I picked up an old journal that I kept while studying + working abroad in London. Wow, looking back on a day for the first time in six years is such a treat. Here’s my journal entry from 4/7/09, which was exactly 6 years ago:
This morning as I was walking to the Gloucester tube stop (well, more like noon because Vic ordered frozen food from Sainsbury’s, so I had to walk farther away from Sainsbury’s to Harrington to pick it up and go home, then eat some frozen food because there was not enough room in the fridge) an older, 50-ish looking man inside of his car rolled down his windows and looked at me and asked, “Are you happy?” I realized that I was smiling, thinking back on yesterday (my 21st- karaoke and trip to Rome). I was supposed to be job shadowing Nik, but he had been in a meeting that was extended. I got out of the office for a break, and walked through Westminster school [illegible] choir, and saw Diarmaid on his phone. In front of Westminster, they were still protesting some issue related to the Tamils. Most South Asian looking. Lots of cops and police cars. Really loud. People banging on drums. People from babies to the elderly crying. For some reason, I started to get teary.
Walked down just a little farther, and the sound dramatically lessened. Now many tourists taking pictures of the House of Parliament.
Went to Victoria Garden to sit. No more protesting sound. Sat on bench next to elderly couple. Protest not affect them at all. Eavesdropping while I enjoy my familiar view- the Thames, London Eye, modern 20th century buildings, a medieval castle, futuristic glass building, and two bridges- they talked about so and so had a house, someone visited Spain, relatives, and then I saw a whole bunch of pigeons. Paranoid about them shitting everywhere. Hate them. Why is the lady behind me feeding them? Then a couple of pigeons fly to tree branch. Wish I had my camera. When the female bird I presume flew away to the grass, the male one flies right after, following it everywhere. Both walking really fast, heads bobbing real fast as well. Female flies to branch again. Male too. Picturesque. Over the Thames. Then of course, they start shitting. The shit goes straight to Thames, so it’s alright. Just realized the elderly couple- actually two old ladies- camera crew is behind one filming something. They have food set out too. Envious. Weather is beautiful. Why did Vic send food? Although, it’s very cute. She thought mom was cute for sending over a bag of rice from the States. Probably could’ve bought ten more directly from here if you consider the shipping cost of rice. Well, Vic is cute too, sending frozen food to BU (my mailing address!). lol
Getting cloudy. Should head back to office. I’m hungry, but not going to buy food because I have a lot back at home, and I need to save money, only 4 hours anyway. Maybe three if I decide not to walk home (which takes an hour). Maybe will take bus. Suddenly remember the first time walking back to Lexham from Westminster. Easton Square smelled heavenly. Pungent aroma of flowers and plants and the ambiance- peaceful. Asked old man on bench where King’s Road was. He looked very happy that a stranger was talking to him. “Dahling” “Yes, love.” So European! His demeanor and affection. Very pleasant. Got home alright, but took two hours because I walked too far down Fulham and Chelsea. Better head back now.
-04/07/15, from my journal