This was our final day in London England, and we decided to hang around Shoreditch with our friend Kate. It was proper English weather, and by that, terribly cold and raining. Like proper rain. It made everything damp, including our spirits. We checked out of the Ibis Budget Whitechapel which served its purpose, a cheap hotel in London. The area’s not amazing, in the sense that there’s not that much to see in Whitechapel, but it was safe enough, and close on the tube to places like the London Eye, so I had no complaints.
We caught the overground train to Shoreditch High Street, and met up with our friend Kate, as we dried off in her flat. The rain was coming down, Kathryn’s open handbag wasn’t designed for these conditions, so we re-grouped, and then checked out the Old Spitalfields Market, a big covered market in Shoreditch. London is the largest city in Europe with 8.3 million people, and you can truly tell. There are people everywhere, and this market was no exception.
Now I know it sounds a little silly to say, you came to the largest city in Europe, and you were surprised at how people were there, and it’s true. Every market, every street, has all been bustling, full of people, which depending on your love of people, is either awesome for people watching, or annoying to actually do shopping, or see things.
The markets were really interesting, with lots of fashion, and collectable type items, and a few food stalls too. Kathryn and Kate bought apple doughnuts, and turns out, one of Kathryn’s favourite YouTube celebrities was also at those markets, so Kathryn could have met someone nearly famous!
We then walked through Brick Lane, aka. Bangatown, famous for lots of curry houses. These shops all have men standing outside them, who beckon you to come inside, as they prepare a special meal at a special price for you. However, when it’s freezing cold and rainy, their charm and allure seemed to fizzle, and just came across as a bit annoying. Still, in more pleasant weather I could imagine having an authentic meal here would actually be really enjoyable.
It’s interesting how weather really changes your experience of a place. I feel for all those poor people who come to Wellington when it’s windy and cold and raining, and think, I hate this place, and why does anyone ever live here? Because they don’t get to see that rare sunny still day, where people swim at Oriental Bay, everyone’s in the sun having coffee, and you think, why would you live anywhere else?
We then had a Sunday Roast at The Old George in Bethnal Green, which was lovely, and caught up with my dear friend of 23 years, Phil. It’s funny how you might not have seen each other in a couple of years, but it’s still easy going to have a conversation and catch up.
We then headed to Stratford Station, where in our hurry to catch the train in the minute we had available, we actually caught the wrong train. Compared to the Japanese rail system, the British rail system was quite a bit more confusing for us. This resulted in us hanging out in a relatively empty train station in the middle of nowhere for an hour, something that made Kathryn displeased.
However, we then caught the correct train, and was on board the ferry bound for Holland.