Saturday, August 13, 2011

Shadows of riots in London, shopping and tubes

Okay, so I have managed to stay out of the way of riots this week, which has been good. On Monday I was in Oxford Circus the night after some rioters were there (of course I didn't know this at the time) and there were a few police around. On Tuesday at lunchtime I saw nine police vans speed past towards the city with their sirens on and their lights flashing, and a few minutes later four police vans from Wales drove at normal speed away from the city. On Thursday at lunchtime I saw seven police vans with lights flashing and sirens going, this time over the Thames south-bound. Each time I checked the BBC to see if something was happening, but no clues as to why so many police vans were in such a hurry in the middle of the day.

Everything seems to be a bit quieter now, so hopefully it'll stay that way.

In other news, I have been enjoying having a bit of money to spend. As previously mentioned (in a post ages ago), one can not fit that much into a suitcase and keep it under 23kg, so I arrived in the UK with a total of two pairs of footwear, a few select pieces of casual wear and a few more select pieces of work wear. Recently I have realised that, somehow, much of my casual wear is grey, so I'll have to rectify that at some point. More important at the moment is work wear, and fortunately there are lots of sales on.

I spent rather longer at the mall today than I had planned, but made some good purchases including a pair of shoe/sandal things that I love, and which brings my total number of shoes up to six. Shopping at a major mall on a Saturday during sales probably wasn't the best idea, but I'm still in a phase where I'm awed and excited by lots of people, which you really don't get in New Zealand. Of course the crowds didn't really compare to Tokyo, where you had to make strategic moves across the footpath so you were in the best pedestrian flow.

Working means I've been taking the tube lots, and while there are masses of people at rush hour, it's nowhere near what it is in Tokyo. In Tokyo, I boarded a train where people were running at the doors and forcing themselves on with sheer momentum, because there was such a squash inside. Most of the trains here are smaller, too - they have to fit inside the small tunnels - but people have their own little bubbles, even when other people are waiting to board. I think the English just like their personal space.

Another random fact about the Underground: no rubbish bins. For obvious reasons.

Have a good week people!

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