London – day 1

We had a brief stopover in Bangkok en route to London. We landed at Heathrow Airport. Unfortunately it was at the old terminal, which was fully showing its age. The red carpet we stood on was so worn out, that in some areas the underlying white threads were showing. The airport staff was as brusque as I last remembered them, telling off my sister for not standing exactly in single file.
As always, London is a melting pot of different cultures, and standing in the queue of what I call ‘the Others’ (i.e. those who are not UK/European Union citizens) made me realise this all the more. At a glance, there were Middle Eastern women hooded in black; many Indian women in saris or Punjabi suits, many Indian men in modern business suits, some Africans and mainland Chinese. Presumably we were all here for a holiday, to visit family or friends, or to find a better future for ourselves.
We quickly caught a London cab and had a good chat with our silver-haired driver. He told us that 3 months ago, Lewis Hamilton sat in his cab, and yesterday, he took Sharon Stone to the airport as she was returning to Los Angeles. He said both were nice people, particularly mentioning that Sharon Stone deserves more credit and shouldn’t be judged by some of the films she starred in! (When I heard Sharon Stone’s butt had touched the same seats we were sitting on, I wanted to criss-cross my legs but thankfully, decided not to.)
The weather in London was surprisingly lovely – sunny but not too warm or cold. It stayed that way through the evening. We had roast duck rice at Magic Wok. Mmm! (Note to seasoned Singaporean-Chinese Londoners, we had no choice because Mandarin Kitchen was already out of roast duck!)
Roast duck rice at Magic Wok, Bayswater, London
Our executive serviced apartments at Hyde Park felt more like a one-person studio. It is in a central location, newly furnished with modern plumbing, but I don’t even think I could swing a cat in the room I’m sharing with my sister, unless I really hated cats and wanted to give one a concussion.
The bathroom is very new and clean, but similarly I don’t think I could swing a mouse in it. If I swung my arms about I would probably hit the walls, and I’m not a very lanky person. The size and layout is suitable for astronauts living in the confines of a spacecraft, I suppose.
And the bed. Some hotels have larger beds for single people than this. I am sharing the bed with my sister. Hopefully I don’t kick in my sleep and she wakes up on the floor.
To be fair, the photos I’ve seen of the place on a booking website are accurate. Just that the photographer took it in a way that looked like the walls extended beyond the photos – but all that’s in the photographs are just about all there really is in the rooms.
Large people, you have been warned.
As I’m typing this, I’ve applied my third bout of moisturiser to my skin. The cream has disappeared like water into desert sand. Goodnight.
[Note: This is a backdated post because I had sporadic internet connections throughout my trip. More posts to come…]


  1. vantan

    We had Four Seasons duck another day. They ran out of duck the first time cos we arrived late!

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