Sunday, December 30, 2012


The Victorian houses somewhere along Elmer's End Road, Penge, London.
 For eleven days now, I've been feasting my eyes on these old yet lovely buildings around Greater London.  Some of these houses have a year engraved on it's front wall and it says 1840, 1885, 1898, etc...  As a visitor, who grew up in the Philippines and have lived in Australia for six years now, these century-old historic houses seem to be gracefully and humbly displaying its inherent beauty to me despite the gloominess that have been pervading throughout London since my arrival last week.

The houses somewhere in Beckenham, London.
These houses were built in terraces and usually a mirror image of the structure next to it.  The walls are made of bricks (some have been covered with modern building materials, most are not) with sash windows having large glass panes and it's crowned with moss-covered slate roofing.  I am actually typing this blog post inside one of these houses and it has magically taken me straight to Privet Drive where Harry Potter once lived.

The buses on London Bridge.

I have also attended some Christmas parties and was also invited to a dinner which gave me an opportunity to enter some of these antique structures, it was then that I realised that these houses are relatively small, and even those 'bigger' houses that the locals would refer to are still relatively cramped (compared to most accommodations that I've seen in Australia).  These terraced houses have stairs with a small cupboard under it- these have instantly brought JK Rowling's description of Harry's room at the Dursley's to life! the city of Westminster, London.

Aside from the huge Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd's Bush, most of the things that I've seen in London reveal how limited the spaces are in this city!  London is big, but I have seen how this humming city has struggled to consistently meet its inadequacies... King's Cross St. Pancras station.

They've carved the ground to create massive tunnels and railways so several lines of trains in six different travel zones can take thousands of passengers to their destination.  The King's Cross, Waterloo, Victoria and London Bridge stations are always very busy- two to four escalators are moving up and down to take the rushing passengers to the underground platforms or to their way out of the station.  Twice, I stood still and stayed motionless for two minutes and I observed how everybody (clothed in their dark, thick and furry coats or sweaters) moved in a hurry to catch the trains; they'd dash through the electronic card-controlled entrances and exits of the stations and would run up or down the escalators.  Inside the slithering trains or trams, some passengers (who had obviously just knocked off from work) read books, watch movies on their phone while the other hand was on the overhead handles... I've seen one eating a cupcake, and a lot of them were evidently tired and sleeping. Heathrow Airport.

Most of these London red buses are double-decked, probably to accommodate thousands of daily commuters around the city.

The tables are narrow and the chairs are slim in McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants or even in the pubs- honestly, I nearly had a muscle cramp because of the limited leg room there.

Space is not enough, time is not enough!  

The escalators at London Bridge station leading to the underground platforms.

They have a full-time job but most of the people I've met would get a part-time job to subsidize their bills or transport cost.  The value of a pound sterling is definitely higher than an Australian dollar and much more than a Philippine peso but I have this impression that their wages are not enough.

I still have more than six weeks to explore this place, and I can't wait to see what's in store for me. Leicester Square, near Charing Cross station.



Fjordan Allego said...

I envy you for this post. Pakiramdam ko, same way tayo ng view kung ako yung nasa London ngayon at nag-o-obserba. Gusto ko ring makarating dyan. Siguro kapag mayaman na ako. Hahaha!

Enjoy your stay there! Ingat! :)

RJ said...

Kahit na hindi ka pa mayaman pwede ka namang mamasyal dito.

Happy New Year sa 'yo!

bertN said...

How's their fish and chips compared to Australia's? Glad you're having a super holiday there. Happy New Year!

RJ said...

I haven't tried it yet. Marami pa po kasing parties at dinner invitations. But I am planning to try it soon.

Tinikman ko na po angnsausage rolls nila, mga tatlong brands na po, so far mas masarap pa rin ang sa Australia.

A prosperous and healthy 2013 po sa inyo!