This morning came a little too fast after a late night last night in the flat, but Annie and I remedied that with large coffees this morning. We started off doing a walking street art tour all throughout London, which was very cool. The tour guide does street art and he showed us one of his pieces. The art is sometimes graffiti, tags or murals. Some are illegal and some are commissioned. He said that sometimes artists will dress up like they are cleaning up the graffiti, only to paint over it with their stuff. Tagging, painting your pseudonym, on someone’s work is really disrespectful unless it’s in the negative space. Then it is considered as like a nod of respect, like they approve of the work. It made me think of graffiti differently. A lot of it was really beautiful in a messy and illegal way.
After the tour we went to Borough Market for lunch, which was by our next stop. I had a turkey burger and a giant cookie. The place was really crowded, but it was a cute market with all kinds of food. The woman who I got my burger from asked me why Americans don’t really like mayo. I like mayo, but not a ton of it. I didn’t think much of it until I got a specialty hot dog tonight at the Udderbelly and he asked if I wanted mayo on it. Um, no. No I don’t.
We still had some time to kill after lunch, so we went to a pub and enjoyed some sunshine and cider before going to the Shard to visit Al Jazeera. The Shard is owned by Qatar and is very nice. Very very nice. All the receptionists were beautiful and wore the same dress and we couldn’t take pictures of anything in the lobby–even though they were just white walls. The man that talked to us does his own segment on Al Jazeera. He was from Canada, but had lived in NYC before London. He was very interesting to say the least. He was very opinionated about Americans and actually provided some really good insight about our culture from an outsider’s perspective. Let’s just say we respect authority too much and are all German. He asked our last names and mine, being Hoehner, was called out as the example that all Americans are majorly German. My blonde hair and blue eyes didn’t discount his point. Apparently German ancestry is the most common in Americans.
When we left the office, we hopped on a bus to go to the London Eye. Our class had our own little pod and we got to walk right in. That’s the way to do anything where there is a line. Go with a group and you bypass everyone. Anyways, we were in the eye for about 30 minutes. It was a beautiful perspective of London. You could see the hills of rural England in the not-so-far distance and there were even rain clouds around and you could see where it was raining. Annie and I laugh that for every building there are 10 cranes. London is under major construction and scaffolding is everywhere. We saw a lot of cranes on the eye.
Once we were safely back on the ground (I hate ferris wheels), we went back to the Udderbelly for dinner and drinks. We had a good laugh, but we always do. Tonight was more crowded when we were there last. Word must have gotten out that that was the place to go because of my blogs. Obviously. We thought it was starting to rain, so we ran out (but got fro-yo first) to find our way back to the flat. I was so full and almost passed out on the bus, but we still had to walk back after the bus. Emma was awesome and navigated the entire way. I had no idea where we were, but Derrick and I started lagging behind and had to run across the street to meet back with our people. We didn’t look left and almost got hit by a motorcycle. It was really funny, but I imagine it wouldn’t have if we had been about 5 seconds later.
We got back to the room and just collapsed on the couches in food and exhaustion comas. I’m about to fall asleep, so that was today. It was long and fun.
Tie between the art tour and the Udderbelly
Heated discussions after Al Jazeera