day 7

so today i got up and went to a new york street fair—oops, i mean i went to the portobello road market. it was a huge market, and i can’t imagine there’s any knick-knack, article of clothing, or food item that you could want for and not find there.

i didn’t even make it through the whole thing. i did, though, exercise tremendous self-restraint by not buying a single solitary thing. it’s not just because i have to be conservative with money. there’s also the issue of flying these days. when i packed to come here, i had to cut more weight than a high school wrestler before regionals. and still the cute indian guy at check-in informed me that my bag was over the weight limit—by three pounds. “i’m just letting you know,” he said. *whew*…God bless air india’s slack-ass regulations.

any-hoo, i hurried down to trafalgar square around 4pm in order to catch “the big dance” (http://www.thebigdance2008.co.uk/). now, i had signed up to be in this, and i had received my confirmation, but i backed out on thursday. after i watched them do it today, i was a little sorry. not only because it looked like such fun but also because everybody that participated is now an official guinness book of world records world record holder. dammit! i could have crossed that off my to-do list! anyway, here are a few photos followed by a little video snippet of the dance:

i walked away from there smiling. it really was, as the emcee declared, “good fun.” from trafalgar square, it’s just a short walk down to some de rigueur tourist sights, so i figured i’d get ’em in. i saw some amazing architecture—the houses of parliament, big ben, and westminster abbey. i also saw some members of the horse guards, the london eye ferris wheel (cost: £12.50—which they would have to pay *me* to get me on that thing), the river thames, and the westminster bridge. it was the latter that finally—finally—made me feel like i was in ye olde europe. it was either something about the detail work on the bridge itself (as seen in the photo below) or it was the poem by william wordsworth that was inscribed there. umm…wanna hear it? i hope so, ‘cuz here it go:

“upon westminster bridge”

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear

The beauty of the morning: silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky,
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.

Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!

The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

today’s vocabulary:

  • shop = store
  • give way = yield
  • hole in the wall = atm
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Filed under life, london, travel

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