First we needed to ‘edit’ our online behavior coz our bosses were watching, then the government, and now so we won’t embarrass our decedents ;p
“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
― Samuel Johnson
Known by some as the capital of the world, London is a world in itself. Though not everything people know about it is true, and not all that is true is known about it. Here’s a list of what I think are the top 5 myths about London:
1. LONDON BRIDGE: Like most people I always thought this is London Bridge:
So on my first day I asked for directions to ‘London Bridge’ and was directed to an ordinary looking bridge (I don’t believe I have ever taken a pic of London Bridge). When I got there I cursed the dude who gave me directions!! From that bridge I did see the above bridge and went aha, there it is. It took me a whole 2 weeks to realize the bridge that dude had directed me to was in fact London Bridge and the bridge above is actually called “Tower Bridge” 🙂
Well, I didn’t feel too stupid coz not even google knows the difference 🙂 If you search for a google image of “London Bridge” you’ll get this:
The 6th picture is correct. All others are pictures of Tower Bridge
2. People Speak British English accent: Not only would you hardly ever hear a British accent in London, you would hardly hear English in London–hell, any accent!! I kid you not! Though, when I say London, I’m mostly talking about central London.
3. It rains a lot: It doesn’t! Yes, I never leave the house without an umbrella, but that’s not because it rains a lot, it’s because we frequently have unexpected showers. It’s not heavy rain and it only lasts 5-10 min.
4. It is usually foggy: Some of my favorite shows growing up was Sherlock Holmes, Poirot, and Miss Marple. Usually London is depicted as misty/foggy and sort of scary/dreamy. Maybe it was like that in the past, but since I have been here I have only seen one foggy night…and that was on Guy Fawkes night, so I’m still not sure if it was fog or smoke from the bon fires 🙂
Next post, top tips about visiting London 🙂
UPDATE: 14/11/11…London’s weather took offense apparently, it has been foggy all day today!
UPDATE 20/11/11 … Okay fine, I take back what I said baba. Today British Airways had to cancel about 50 flights due to the fog!!
“The problem with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and putting things in it.”
― Terry Pratchett
Except for the nine years I lived in Iran, I have always lived/studied and worked in a multicultural environment. Though none were as diverse as London. Not only there are more diversity in nationalities and ethnic groups, there are more diversity in the social class within the same ethnic group. Yeah, there were loads of [enter ANY nationality here] in Kuwait, but they were more or less from a similar background…not so much so here in London. You’ll encounter the whole range of spectrum of human thoughts and ideology here.
Now, having grew up with people from various backgrounds I had thought I had seen it all. I mean when it comes to religious views, politics, philosophy, etc, I thought I had had debates from every possible angle…never thought I would hear a perceptive that would LITERALLY make my jaw drop!
So I was on a bus having a casual conversation with a fellow student. And here’s how it went:
HIM: By the way Noushin, have you been to the Natural History Museum
ME: Yeah, but not worth going more than once, the best thing about it is the building itself, the architecture is amazing, I have probably taken more than …
HIM: But I heard there are dinosaur bones there
ME: [Thinking he is a bit too old to get excited about dinosaurs] …oh, yeah there are…several in fact
HIM: So it’s real!
ME: [Wondering if is asking or just surprised]..eeeeeh, yeah! [Now wondering if I should be asking or be surprised that he is surprised]
HIM: But, but, so what Darwin said is true?
Now, a little explanation…this classmate I was talking to was …or still is…i’m a little cloudy on the details.. well, a priest. I had totally forgotten, I mean it’s not everyday one of your classmates turns out to be a priest. And I certainly didn’t want to get into a religious debate, so I said:
ME: Well, dinosaurs don’t necessary prove or disapprove Darwin theory.
HIM: But it does show that such animals existed
ME: You mean dinosaurs?
ME: [Okay does he doubt the theory of evolution or the existence of dinosaurs?] eeh, I don’t follow.
HIM: Well, how do you know that dinosaurs really did exist?
ME: You think the existence of dinosaurs is a hoax?
ME: [Trying my best not to look shock] Oh, …eeeh, well, ….eeeeh…maybe…oh, look my stop!
Honestly, as I said, I always try to keep an open mind, hey if people have theories different from mine, it’s coz of their upbringing, their experience, their religion, culture, etc…but i have NEVER thought there are people out there who think dinosaurs are a hoax.
So a couple of days later I was telling this little anecdote to another acquaintance. And here’s how it went:
ME: So the guy actually doubts the existence of dinosaurs!!
HER: Well, you know, he is right.
ME: [My jaw fell down so hard and far I still haven’t been able to close my mouth since then]..but, but, there are fossils and bones, and..
