Chapter 10 - London is Calling
The rain gently taps at my umbrella, as my wife and I walk along the famous tower bridge. My Grandma being raised a Londoner during the start of WW2 gave me a curiosity about the city but for so long I avoided the spectacle of walking around an area filled with so many others. And as we walked, bumping into masses along the way, I began to fill a bit like London was a red telephone booth and I was in there with 8.5 million other people.
Though I do find that there is something charming about the way the city is filled with all types of people with a mix of old and new buildings and I tried to imagine as we continued walking along the bridge what life was like when Edward the 7th (back when he was just a regular Prince of Wales) opened the bridge in 1894. As we took each step and felt the pavement beneath our feet, the bridge somehow felt older, something that has just always been there and something that will always be. Much like the city itself.
Some people look for the architecture or museums or the nightlife but for me a city is either fantastic or a horrid drudge of misery simply by how good the food is and London has earned a reputation for fantastic foods and great restaurants and I could hardly wait to step off of the bridge and look for my first meal of the day. The rain continued the assault on my umbrella, my wife stopping every few feet to take a picture that was just going to locked into an external hard drive that one day when, we brush the dust off of and and plug into some antique computer so we can flip through the pictures but by the time this happens my memory is gone and why there are 50 pictures of a bird on a stone fence will be a question that can't be answered.
We stop at the entrance to the Tower of London and consider for a moment to stand in the lengthy line, so that after three hours of waiting will get a chance to battle selfie sticks, loud speakers from tour guides and the endless march of humanity as the go from one spot to another, taking the same pictures of the same things but never really seeing anything. But instead I convince my wife that life would seem greater if we go for the famous English breakfast. Soon enough we find a little pub/cafe that has just opened that offers a great vegan version of the breakfast. Vegan sausage, with fried tomato, hashbrowns, baked beans, fried mushrooms and of course toast. I find it fantastic and wash it down with an Ale, because it's England and soon enough we keep going.
It's not like I don't have culture and as we enter the museum, I find myself totally at peace with the pace of the day, we walk by the cafeteria, with the giant cakes sitting out in the open like a tempting mistress. I can't seem to stop myself, I give my wife a kiss and head towards the cake. Even in a museum the cake is brilliant and as a lean back on my chair, joy and satisfaction engulfing my face like an addict getting a fix my wife round the corner and sits. She suggest lunch. And we go off in search of a pub. This city has a certain current and flow. The pubs are an institution and one that I have great respect for. We sit at the pub and order another beer, cause it's London and the food comes, fries and some kind of veggie burger both well done, nothing special but really nice anyway. But the beer makes my stomach warm and I find that everything becomes so content just simply by sitting in a pub having a beer.
And as we get closer to the tower bridge and make our way back to the hotel room, London has taken me in, not just with the buildings and the history but with the people and the food. English food used to be so bad that it was a joke but now.....now it is some incredible feast that works so well with beer.