London Underground And The Madness of Oxford Street

I might as well leave it at that. I do not think that this subject requires any more analysis.

I arrived London wearing a dress, thinking it was summer. Well technically it is, only it is quite chilly and alas my dress failed me. I found a store as quickly as I could and purchased a few odds and ends to keep me warm. I knew there was a reason I seemed to gravitate more towards countries in the Mediterranean. Last night, I was in a really light mood, and my sister and I were having a laugh and being silly. We were checking off a few reasons why we may or may never come back to London (Heathrow and Victoria Coach station are excluded) and the UK generally really.

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1. One ride on the tube costs more than it costs me to fuel my car for a week. It is an expensive place, and the pound is strong isn’t it?
2. There are cameras everywhere. No peeing in the street. Or is there??
3. Oxford street has too many people on it, it feels like a scene from the Apocalypse.
4. I can never find my way around the city and end up walking miles and miles until my bones creak (hey I have improved my Map reading skills).
5. There is too much bread eaten here; everything is wrapped in bread. Nothing is spicy.
6. For some reason, people always step on my feet in the underground rush and nobody ever says sorry.
7. The folks at some local radio station are very happy to talk about all the mugging and murdering going on in London (am not joking, I have to find the name, not sure why this reception is constantly tuned to it). It’s pretty scary.
8. Too many homeless people, I wonder if there are programs to deal with the issues.
9. The city is incredibly diverse and I have heard more languages on the bus than in any other country
10. I can photograph anything and anybody, nobody cares really, nobody has attempted to take my camera and smash it.
11. Street food is amazing and costs only GBP5 for chinese, and indian and whatever else you fancy really.
12. There is a lot of culture, and a lot of effort has gone into preserving this.
13. People seem quite aware of the issues plaguing our world, lots of protests going on around the city. One could go to one protest per day. The police does not turn water on the protesters
14. The universities are great in London and have an amazing array of books and research facilities.
15. Everyone back home gives you a list of stuff to buy for them without money, because they assume that you pick gold off the streets and buy stuff.

In all, this seems like a really great city for anyone interested in International Development, I have seen loads of offices from DFID, to VSO, to Save the Children, and met quite a few development people here. So much work is done in the field by these NGOs and their engine rooms are in this city.
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I am off to take in a bit of culture today; Madam Tussaud’s, the London Eye, a show at the West End. Will put up pictures tomorrow. By the way; my photography course is yielding some excellent pictures (the pictures here are all mine) which I shall share soon enough.

Omne Bonum Veniat!


  1. moi

    good ol London huh 🙂

    1. Tube prices are silly, when I worked 😦 my train fare went up by £50 because I needed the tube for 4 stops, robbery.

    2.Ii think London has the highest concentration of CCTV in the world, there s peeing in the streets from the smell of some of them, I don’t think they have the staff to keep a check on all the cameras.

    3. That place is Chaos, they need one pavement side heading one way and the other pavement side heading the other.

    4. Can’t help you there :).

    5. There are lots of sandwich bars, I wouldn’t trust the food in the street vendor.

    6. The underground is a nightmare, i think the only worst place in the world is japan (ive seen pictures).

    7. It’s a day to day thing here, not news for long before another life is snuffed out, they all seem to be younger than 20.

    8. There is supposed to be, centrepoint is a place in London, I am sure there are others, not sure how effective it is.

    9. I rarely hear English spoken when I travelled to and from work.

    10. you can until you get near certain places/buildings, then it will be like Bourne Identity.

    11. be careful where you buy, that is all I’ll say.

    12. not much I can add to that lol.

    13. Generally the Police don’t beat up our protestors, not until the protestors turn violent anyway.

    14. Never went Uni, i have no idea.

    15. lol, yeah the money grows on trees in the parks here. It is why London is such a beautiful , clean town… not.

