London, U.K., 2012

Last on my U.K. travel list was London.  I’ve been to Heathrow many times but never set foot in this wonderful city.  Yes, I’ve heard of shitty food, ugly people with bad attitude, and crappy weather; but I wanted to see this for myself.  Well, London did not disappoint me — everything as-described.

Slightly crooked signs welcome us.

Crowded everything.

At least I bought a new addition to my collection — a new Starbucks mug with “London” on it and Big Ben.  Unfriendly.

Gloomy rainy weather.

Can I call this city dirty?  No, not really.  However, I cannot say it was clean, either.  I get the feeling that citizens here do just the bare minimum for a solid B-, not even a B.

Plants on the windows, just like, say, in France, but nothing like in France.

Parking Wardens were on strike; but even their sign is half-assed.

This is actually nice.  Londoners put pedestrian crossing posts which blink when crossing is allowed.

Lots of parks all over the city.

My office is in Camden, New Jersey.  Here “Camden” is …  Well, I googled but did not seem to find much on this.  Not sure, actually, what is is.  Some municipal corporation, I suppose.

I see drinking in public is legal.  Well, if not legal, perhaps merely socially acceptable then.

Don’t they have dryers?  I mean this is a downtown center of a major metropolitan…

The ever-so-popular city bikes.

And bikes certainly get their attention here.

More parks.

This is how a “basket” on a bike is supposed to look like, I think.

I was here right before the Olympic Games and the city was visibly hard-at-work in their preparations.

Apparently gambling is legal here and I saw quite a few casinos.  Next time, if ever, I hope I will have some time to check it out.

The view from my hotel window (and the hotel itself) summarize London for me: expensive, dirty, poorly kept, and loud.

But definitely not without its charm.

My last ride in a proper cab for a while.  Definitely better than US taxis.  Much more space and better design.  I think the cabs are the one thing I truly enjoyed about my visit to England.  That and the Scottish accents.

I will soon return to Europe but I somehow doubt my favorite destination to be London again.  There are far better places to visit in U.K.

Cheers, mate.  Pass me a few quid for a pip.

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