Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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On arriving at Victoria Coach station in London - which is just a bit too far from the actual Victoria station to comfortably drag my bag there - I first went to Euston station to give up my bag there. Doing that cost a whopping £5.

I then went on to Camden Town which is said to have a good atmosphere. It looked quite nice, with many little shops, though not as cool as I was made to think it is. It just seems to be trying a bit too hard to be alternative. You can only have that many shops selling cool T-shirts, second-hand clothing and bongs on one road and Camden Town may just have too many of them.

With it being quite a sunny day I proceeded to take a ride on the big wheel, aka London Eye. I've meant to do this since 2000, but never got round to actually going when I was in London, due to not wanting to book in advance (in case of bad weather), bad weather, too little time or combinations thereof. Today I did, and after stomaching the price tag of £10.50 (naturally without student discount being available), it was a very enjoyable and soothing ride.

The ride is extremely smooth and due to the clever way in which the wheel is built, in many stages of the ride you won't see that you're attached to anything and actually have the impression of hovering in the air. [The moron that is running the U.S.A. is currently giving his speech to justify ultimatum for the beginning of war. Sickening – and spoiling my recap of an otherwise enjoyable day.] The silly thing about the ride is that the wheel seems to be owned by British Airways and they pretend it is a ride on a plane, using words like flight or descent and a half-assed check of the bags you take aboard along with worn-out stewardesses to tell you when to board. They should just leave that.

Naturally I went on to Tate Modern afterwards, taking a little stroll down the Thames' south bank. I think I am developing a little habit here, having gone there in every single of my visits to London since it opened. It simply is a very cool gallery – it's free as well, which helps – and I start to know my way round certain parts of their permanent exhibition. I really like the room they have with the huge Rothko paintings. Its walls a painted darkly and it's good to take a break on the nicely designed benched they have and stare at those patches of colour put down on the canvases. I also enjoy the monochromatic intensely blue work IKB 79 by Yves Klein they have in the room next door, while even after seeing them many times I simply cannot appreciate the works by Joseph Beuys.

The Turbine Hall was filled all the way through by a very cool structure of plasticy fabric – I think it said PVC – joining three circles at both ends and in the middle. It was huge and is a bit hard to describe.

Afterwards I went towards St. Paul's cathedral over the Millenium Bridge for the first time as it – embarassingly – had been closed due to poor engineering on all of my previous visits. Getting to Chiho and Dave's place turned out to be a bit of a headache as the Central line of the Underground is partially broken and doesn't run at St. Paul's, meaning I had to add it quite a bit of extra walking and changing trains to before picking up my bag and getting to Chiho and Dave's place. Catching up with them was good. They (well, mainly Chiho to give credit where credit is due) had prepared a nice Mexican style dinner in memory of our common flatmate Job (no, he's far from being dead).

March 17, 2003, 23:47

Tagged as country:uk, travel, UK.

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