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06 Jul 04

day 2: a day of random meetings

today was a pretty bizarre and awesome day.

first the sad news: buck 65 and feist are totally sold out tonight and tomorrow night. i’m supposed to be there now, and probably would be if i wasn’t so tired (not to mention jo and andrea)…i was intending to try to scrounge up a ticket, but maybe i’ll do that tomorrow night instead. alas.

anyway, this morning got off to a chaotic start. breakfast at my hotel is a madhouse – 40 people and maybe 8 tables, with a little bit of food scattered around. i managed to eat some cereal and fruit and stole some more fruit. woo. then, i was told i had to switch rooms today to my “permanent room”. fine. but, i had to wait around til 11 or so for my new room to be ready. i half watched some tony blair news conference and flipped between my other 3 channels. i learned that there was an unveiling of a new princess diana memorial in hyde park. i made a mental note.

i attempted to call the number jo gave me for andrea, and there was no answer – turns out it’s the wrong number. i then called the place where jo was to be staying, and wasted some money when the pay phone refused to let me speak after i inserted 20p. i finally used the front desk phone and discovered she wasn’t to check in til noon. i decided to venture outside and call again around noon – it was after 11:30 by this point.

the first person i ran into when i left my hotel took one look at my canucks cap and said “nice hat mate. canucks rule!” he was wearing a canucks hat, and was a brit. i thought it was going to be a good day.

jo still wasn’t there so i ventured into the subway to see if i could figure it out. it seemed pretty straightforward, so i took the picadilly line to hyde park. i took a leisurely stroll through the park, and ran into a couple old women who were also looking for the new memorial. there were no signs anywhere, so a bunch of us banded together and asked: our directions were “go straight here for a while, turn left, then turn right”. i decided to wing it, and ended up walking through the rose gardens for a while – quite serene. i then decided to turn left at the water and found a tiny sign that told me i was indeed heading in the right direction. in about 5 minutes i came across an enormous tv monitor showing the queen – i thought i was in time to see the ceremony. alas, when i headed over to the memorial itself, she was long gone. i took a few pictures (which i’ve posted in my gallery) and then wandered a bit…oh, and i ran into jo and andrea among the several thousand people there. what the hell? so awesome! i had no idea they were there. oh, but it didn’t end there – after we hung out for a while and did some people watching, we decided to head to andrea’s. on our way out of hyde park, we ran into rick and judy (rick works at ITS; judy played on my softball team last year). of course, i didnt know they were there either. i’ve now run into everyone i know in england. nice.

anyway, we headed to andrea’s for a bit, and then decided it was too gorgeous to spend inside, so we went to regent’s park next. i was wishing i’d worn shorts today – while the sun was out it was sweltery. regent’s park was nice and relaxing, with a whole lot of roses – a crazy amount. we ate on the grass, and then perused the flowers…good for the allergies too.

we then wandered to the subway in hopes of getting jo some sheets for her bed, and when we got off we discovered that picadilly circus had been closed for the queen’s tea party with 7000 people. the crowd was absolutely insane – we couldn’t walk up the street at all. i wish i’d gotten a picture…words can’t do the crowd justice. we finally made it to the department store, and then walked to jo’s where we collapsed for a couple hours. jo’d only had 3 hours of sleep, and i think i got about 5 so we were wiped. no buck 65 for us. andrea led us to a pizza place around 8, where we hung out for quite a while before departing. on our way to the pizza place we walked past christian slater, and on our way from it jo saw sofia coppola (although i only saw her from the back)! no shit. what a crazy day.

and now i’m back on earl’s court, and i just befriended the internet cafe guy by trying to repair his driver problem. i told him i’d come back tomorrow to finish. as a bonus, that place lets me use my own laptop so i’m able to easily upload photos. woo.

and now, i’ll go finish with my photo gallery.

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Pronunciation: 'ch&mp
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps blend of chunk and lump
Date: 1883

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