2005.01.06 - 2005.01.09 M bought and planned a trip for us to a secret location. It turned out to be London. We got there by a Ryan Air flight from Skavsta airport. I like flying, especially the acceleration during take-off. Without any money to spend else than on entrance fees and food and with only four days to stay we visited a small selection of sights:
- The London Dungeons - Horror -or rather splatter- kitsch, not much more to say.
- The British Museum - Damn, I mixed it up with the British Museum of Natural History, so I looked for new plastic dinosaurs for my collection in vain. However, we went scouting for curiosities amongst mummies and such. We did find the portrait of the horned lady.
- Hamley's (toy store) - five (or was it six?) floors with toys of all kinds, looking at all that kitsch, tank-comic-car-scifi-models and colours gives a greater artistic experience than any gallery.
- Tate Modern - Here I bought the only souvenir on the trip, a small book called "Cut it out" (Banksy), such things I found in that one makes me happy.
- London Zoo - Animals also makes me happy, I guess it's the predator in me. We were quite disappointed when we soon discovered that this was the wrong season to visit - almost all outdoor animals were hiding in their lairs. I did manage to bring forth some of them using the universal call though.
They really should have a lower entrance fee during the low season.
- Forbidden Planet (book store) - I was near tears in here. Signed books by China Mieville and Iain M. Banks, almost all books by Richard Calder (read Impakto, it's one of the greatest books ever written.) All films by Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away is probably THE artwork I've found outside my own sphere which depicts my homeworld most accurate.).
And I had not one pound to spend. I felt betrayed. This is kept from me back home; censorship as good as any. Here I stood at the spear point of human thinking, knowing that I soon had to travel to a cold totally fucked up place far up north - my home, where no one neither respect nor really know about this kind of culture. Were my future lies in barely surviving taking shitty jobs perverting my talents; bending them to suit the will of lesser beings. After that insight it was hard for both me and M (who is a writer) to keep the spirit high for the rest of the trip.
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|Cars: Rarely any SUVs, sports cars instead. Very few cars older than 10 years.||Many SUVs (No wonder considering the condition of the roads). Quite a few rusty wrecks.|
|Spending money: Quite common that people in stores and restaurants try to trick you into paying too much. Did we look that naive?||That won't happen, unless you're out to buy a cell phone or a car. Here they steal your money with nonsense fees such as invoice fees (faktureringsavgifter, IOW; payment fee) and taxes on taxes.|
|Shops: Simpler medical drugs and liquor in ordinary stores.||Won't be. Since you'll never be considered as an responsible adult person in Sweden you can't buy grown-up stuff such as wine or headache-pills in the supermarket. You have to go to to special stores for that; the basically state controlled "Apoteket" and "Systembolaget". |
|Lots of work opportunities, stores even put up "staff wanted" signs in their windows.||That won't happen here either. The last job I got I had to compete with 400 other applicants. If a store would advertise their job opportunities in their front window they would have nothing else to do than to deal with applicants.|