HER: But how do you know they are not fake?
ME: [jaw drops further] But why would anyone pull a hoax like this?
HER: For money. It has attracted a attention, hasn’t it. Think of all the movies, toys, exhibitions…people pay a lot to see something like that. But how do you know really know they actually existed
Yes, there are all kinds of people in this world, with all sorts of ideas, and just when you thought you had heard them all, in comes TWO people who doubt the existence of dinosaurs! …oh, and these two people were from different nationalities, religion, continent, social class, and age group.
So, did dinosaurs really exist?
Shhh, come closer and I’ll let you know me deep dark secret…my name is Noushin and I’m a procrastinator! 😦
Well, I haven’t always been a procrastinator, I jumped on this joyful ride only a year ago…and yes, I really do enjoy it 🙂 Let me give you an example of my joyful deeds: Clocks were set back here in London, well, let’s see, maybe two weeks ago, and still I haven’t told my alarm..yeah, so it wakes me up an hour early every morning, but most mornings I don’t hear it anyways, so it’s all good 🙂
But recently, it beginning to cost me…I had to pay 7.80 pounds for library overdue books, 60 pounds to NBK coz of forgetting my pin number, my NI form mught be refused coz I forgot to mail the application on time, oh, and of course my thesis is way behind 🙂
Now, the other thing with me is that I need some ancient civilization to set me straight…and since this 11/11/11 is somehow related to the Mayans, I have graciously allowed them to help me jump off this merry little ride I am on. Yep, on this date, I am going to do the following: 1. Once a while, make an attempt at maybe getting off at certain stops on my joyful ride on the Procrastinating Train (some call it the Lazy Train), 2. start learning how to make firefox apps (saw an article about that and thought, hey why not), and 3. relaunch this blog!
UPDATE: Number 2=tick…okay, it wasn’t firefox, but chrome. This made it look easy: http://lifehacker.com/5857721/how-to-build-a-chrome-extension
Happy 60th Birthday Mom 🙂 … Yeah, yeah, I know, you left this world almost 100 weeks ago, but technically it is still the anniversary of when you first step foot into this world. Don’t know why people stop having birthday parties for people who are no longer physically with us? Anyhoo, I can’t go to your favorite restaurant to celebrate (not being in Kuwait anymore and all)…but I am determined to celebrate it…with loads of cheesecake :))
Mom, you would be happy to know I am no longer angry at God or blame anyone on anything…and you have started to talk when you appear in my dreams…before you used to more like floating through the scenes of my dreams…now you are more solid.
Which brings me to why I am writing to you…well, you know how you always used to whip my [beep] into shape when I was hibernating? …well, need that whip again 🙂 My MBA dissertation is due in less than 2 months and I still haven’t worked on my questionnaire or set up the interviews!! I just can’t concentrate! Nothing is on my mind…just enjoying London’s clouds too much 🙂 Every time I sit down to work, my mind wonders in all sorts of zigzag directions…like always, I need you…need you to give me that ‘look’ ;p … Can’t believe I’m 37 and still need to receive the ‘look’ from my mommy 😉
Anyhoo, I’m going to the Bloomsburry Festival tomorrow, so I only have Monday to finish the first two chapters; they are both due on Tuesday….HELP, pleeeeeaseee 🙂
Seriously hoping I don’t sound insane,
I just want the 10/10 time stamp…i’ll come back to edit this post
Today, July 18th, marks the anniversary of the day you gave birth to me…it also marks 600 days since you found you peace. 600 days.
Your departure greatly altered my life. For the first time in my life I feel lonely. Never realized how attached I was to you till you left. So today for the 2nd year I celebrate my birthday without a cake that was baked or bought by you. Three years ago you got your doctor to give you permission to leave the hospital so you can take me to our favorite restaurant so you can celebrate my birthday…that was the last time I actually had a cake on my birthday. I didn’t last year…and I am not planning to this year. I’m not ready yet…yes, I have moved on…I do laugh again…I am quite cheerful…but I still can’t do the things I used to do with you without you…I have moved on in the sense that I left Kuwait so I am no longer forced to go to places I used to go with you…I don’t watch Indian movies anymore coz that’s the sort of thing I used to do with you…but I have moved on…I do listen to Indian songs…and at times I can hear you singing along with the song 🙂 I did celebrate Nowroz this year coz you asked me to…you loved nowroz 🙂 … but don’t know why celebrating my birthday without you is just way too painful…maybe coz the memory of my last one 2 years ago with you…maybe coz a birthday without you is meaningless…or maybe coz i don’t feel like being joyful on the 600th day of your departure.