#ThrowbackThursday - London Reminiscing12:00 AM
London London London ... I love London. In spite of it's weather, high currency exchange rate, not-so-friendly-people, ... I still love it. I landed today morning in to the city with clear sky, little sun shine and pleasant temperatures (by London standards). Strolled around Central London for 5 hours ...absorbing everything that crossed my eyes. P.S. The city has such awesome fashion sense. It's perfect for me as I like to dress classy and quirky, both at the same time! And now that I am skinny, I can 'legally' rock that style (it's good for my ego sometimes to use the word skinny, instead of fit).
Flying into London also made me jog down the memory lane ... (I love revisiting my 'happy memories' and reliving them every chance I get). The first time I came to London was in May 1996 (seems soooo long ago. I was only 14! Wow!). Oh! but I fell in love with the city, instantly. As a kid, I had heard from someone that Heathrow was one of the busiest airports in the world and a flight took off (or landed ... can't remember) every 2 minutes. So remembering this anecdote,when we got out of the airoport, I kept looking into the sky to count the number of airplanes I could see! (Silly ... but cute ... now that I think)
The cool and wet weather was a welcome escape for me from the Indian Summers (especially Delhi in May = Burning Hell). I have always hated humidity. It makes me extremely irritable. How can you possibly smile with sweat dripping down your face? London was pleasant. It rainded a lot but I didn't see that as a problem. It only meant we had to buy & use colorful umbrellas and may be even wear bright floroscent rain-coats *big.smile*. Besides we were using cabs to get everywhere, so what's the big fuss :P
The black cabs were so adorable and cute,too. I loved riding in them (even later in life when I wasn’t a tourist, I liked using them once-in-a-while). For some reason I distinctly remember humming the song ‘chup tum raho … chum hum rahien’ (From the movie – Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin, click here to listen) the first time I sat in the cab, all the way till the hotel.
I was also quite taken by the florescent vests, that I saw all the police officers were sporting, while riding their cool bikes. You can understand my attraction to even their vests, considering I was comparing everything to my home country.
The whole trip was amazing but the cherry on the top was our stay at The Ritz Hotel (highlight of most … if not all my holidays is the accommodation). Our luxurious Suite with authentic English décor made me feel like The Queen herself, of course, I hadn’t seen The Buckingham Palace yet!
It was on this holiday and here at The Ritz that I discovered my second favorite English movie of-all-time - Dirty Dancing. For the couple of days that we were at The Ritz, the movie kept re-running on one of the channels, and thus I ended up viewing it several times in just one trip.
The hotel was as posh as it gets, from the doorman, to the receptionist, to even their housemaids! At times it seemed they were serving The Queen, and we were not up to their standards! Haha ... I remember that one of the days we were refused to enter the Breakfast Room in spite of being their house guests occupying two suites. Why? … Apparently we were not appropriately dressed for that room, as we were in Jeans and sneakers. Since we were heading out to Windsor for a day trip, straight after the breakfast, we didn’t think it was necessary to dress-up just for a mere breakfast. Of course we were wrong! Although they did make an exception and allowed us to have our breakfast, but only with a warning. Fancy, right?!
We did the complete tourist-y thing … seeing the city on the red bus (which is all over the world now, but once was a London novelty). I found Buckingham Palace quite top-notch royalty. London Museum made me very angry. They had all these jewels and artillery and of course the Kohinoor, from our country (which I still believe, they should return already!). I didn’t have any interest in Natural History Museum, so that was a boring part of the trip. Harrods seems quite ostentatious. London eye wasn’t built yet (it was only opened in 1999), which I visited alone, several years later, before leaving London for good in 2006.
The visit to London, England has always been special no matter how many ever cities I visit.