    Pity I have no dough, your are only about 45 minutes from me, i’d have popped up and said hello, as it is I am skint though, enjoy your show etc. If you like Thai Food, try Thai Square, there is one close to the Lyacium where the Lion King is playing, they do a few spicy dishes in there.

    1. Anne Chia

      Thanks, It would have been great to meet you and try that Thai Food. But am sure there will be other times in the future, the skint period shouldn’t last too long. I wish I had checked in yesterday with your warning on street food 🙂 I had some spicy food out by the water in Camden, and now am paying for it

  2. Mary Okeke reviews

    LMAO@13 where I live.. Spain.. the police can sometimes be violent to the protesters. Have a nice time. And yeah this summer gonna be the coldest ever…. It’s not even that hot here.. normally it use to be.. you know, the Mediterranean coast!

    1. Anne Chia

      Thanks Mary, I have had a great time so far. Today wasn’t as cold, so am thankful for that. Spain is on my bucket list; all those old cathedrals and good looking paella cooking men, what’s not to like? 🙂

  3. anthonybozzolakathabozz

    I take it your in Central London then? Yeah that place is a s*it hole in the worst way, tall buildings, rude people, drivers who seem to be either wearing blind folds, are colour blind or just genuinly do like the idea of smearing a person’s fleshy vessal on the bonnet of their vehicle and from what I’ve heard some extortionate prices. Me and my cousin were their in November and we actually bought a day-long Underground pass for like £4.70 but it was only for the first zone or two so no idea how it goes up from their. Just generally don’t like the whole vibe of the place though and is it just me or does it always feel like everybody’s looking down their nose at you?

    Other places in London are mean’t to be really nice though as it goes and quite affordable, ie Crystal palace, Watford etc and we kept it quite cheap by eating at the chains but as a tourist it ain’t the chains that you go their for is it? 😛 . Hope you have a good time though and enjoy the show! Good post too!

    1. Anne Chia

      LMAO @ “and is it just me or does it always feel like everybody’s looking down their nose at you”. I honestly haven’t felt that way generally, except when a friend dragged me into an upscale bar in Soho. Woah, those waiters (particularly the female ones) gave me a once over. I don’t think my cheap synthetic back-pack and my dreadlocks sat very well with them. I supposed they are used to Gucci handbag carrying, straight-haired women who look perfectly coiffured and leave them huge tips heheheehe.

      1. anthonybozzolakathabozz

        Soho is next level isn’t it!? Took a gander their and to be fair the shops were amazing (but unaffordable) and the woman were the most genetically perfect homo sapians I have ever laid eyes on (but again, probably unaffordable). Braids and dreads are cool though! You in UK for business or pleasure? Theirs a place called Brighton near the sea and not far from London that I would wholeheartedly recommend, very bustling city but still really pretty and clean and the people are amazing.

  4. Anne Chia

    Thanks for recommending Brighton, I am now in Istanbul, my UK visit is over, it was really for pleasure. I stopped at Hertz which wasn’t far at all from London, friend of mine got married there yesterday. I have put Brighton down on my “next UK visit” list.

  5. Seyi sandra

    Sweet Anne, I’m glad you love London, and the points you listed are so true, I’ve lived in London for almost a decade and can’t imagine living anywhere else again. Hope you’ll still come back and when you do, give me a shout. We could meet up over a cup of coffee!
    🙂 🙂

    1. Anne Chia

      10 years? You’ll probably be really impatient at any slower pace, with any less culture! London has its merits for sure. I’ll definitely hold you to that cup of coffee. Who knows, it may be sooner that we thought. Although it will have to be hot chocolate for me 🙂

      1. Seyi sandra

        You bet I am, I used to be a country girl, didn’t know when I changed. Though we might move to the countryside soon, my son is going to secondary sch, and we’re kind of scared of the ‘gang thing!’ The weather is extremely hot now! (didn’t like, I’m used to the cold) it would be lovely to have you around! 🙂

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