Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lines of London

Staring out my dorm window I can’t help but smile and be thankful at how incredibly lucky I am. From here I can see almost the whole of London; Westminster and Big Ben softly glow yellow next to the white arc of the London Eye. The city skyline looks surreal. It’s an incredible mix of old gothic style cathedrals reaching past the red chimney lined houses with the occasional sky scraper that could have been plucked directly out of New York City itself. Looking at the skyline it’s clear to me why writers, musicians or really anyone looking to discover something have always flocked to this city.

Walking around the city today I encountered the most unfortunate of lines, the tourist-attraction waiting lines. Perhaps the most cliché and in my opinion most boring of these attractions, was the changing of the guard. A rather pompous unnecessarily ostentatious event where tourists stand for about an hour to watch a group of men dressed like little toy soldiers march into the gates of Buckingham place, play some music and switch positions.

My classmates and I got to the music part till we were about ready to march out of there ourselves. Unfortunately, the British police had other plans and informed us that we could not leave because the queen was behind us. As we all turned sure enough a black car drove by with the queen sitting in the back seat. Unbelievable! I’m in this country only 48 hours and I already got a glimpse of the queen driving by, meanwhile its been 20 years without even the slightest look at the president. I guess that’s just how it works. I equivalate it to seeing a shark the first time you scuba drive. Queen, shark both rare and utterly shocking when seen up close.

We really have that British officer to thank for making us wait to cross that line to leave. If he hadn’t, we would have never seen the queen. So maybe it really isn’t that bad waiting in those tourist lines after all. I’ll continue to think about it as I sit back, and look out the window at my favorite line of them all.

1 comment:

  1. I love the way you weave your personality and thoughts into the story. It's exactly what you should be doing. This type of writing is boring, if it acts as just a review of a place or thing. Travel writing relies on YOU to tell us why it's important, and what it means. You give us (and your story) context. You seem to do it naturally and effortlessly. Very solid job.