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Monday, January 31, 2005

Jim's Travels

This is a series of emails sent to me by my friend Jim Coe who left New Zealand to travel a bit and then maybe join the British army. I have editted them to be more story-like and less email-ish.


Who knew?


Thu, 19 Feb 2004 08:40:31 +1300


James Coe feat Marky Marx and the funky bunch

Who knew that there was both a Pall Mall and just a Mall? I didn't!

And hands up who thought that Piccadilly Circus was an actual circus, with lions and trapeze and all that?

I didn't.

Anyway, today... you can put your hands down now... today I have been walking around the whole freakin' day. I got up surprisingly early considering my jet lag. Actually, I fell asleep last night during the Brit awards, only to awake in time to see a lacklustre performance from the Darkness before they won best album. Isn't it funny how the bands that perform at the ceremony often clean up the awards? Mmm, no matter.

Today I let my feet do the walking. I walked all the way up the King's Road to the city, stopping at every Starbucks on the way. By the time I got to the Palace it was time to go home.

No, I'm kidding, but there are a lot of Starbucks here. I don't know why I told you that, there are pretty much a lot of Starbucks everywhere. I was also kidding about going into Starbucks as well, in case you didn't realise, sorry.

So yeah, I walked around, to the Abbey and Houses of Parliament. Bloody tourists everywhere. Went up Whitehall, around, up to Trafalgar Square. Went to the National Gallery, but the place is huge and non-linear. About halfway through I had to leave. My eyes were hurting from looking too much. I may sound like a Phililstine, but after a couple of hours your van Dyks start looking a little like your Peter Paul Rubenses.

Went up Charing Cross road, to the famous (read: overpriced) bookstores, right up to the British Museum. Again, it was a case of sensory overload and I only saw a little before I could handle no more. I saw the Elgin Marbles that the British nicked from the Parthenon and the giant human-headed winged lions that the British nicked from Assyria and the Rosetta Stone that the British nicked from the French who were about to nick it from the Egyptians. Pretty much the whole collection in the enormous building was nicked by some nobleman or other and then 'laundered' by donating it to the museum. Anyway, international law and ethics aside, it's very impressive and I must go back tomorrow.

Went down Oxford and Regent St to Green Park and the Mall, by which time I was getting sick of walking and got the tube most of the way home, the tube being a total rip.

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