By the time I cleared the airport and got my luggage it was around 6.30pm. So far I really wasn’t enjoying things as I wasn’t happy about being in England and not in Japan anymore, standing in the que for passport control I was actually annoyed just by the masses of noisy people and screaming kids running around out of control. In addition even that section of the airport was dingy and not particularly nice.
Not feeling in the mood to pay £30 for an express train to a station I would then need to make several changes from, I decided to just pay the £6.20ish and take the standard tube line back into the city, it would take longer but it’s not like I had anything planned for the evening. Plus on the stretch of tube that ran over ground I had enough signal to text my friend and let her know I was on my way back.
The trip home was a complete culture shock to me, as the tube is really dirty and horrible compared to Kyoto’s subway system, not just the trains but the stations to. The city itself seemed louder and more annoying, after being in cities packed with hybrid or electric cars, even the air didn’t feel as clean.
I actually got confused crossing the road, as though there was nothing moving I still felt compelled to wait for a green light! I needed to try and recondition back to London ways!
After a nights sleep I woke up deciding to venture out and get used to London again, it would have been easy to take a lazy day and do nothing instead, but I figured I may as well get out and try to readjust, also I had promised someone back in Japan I’d send some pictures and videos of London, and with it being a sunny day it made sense to start now.
I headed off into the city with the view of getting snaps of life around London to send back to Japan, also on my mind was a full English breakfast as it had been a while.
I made a pit stop at a Wetherspoons to get reacquainted with a big breakfast and free coffee refills! It was a great meal but I could taste the unhealthiness of it in comparison to what I’d been eating over the last few months!
After a leisurely breakfast I headed out toward the river to get some pictures to send back to Japan (my other home!). Within minutes I remember what the biggest problem with London is, it’s not finished yet!! Everywhere you go it’s roadworks, renovations and construction, London is always being built! This means you normally end up diverted around somewhere or walk along listening to the tune of a jackhammer!
I started at the Tower of London and Tower Bridge heading along the river toward the houses of parliament and Big Ben, recording some videos and getting pictures along the way. I hired out a city bicycle at a station though soon remember that in England we cycle with the traffic on the roads, and though I’d enjoyed cycling in Japan I now remembered why I hate it in England! Because 90% of cycle lanes were being dug up or fenced off for roadworks it meant cycling in a single lane with buses and taxis that were out to kill! I also remembered London has small streets and to much traffic!
Eventually I ended up (Somehow in one piece) in St James Park where I actually found some Sakura in bloom, it was nice to see and a nice reminder or Japan. However there were not as many and it wasn’t as impressive as Japan.
Pushing on into the city I headed to get some videos and photos of Hamleys and the shopping areas, I actually made a personal stop to the Japan Centre with the hope I could get some takoyaki for lunch, but sadly the place has declined and is now very overpriced, not that big, and doesn’t have takoyaki, only ‘chicken takoyaki’ which just isn’t right!
Though it is an improvement over the Japan Centre section at Westfields which has the record of not just serving me up the worst Japanese meal I’ve ever had, but just generally the worst meal of any type I’ve ever had!!! In addition the staff member there I asked for takoyaki just gave me a blank look and didn’t understand it should have octopus in it!
With the day gone I decided to just relax at a couple of pubs till the evening fell, I figured I may as well capture some of London at night to send back to Japan. Though as it turns out some of the video I recorded through the day doesn’t seem to have saved, so I’ll have to back out and do most of it.
Doing so was actually pretty cool, as I don’t really come into the city centre much at night myself, so I haven’t really seen everything lit up as often as perhaps I should have.
The atmosphere at the pubs and bars along the side of the river at night actually reminded me that really this is a pretty cool city, and the city lights are quite an impressive sight. However my heart and home still belongs in Japan I think, there isn’t a place for me in England anymore.
Couple of random things
So just quickly a couple of little things I’ve picked up on since being back in the UK
1/ When did blue Fanta become a thing?! Honestly I still don’t know what flavour this is! Tasted like passion fruit!
2/ This place in Westfields is amazing, T4 I think it was called. It does loads of ice teas, smoothies and milkshakes, and this lychee smoothie is the most refreshing drink I’ve ever had!