a young boy with a bright red ball enjoying the sunshine on the lawn outside of Westminster. His happy playtime fun was an interesting contrast to the war protesters just a block away. Ah the wisdom and innocence of youth. Perhaps if adults made room for playtime every once in a while, this world wouldn't be in quite the mess it is now...

Play Ball

My motorcycle is pretty popular here, as I keep seeing it around the city. Here is one that's actually parked, so you can see what I mean about the enormous license plate that riders are forced to hang off the back of their ride...

My Bike in London

If I knew how to hot-wire a motorcycle, I'd undoubtedly be rotting away in a London prison just now.

Categories: Travel 2004Click To It: Permalink


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