A short trip to London
I visited London when I was 5 years old and besides the photos taken there, I can’t recall anything else. Maybe I can vaguely recall my mom screaming at me in Chinatown because I refused to eat the expensive noodles she ordered (1 GBP was RM7?? – back then). That was about it.
When I heard about the news that I will be going to London, I was totally excited but scared at the same time. Eventually, everything turned out well.
First impression on London – The airport (Heathrow) is ugly. Well, KLIA is actually quite beautiful!
Second thought – I hate the Tube! It’s what they call the subways in London. The Tube is always wayyyy down the ground, perhaps 2-4 floors below ground! I kept thinking, what if there’s bomb?? I will be trapped…..6 feet under. Hmpf!
I was staying in Chiswick (pronounced as chi-sik) and it takes about 35 minutes to reach the city centre (Picadilly, Oxford street). It was the Screw-the-sight-seeing-and-concentrate-on-shopping trip! I have never swiped my credit card so many times in a day or in fact, in my life!! It was also a self promise that I will never do any more shopping after this trip!
Well, shopping is really good in London. The sales are from 50% till 75%. Even after conversion to RM, it’s quite cheap. Say, Jusco price for good quality stuff.
After a few days in London, I can’t help it to compare Malaysian, London and Germany.
It may be crazy but I can very much relate Malaysia to London. Malaysians are everywhere in London. Our presence is even made in supermarkets as they offer microwaved Malaysian food!! You get the same brands/ items in London like Tesco, Ribena (I have a bottleeee in my fridge!!!), Proton Wira (no joke!), etc. Chinese food or Malaysian food is so easily found. Authentic food I mean. Typical chinese bakery is also available! I was literally so excited. It was obvious that I was deprived. I was “screaming” when I saw Chinatown, like it was heaven. I felt very happy when I tasted good Malaysian food – though some maybe pricey. I felt so excited when I saw Malay mixed rice (‘chap fan’)! 3 dishes and rice costs 5.40 GBP! Like – WOAHHHHHHH!!! :D
In Germany, there’s hard bread with salami, hard bread with sausage, hard bread with egg & cheese, hard bread with curry chicken (tastes like honey-curry-mix chicken) hard bread with…..you get the drill.
I laughed when people cross the road even though the pedestrian crossing light was red! It’s so Malaysian! In Germany, one is expected to wait till the it’s green – even if there is no car, I mean, even if it’s an empty road. I kid you not. Once I was in a good mood, I waited just like the others and one of the guy eventually crossed the road because the road was EMPTY! So it was me and an old man, facing each other. We both waited. As the light signaled green, we walked passed each other and he smiled while saying – Sicher ist sicher! (Just to be careful!) On another case when I was rushing, I was scolded by a policeman for crossing the road when the light was still red. He snapped on me – “What’s the problem now? The light is still red, right??” What a freak…
I learned some new words in London though, pronunciations to be exact. Like Quay, it’s pronounced as “key”. Leicester is pronounced as “Lester”.
The locals are extremely nice, friendly and helpful. It’s just so easy to strike up a conversation or to get help. And I thought English peeps are snobs? MMmmm…
Let me end this post with the name of restaurants to visit – for Malaysians.
1. Bayswater or Chinatown for Roasted duck, pork, chicken rice @ Four Season.
2. Chinatown for Hor fun, Yee mee, Nasi lemak, Typical dishes at “dai chau”, etc @ Kopitiam
3. Portobello St. for malay mixed rice (ayam kicap, ayam masak merah, ikan asam pedas, etc), kuih muih @ Makan
4. Rupert St, near Picadilly Circus for superb Bubble tea @ Bubbleology (Try Taro. YUMS)
5. Edgware road for Malaysian food (spicy). Expect to spend about 35GBP+++ (small portion, taste not bad) @ Melur.
6. Baker St. for Chinese food or Dim sum (did not try though) @ Royal China. Note: It’s not Royal China Club.
7. Rupert Court, Chinatown for similar stuff in Kopitiam but I dislike the service here (no service) @ C&R
My tip, stay away from places like Awana. To be honest, food tastes really good but it’s an expensive Restaurant. 50GBP for a meal. Plus 1 Pound if you want to Fight for Hunger (charity) – bleh! The 1 pound was conveniently added to the bill. Hmpf!
Damage done during the trip? I-have-no-idea. I do not want to know. *hides face*