Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The United Kingdom (01/22/09)
TITLE: When You're Here
By Sunny Loomis
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You like fun and adventure, right? Isn’t that why you’re coming to the
UK? You’ll find plenty of both in London.
There are quite a few bed and breakfasts within walking distance from
Heathrow Airport. If you’re traveling in January, you will discover a
ready made refrigerator right outside the bedroom window. It’s a special
bonus when you come in the winter. It’s cold enough to stick a quart of
milk outside the window and keep it fresh. This has been proven.
Buying shoes in the UK can be quite an adventure in itself. Go to any
shoe store. Pick up an attractive shoe and hold it sole to sole with the
shoe you’re wearing. Does it look about the same size? Good. Now
take a gander at the UK size label. Size 38?? You knew you had big
feet, but really! And therein lies the fun. No fair asking for help from
a salesperson. The quest for your correct size begins.
Harrods. The name alone evokes wonderment, and you won’t be dis-
appointed. The store takes up an entire city block. Go with a friend if
you like. As you enter the door by the Food Court, your jaw is bound to
drop open automatically in amazement. Do not be alarmed at this
reaction. Your friend will more than likely tell you to close your mouth.
You have never seen a store this huge before. The glass food cases hold
every imaginable kind of food.
Get your week’s worth of walking done on the first floor of Harrods.
There is so much to see, it will take you two hours or more to find your
way back to the door you came in. Don’t feel bad if you never find the
elevator to the upper floors. It’s there somewhere. About the only afford-
able item will be a comb. But with that, you also get the Harrods green bag
with gold lettering. Absolutely free.
Crossing London streets can be a death-defying act. Please listen to me.
Have a person with you who lives there. Just to cross a street? Yes!
Anyone who wants to go it alone should be required to sign a waiver of
responsibility. And possibly provide a list of next of kin.
In the US, looking both ways before crossing streets is smart. Doing the
same in London could get you killed. You need to look four, maybe five,
times. Traffic comes at you from impossible directions, according to your
American mind. This is where your London friend comes in. When you
step into a London street, after looking both ways once, your friend will
grab your shoulder and literally jerk you backwards off your feet. You now
will owe your life to this person, as you realize a car just sped over the very
spot where you stood three seconds before. Your life may be spared several
times in this fashion during your visit.
You might still be able to feed the pigeons in Trafalgar Square. Buy a loaf of
bread, take it there, and enjoy an amazing fifteen minutes of pure bliss as
hundreds of pigeons descend on you for the chunks of bread you toss. Where
is the adventure in this? It’ll be just about fifteen minutes before the pigeons
start showing their “gratitude”. That’s what street cleaners are for. It’s a race
you have to win.
These are just a few of the fun adventures awaiting you when you decide to
travel to London. I don’t want to spoil all your fun. I’ll let you discover your
own memories. Happy travels!
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