Photos at bottom
London: First days
Getting adjusted to the change in time zones was not as easy as I had thought. I had slept on the plane, so I didn’t go sleep till later on in the day. Also, the sun rises at about 7 and sets at about 9, meaning my eyes wouldn’t be a good judge of when I should be sleeping, much less of when I wanted to sleep.
The main street around here (Deptford High Street) is lined with shops, restaurants, salons, and even a train station. A few days week, the road is blocked to vehicular traffic, and street vendors are allowed to set up shop on both sides near the sidewalks. I’ve seen everything being sold. I’ve never seen fish and meat sold out in the open before, laid on ice probably far away from the original slaughterhouse or fishing grounds. One of the first thing I noticed, both inside and outside shops, was that eggs aren’t sold from refrigerated racks like in America, and are sometimes plastic-wrapped and usually kept at room temperature on shelves. Even when the locals buy eggs, they keep them at room temperature. It has to be safe, I suppose, but I can’t understand why one environment would be mandated if the other is perfectly fine. I’ll have to do my research! Also, there will be more interesting British oddities ahead!
So far I’ve been able to visit the local parish church of Church of England, St. Paul’s. It’s a stunning piece of architecture with a cemetery enveloped in rose bushes. The plaque near the door counsels visitors of the traditionalist Anglican (Episcopalian) belief that their church is a part of the One, Holy, Catholic Church mentioned in the Nicene Creed. Its claim to apostolic succession was argued against those Christian churches that deny any validity in their priestly orders (If you haven’t guessed, theology is one of my many loved subjects). It was really odd seeing that plaque as the first thing in the church.
Buildings in the city blend their older foundations (usually made from durable brick) with new modern one. Below, you can see a few quick shots of Deptford Station and the renovations they are making as a part of a national overhaul. The oldness of the city also makes uniformity impossible. The variance in colors, building material, and size make the place even more interesting. Returning to my hostel one evening, I was surprised to see that a part of Deptford High Street had been transformed into a movie set. One definitely doesn’t see that every day!
I don’t know why I took a picture of the sugar dish, but the large spout attached and talk of construction workers descending on the restaurant I ate lunch at for midday tea are probably hints that the discovery of many quirky customs awaits me!
More to come…
- Crossing the street in London
- Using public transportation in England.