After breakfast, we ran out of time to walk and visit the Cutty Sark. I really wanted to go. We then boarded the coach after checking out. We rode to Parliament and waited to get in.
Once inside I saw many works of art, mostly paintings and sculptures. Sir Andrew Bowdajin (Future Ryans says: Andrew Bowden, I believe) gave a speech on how England’s government works and what the future holds for our two countries. Questions were answered and we proceeded to present gifts. Bag lunches followed in Victoria Tower Park. NO CHICKEN! HURRAH!
We walked to the Tate Art Gallery. I’m not much for art, but the guide was able to keep my interest, though I was quite hot.
The coach took us to Simon Balle School. We played a social game on the way.
As we leave London, I must reflect on what I’ve seen. A city with prosperous businesses but crammed with poverty. Millions of shops, but people too poor to buy. Millions spent scrubbing buildings but litter lining the streets. A city with a death grip on heritage but pressing onward to the future. Mass transportation is widely used and plays outnumber movies.
My homestay people are: Liz, David, Nick, and Rachel Arnold. Nick is 14 and Rachel is 6. Pizza was served for dinner than Nick’s friend Jonathan with Nathan dropped by. I then took a shower. These folks know how to make a chap feel right at home.
Future Ryan says: Our London hotel was a hop skip and jump away from the Cutty Sark. We had to walk right past it to eat at the Meridian Cafe the other night. A bunch of us wanted to take a detour and spend more time at the ship, but we never got around to it.
The first thing I remember about Parliament was that it was the first non-airport place where I encountered a metal detector. The second thing I remember about Parliament was that the corridors were lined with artwork, a density far greater than at the Tate Gallery later that day. Andrew Bowden was the UK sponsor of the People to People program, and he spoke with us within that capacity. It felt so important to be in another nation’s legislature hall that I didn’t move a muscle the entire time. To this day, I’ve never been inside my own country’s legislative hall, despite living only 20-odd miles from it.
London was hit with a rare heat wave during my stay there. I wore a blazer to Parliemant, and for some stupid reason refused to take it off during the whole day, even after my fellow students had ditched theirs. This made me very overheated and uncomfortable all day, out in the 85 degree sun in a wool jacket. More than anything else, I thanked the Tate for its air conditioning!
Where on earth did I get this idea that London was riddled with poverty? In retrospect, it wasn’t much worse than I’ve since seen in New York or Washington.
The Arnold family lived in Hertford, a suburb north of London. They hosted me for almost a week. Hey, Arnold family! Whatever became of you? Find me on FaceBook!