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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The United Kingdom (01/22/09)

TITLE: When You're Here
By Sunny Loomis


When Youíre Here

You like fun and adventure, right? Isnít that why youíre coming to the
UK? Youíll find plenty of both in London.

There are quite a few bed and breakfasts within walking distance from
Heathrow Airport. If youíre traveling in January, you will discover a
ready made refrigerator right outside the bedroom window. Itís a special
bonus when you come in the winter. Itís 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 youíre 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 wonít 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 weekís 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. Donít feel bad if you never find the
elevator to the upper floors. Itís 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? Itíll be just about fifteen minutes before the pigeons
start showing their ďgratitudeĒ. Thatís what street cleaners are for. Itís 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 donít want to spoil all your fun. Iíll let you discover your
own memories. Happy travels!

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This article has been read 943 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 01/29/09
WOW! What vivid descriptions here! It seems like you have been to the UK, just in reading this, I felt as if I were going through Harrod's with you and looking for the green bag with gold lettering. Neat job! ^_^
Karlene Jacobsen01/31/09
I should copy this and save it for future reference, make friends in London now so that base will be covered, and well...

I enjoyed this, it was informative yet witty.
Yvonne Blake 02/04/09
Ha, ha! This is great! It sounds like you've learned all this from experience. I'd like to hear more. I thought for sure, you'd mention driving in London...that can be in the revised edition!
Deborah Porter 02/05/09
Just wanted to leave a quick note to let you know your entry "When You're Here," actually did very well in the United Kingdom Challenge. Although you didn't receive an award, you ranked 10th in Level 1. Well done.

If you'd like to check the highest rankings for yourself, you can find them here:

The highest rankings are posted every Thursday evening on the Message Boards.

You definitely deserve a pat on the back. Well done. With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)
Joanne Sher 02/06/09
So clever - love the voice, dear Sunny! So "you."
Dee Yoder 02/06/09
Oh yes...this is definitely "you"! I would guess these are tips from your own experiences in London. Funny...it sounds nearly identical to my experiences in Paris...especially the street crossing thing-yikes! Must be the way those Europeans live-lol. Love this and the tongue-cheek-attitude through-out. You will write more, eh?
Barbara Thompson Young04/01/09
This is wonderful, wonderful! I've always wanted to go to the Uk. You have certainly sparked my desire, anew! Yes, I am a weird one. Blessings!
BILL HUNT04/28/09
When You're Here could convince someone to come to London. US PBS TV is running several documentaries on the Royal Family, so at least we get to see you in these. Thanks for sharing your words.
-- Bill
veronica cressey 05/21/09
Thank you for your comment on my article-
About London, I am happy to say I spent most of my teenage years there, and I appreciate you did not exaggerate crossing roads!

However, that was before I went to Japan!Or even Sydney, Australia.
Nevertheless, we are both survivors and thankfully able to write of our experiences.

Thank you so much for your article.


Gerry Bloemendaal09/25/09
Great read.

I come from Holland, live in Australia now, but have never been in London, reading your tale makes me want to go there even less. To cold and to busy for me, though I'm used to left handed traffic.

I love the blue white beaches of Australia, got one just down the road, and the Temperature in January, where I am, averaging about 25 Celsius - does that make your mouth water?

Carol Penhorwood 10/28/09
Absolutely enjoyable!! I thought you were from UK until I read the other "Comments"!