Wednesday, August 1st

It is August. I started my day with a couple McDonalds bagels and a chocolate frap at starbucks. I’m so healthy it’s sick (isn’t that the slang these days?). I met up with the crew inside Wembley Arena for badminton at 12:30. We got to see a really good mixed game where the Polish team fought off two match points from china’s second team, get a match point of their own, but then lose. Wop wop wop. They went from being up 16-12 to being down 16-18. Both teams were really nervous, but it’s amazing what you can do when you see the cliff and someone starts to push you. We got to see Lee Chong Wei play too, and he was on fire. He was playing Simon Santoso, and after the first 11 Santoso looked like he was out of ideas, and not soon after he was out of the tournament.

We walked along the sort of ‘boardwalk’ area of London along the river and took the Eye (the ferries wheel). Wow; what a view. London isn’t really a tall city, and it’s very flat, so you could see for miles and miles. It was extrodinry. You could see the Palace from there, but the most interesting building for me was the HM Treasury Building, which is big, stone and square on the outside, but has a giant circular cut-out on the inside. Hmm, something’s odd at the “HM” building, hmm?? Big Ben looks awesome across the water. We tried to take pictures where the postcards take pictures. When the eye completes a revolution (about 20-30 minutes. it looked like 1 fps linear velocity give or take) and drops you back off, it lets go a bucketful of water, or the equivalent of, back into the river. When you first step in you notice the AC is blasted and it’s quite chilly. This is probably so the claustrophobic people who got pressured into getting shoved in a glass capsule and hung 400 feet over the horizon don’t pass out. When you go through a very relaxed version of security, they ask you if you have any sharp objects, but don’t ask if you have a fear of small enclosed spaces hoisted hundreds of feet over water. We took the tube to the “edgy” part of town, as described by a local. It wasn’t any more or less nice, really, but there were a lot more black people here than before, and now I’m just thinking that person was racist. I was told the London Riots started in this part of town. We found a niche little bar that apparently was written about in the New York Times. Being hip I think is all about making being pooor look like a cool thing to do. The bar was a bookshelf with books in it, the tables were old desks, and the silverware container was a can for peppers or something; and none of this stuff was new, they were all old tables and bookshelves and cans of stuff. We wanted food but it was 7:30 and the kitchen was closed. In fact the bar and the entire block shut down at 8. I don’t know how they can make any money with those hours. In America you’d go out of business closing a bar at 8. On the tube I noticed British people all sort of have the same kind of nose that is kind of round on the end, like a ball, but this old old guy doing Sudoku had hair on his nose; like, like actual grey whiskers—more like bristles. It was so weird. I guess when you get old your hair gets bored and stops growing on your head, and instead finds other places to sprout. I had a drink at the bar and was testing my balance to compare how I felt vs. how I act after one drink. My balance is fine, but I needed to make sure I wasn’t seeing things either. My eyes are slower. We got dinner and shared 3 pitchers of some sort of fruity wine drink. I felt slow; like visually slow, but felt no change in mood or balance after 3 drinks. Whatever. I still don’t get the whole alcohol thing. Water’s better.

(discussed how people back home probably went to Europe and saw how many monuments there were and said we needed more art, and now it’s a law that you need art in public spaces or something.) (stupid)

On the tube someone said to me, “Seattle?” “yes, where are you from?” “Same.” “Nice.” I was wearing my UW shirt again. I asked him what he was here to see, and when I mentioned badminton he seemed uninterested. I figured he wasn’t looking for a conversation, but too bad buddy; it’s time to educate the public! I shared my thoughts on the 8 women’s doubles players being disqualified from the Olympics for trying to finish 2nd in their round robins, and some other passengers were intrigued, but I had to get off, and at the end of the day, badminton is just a silly sport.

Next Day>>

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