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18 Responses to London advice?

  1. Laura K. February 28, 2005 at 7:20 am #

    ooh, london! what for? for business or pleasure?

    i can give you lots of advice. anything specific you want to know?

  2. Laura K. February 28, 2005 at 7:24 am #

    you may wonder why their sandwiches taste so good. you can buy almost any kind of sandwich to go in grocery stores/cafes/convenience stores. they are cut in half [diagonally] and put into these triangle containers. the reason they taste so good is because there is butter on them. don’t question it, just eat it.

    some sandwiches may contain something called “rocket” or “salad.” this just means it’s got lettuce on it.

    you may find some interesting flavors of sandwiches, like tandoori chicken or egg curry. go for it.

    in england, they say “tom-ah-toe”, not “tom-ay-toe.”

  3. Laura K. February 28, 2005 at 7:29 am #

    potato chips are called crisps over there, not chips. if you ask for chips, you’ll get french fries. the crisps come in all sorts of bizarre flavors, like lamb-&-mint and barbecue chicken. being vegetarian, i’ve never tried these, but people seem to like them. go for it.

    you may see something on a menu called a “jacket potato.” this is a baked potato with any number of toppings – beans, chicken, cheese, whatever you want. it’s a nice thing to have for lunch if you don’t want to spend a lot of money, but want something fast and easy.

    the Coca-Cola over there is stronger [higher caffeine] than it is here, so fair warning. also, there may be something on the label that says “made with pure vegetable oil.” don’t let that freak you out.

    if you want a Milky Way candy bar, buy a Mars bar over there. it’s the same thing.

  4. Laura K. February 28, 2005 at 7:44 am #

    also, be sure to have a good map before you go. i recommend the Streetwise series. London streets are notoriously confusing. any Chicago-like numbering system is non-existent, so most places will orient themselves around a particular Tube stop, and you get off at that stop and find it from there. you won’t be able to find anything by the street name/number. those are pretty much meaningless. i actually just wrote a research paper comparing the street layouts of Chicago and London – i’ll send it to you if you want to read it.

  5. Laura K. February 28, 2005 at 7:49 am #

    you MUST go to the Tate Modern. if there is only one art museum you go to on your trip [i assume you’ll go to more than one, though], this is the museum to see. it’s the best modern art museum i’ve ever been to. plan to spend an entire day there.

    runners-up are the Tate Britain [check out the Turner wing] and the National Gallery. the National Gallery has all the old stuff – it’s kind of like the Art Institute. it’s in front of Trafalgar Square, where all the pigeons land on people.

    if you have time, i also recommend the British Museum. it’s full of old [stolen] Egyptian artifacts.

    one museum i’ve never been to but always wanted to [i’ve only been to the gift shop] is the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. it’s the history of the Tube! how awesome is that! their gift shop is pretty great too, if you’re into mass-transit memorabilia, which i am.

  6. Matt Maldre February 28, 2005 at 7:51 am #

    Worried about not fitting in at London? Wish you could ditch your american accent for a hoity toity Londonesse accent? Here’s how. 1) Puker your lips but leave a little hole to speak through 2) speak in a high note and extend your words. Try it now! “Why hellooooooooo. I would like some fish and chiiiiiiiiiips pleeeeeese. Why thank yooooooooooou!”

  7. Laura K. February 28, 2005 at 9:30 am #

    i spent an afternoon at the Tate Modern, and only got to see about half of it. you won’t want to rush thru it either, you’ll want to have lots of time to explore.

    yes, Londoners do carry the A-Z book. i never had one, but it is quite popular.

    i had tea at tea time once. when i was in London in 1996, my study-abroad program set up a high tea for the students at the Waldorf. tea, cucumber sandwiches, clotted cream, scones, etc. good stuff, but i think it’s pretty pricey there!

    i developed my love for tea from my time in London. they have great tea there. however, if you are a coffee person, you can get great cappucinos there too. just do me a favor and avoid going to Starbucks! only the Americans go there.

    it costs more to eat in at a cafe than it does to get stuff to go. there is an “eat-in” charge.

    you must try some Indian food while you are there. it’s everywhere.

    takeout is called “takeaway.”

    no one likes Americans in London [or anywhere in Europe, for that matter]. tell people you are Canadian. tell them you are from Toronto. do not wear an outfit of jeans, gym shoes, sweatshirt, and baseball cap if you can help it. you might as well wrap yourself in an American flag. do not talk loudly on the Tube. one thing you will notice on the Tube and in the Tube stations is the relative silence. it’s kind of calming, actually.

    watch out for pickpockets.

  8. Laura K. February 28, 2005 at 9:39 am #

    one great thing about London is that it’s a very walkable city. it’s big, but you don’t really feel like it’s big, because it’s so easy to walk around. you can hit Kensington Gardens, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, National Gallery, St. Paul’s, Millennium Bridge, and the Tate Modern all in one walk. probably not all in one day, though.

  9. Tom Saaristo February 28, 2005 at 12:29 pm #

    What about Carnaby Street and Harrod’s for shopping? How about a drink at The Savoy Hotel?

  10. Tom Saaristo February 28, 2005 at 12:34 pm #

    Isn’t “rocket” the equivalent to the peppery-greens we call arugula? I always thougt we should call it rocket and not arugula, but now that I see rocket could mean “lettuce”, I’ll get off that call-to-action

  11. Laura K. February 28, 2005 at 12:53 pm #

    yes, even if you don’t buy anything there, Harrod’s is an experience in itself. there are about a million eateries in that place. i bought a Harrods box of matches, because that was all i could afford in the whole place at the time. it cost 10 pence.

    i think you’re right about rocket, tom. it’s probably more specific than just lettuce. i too agree that “rocket” is a fun name for it! not that “arugula” is boring.

  12. Laura K. April 3, 2005 at 7:11 am #

    how was the trip? what did you do? where did you go? post some pix!

  13. Matt Maldre April 3, 2005 at 9:05 am #


  14. Laura K. April 3, 2005 at 3:37 pm #

    did you eat rocket? did you eat mars bars? did you eat jacket potatoes? did you eat clotted cream? did you eat sandwiches with butter on them? did you eat courgettes? did you eat chips? or crisps? how about a slab of fried fish wrapped in a newspaper cone?

  15. Laura K. April 10, 2005 at 6:27 pm #

    hmm, where is erik? did he fall into the Thames?

  16. Laura K. April 14, 2005 at 3:59 pm #

    i want to hear about London.

  17. Tom Saaristo May 3, 2005 at 1:20 pm #

    The pictures are fantastic! Very cool! For those of you who don’t come to unlikelymoose through the home page, make sure you go there. You can link to the hundreds of pictures moose has posted. :^)

  18. Laura K. May 4, 2005 at 12:04 pm #

    great photos! how was the trip? did you make it to the Tate[s]?

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