A little bit of insight to London; art, bars, cafes, clubs, restaurants, and other things to do in this wonderful multicultural city.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Public Transport in London

 I don't think there's been one single day in London that I haven't taken the Underground, or the Overground, or the DLR. The public transport in London is very advanced for such a big city. It links  the extremities of the city to the center without causing too much disruption on the streets.
The underground is one of the best things London has, you travel without traffic, without getting rained on. Occasionally it gets really crowded, for example never take the central line around 6pm on a week day, you will be crushed. Another recommendation do not walk up the stairs at Covent Garden unless you want to pass out half way up. No matter how much you're in a hurry taking those stairs is never worth it. 
The biggest flaw of the underground is that it closes at midnight. This means when you're out at night you have to take a bus or a cab. 
It took me a very long time to get used to taking the bus, especially fully understanding which routes could take me home from different locations. I still write down what Google maps suggests when I go somewhere new. I am lucky though, I have a bus that goes from Oxford Circus to my house. I've never gone to west London by bus so i don't know how well linked it is, and I tend to not go out in Camden because I don't know how to get home.
I hate the train systems that bring you to the airports. I've had to go to Stansted and Friday I'm going to Gatwick, i usually fly to London City Airport so I really hate going to airports with the tube and trains, I feel like the tube should go to all the airports. I just don't particularly like big train stations because there aren't always all the labels showing where to get which train. The streets in London are also like this, when I first got here I didn't know my way around but it didn't help  that none of the roads are labelled.
Here I've attached a map of the underground with labels of special things at each location. 

Monday, 18 March 2013

Comic Relief, giving back.

The English are obsessed with the concept of giving back. It seems to clear their conscience in some way.
Anyway, on Friday night I watched the first 3 hours of the comic relief show. I didn't understand most of the gags, but there were some scenes that were really hilarious.
I would have like to see them actually shaving Jessie J's head, but you can't have everything in life. I hated the parts where the showed one direction in Africa, I thought that was almost them making fun of the situation. There was one slightly older woman who spoke about what she saw in Africa, and she spoke so well I think she touched many of us.
I enjoyed seeing how much silly little activities could raise so much money and awareness. Even teachers dressed up as whoopie cushions could raise an insane amount of awareness. The red nose idea is so cute too, it makes people of every age take part. I wish giving back to the community was part of our daily, or even weekly life.
I try to lend a hand when I can, because I know I am a lot more fortunate than many others. My family used to support an orphan in eastern Europe, and every year we send money to the woman that looked after me after i was born. She currently lives in the Philippines with 2 children and her husband. They used to own a shop but it got taken away because they were in debt to someone. She has serious heart problems and with the money we send her she is able to support her family as well as pay for her doctor.
Overall, if we are able to live happily we should try and help others to do so as well. Remember, you don't actually know how much you're helping and now much they need you.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

What is a foodie?

To me a  a foodie is a person that enjoys all types of food, but also all qualities of food. We relate the price of food to the taste of it. So we understand that cheap food can't taste as good as expensive food, but you can also find a lot of very high quality food at reasonable prices especially in a place like London.

One of my possible backup careers is "food critic". I love food that much. A lot of my favourite food is food people learn to love because its an acquired taste. I also love certain really plain dishes, especially when the ingredients are fresh.

I will always appreciate a plate of spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce and fresh basil. If you've ever seen the film "eat, pray, love", the scene where Julia Roberts goes to Italy and starts eating real Italian food, that is the kind of pasta I would kill for.
Having lived in Luxembourg I also enjoy French cuisine. I've got a weak spot for "foie gras". Let me explain, it is processed duck liver or goose liver. It sounds disgusting, but it is one of my favourite foods. To eat foie gras you need to have the right bread, generally, it is brioche bread, which you slice and heat in the oven. You then spread a thick layer of foie gras over one slide of the bread, be careful when you do this, cause most of the time the bread cracks into smaller bits.
In France there is a similar food called "pate". The difference between foie gras and pate is that pate is any processed meat that is made into a paste, foie gras is a type of pate specifically made of duke or goose liver. Unfortunately the method for making foie gras is very inhumane. The farmer force feeds the geese and ducks until the explode, practically.

I'd like to think that I am open to eating any type of food. I have yet to try snails, fried mars bars, and several other dishes. If you have any suggestions of food I should try, let me know!