London, Days 8 & 9

Now I have to two days to write about.

Day 8

Again I had a leisurely morning, getting up at 8 and fooling around on my computer till I left at 10.

The tube to the Natural History Museum was much calmer than the one to London Bridge. Once I got out, however, I was as always confused about where I was, but managed to figure it out. The next problem: hungry and not wanting to spend a lot, especially after the previous night’s expensive dinner. I was still on a grilled cheese sandwich kick so I got one with a mocha from a café nearby for less than 5 pounds. Not bad.

I meant to go to the Natural History Museum first, but ended up in the Science Museum (which explained why I kept thinking, This is a lot like the Science Museum in Boston). It’s very much for kids, but it was very good. I liked the History of Medicine exhibit, though it starts out chronologically then gets totally mixed up, and the Listening Post, in which bits of real chat room conversation are captured via light and sound. It was pretty neat.

After finally realizing I wasn’t in the Natural History Museum, I headed over there, and was immediately overwhelemed by the zillions of kids. I kind of zipped through it, though I did go out of my way to see the animatronic dinasours, the coup de grace of which was T. Rex:

It was pretty neat despite the mob. One little kid got really scared when he turned the corner and saw what he was in for.

I also wanted to see the Blue Whale, which is touted by my Time Out book. I have to say: an utter disappointment. It’s humungous, of course, but the room is so tiny and jam packed with other mammals. It’s not like the American Museum of Natural History, where you have this enormous room and the blue whale suspended from the ceiling.

Next was the Victoria & Albert Museum. Thankfully there were no kids on the top few floors, only running around the ground floor. I loved looking at the royal collection and all the Victorian-era stuff. It was such a peaceful atmosphere, a huge relief after the madness of the Natural History Museum. My energy waned as I made my way down so that by the time I reached bottom, I’d see yet another wing and think, No more!

There’s a nice courtyard, where I sat for quite some time, eating my Balance bar and chilling.

Afterwards I walked over to Hyde Park, through Mayfair, where I found another nice courtyard to sit in, and over to Picadilly. Used the bathroom again at the Meridian, and was much less conspicuous this time around.

Over the weekend I had suddenly remembered that I regularly read a blog about food in London, duh! Su-Lin’s latest post was on Malaysia Kopi Tiam, which I realized I’ve passed a billion times since I’ve been here. I was excited to try good, reasonably priced food so I made a beeline there after all my sightseeing.

It seemed authentic what with all the Chinese-speaking people hanging around, and, unlike that damned Japanese place from yesterday, there was no minimum. I wasn’t sure what some of dishes were so I went for the menu with the pictures and picked the laksa mee with chicken, basically a mildly spicy coconut curry noodle soup with chicken on the bone and fish cakes.

It was soooo good, and at 7.50 pounds definitely the right price. Since I was well under my 25 pounds for the day, I got a lychee drink too – with real lychees – for two pounds.

My total food spend for the day: 13.49 pounds! A huge improvement from the day before.

Day 9

This was today. Lectures were really boring. This morning’s was supposed to be a discussion but it just meandered and never really focused on one topic. It was really torture, to be quite honest.

This afternoon we went to the Office of Public Sector Information, where the guy talked about government documents. Again: snoresville. I mean, the information was somewhat interesting, but he was such a dry presenter.

I felt so burnt out on sight seeing today that I did absolutely nothing. After lectures I went with one of my classmates back to our dorm, and hung out playing on the internet till we went to dinner.

Finally had Indian food: Diwana on Drummond Street, as recommended by Anthony. It was very good! We shared a chef’s sampling of appetizers for about 4 pounds, got paneer dosas for 7.05, and a mango lassi for 2.

Chefs sampling of appetizers

Chef's sampling of appetizers

The coconut chutney was so good; I’ve never had it before. And the dosa was extrememly filling and tasty.

My total food spend: 16.30.

Tomorrow we’re off to Cambridge.

All Day 8 and Day 9 pictures.

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