Sunday, May 06, 2007

Market, roast duck, and a show

I went for a run by myself yesterday morning in Hyde Park. People take their dogs there to run around. I noticed a funny thing: English people have English dogs for the most part: English terriers, poodles, greyhounds. There were very few mutts.

Early yesterday afternoon I went to Borough Market, where people sell all kinds of food, most of it ready to eat. There were venison burgers, French and English cheeses, amazing English pastries, homemade jams, fresh fruits and vegetables, Iranian sweets, German sausages, Indian balsamic vinegars. Some of the vendors had samples that we could try, which I quite enjoyed, but they were much smaller than samples at Costco--usually about the size of a fingernail. I bought a "'Iccle Eccle"--a light, sugar-crystal-coated pastry filled with raisins, figs, currants, and other fruits--for 70p ($1.40). It was was amazingly good. Most of the food there was really expensive, so I didn't get a ton of stuff.

Yesterday evening I went with some of my friends to Leicester Square for dinner and a play. We were a group of seven, and we split up for dinner since we were in a hurry and nowhere had seating for all of us. Three of us went to a Chinese place. The ground level was packed, so they took us down to the basement where we were the only group for quite a while. We got a set dinner that included hot and sour soup; roast duck with green onions, cucumbers, and a sweet sauce rolled in a flour tortilla; fried rice with three "toppings" including sweet and sour chicken, beef, and vegetables; and egg rolls. We actually didn't even see the egg rolls because we had to leave early to go to the play. Our dinner cost about £15 per person, which was a little steep. It was a little sad that we had to leave half of our food since we wouldn't be able to take it into the theatre.

One interesting thing about London is that there is hardly any free water anywhere. At dinner we were served (and charged for) bottled water, with refills only at a charge. There are no drinking fountains in the Tube, and they are really hard to find in museums. A 750ml bottle of water at a grocery store costs about £1.50. I think I might be completely dehydrated before I get out of here.

We saw the 7:30 showing of Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre for £25 each--the student price. We sat on the balcony, but we could see pretty well. The leg room definitely left something to be desired (about on par with the Marriott Center at BYU), but at least the seats were cushioned. I really liked the show. There were lots of crowd-pleasing special effects, such as Mary pulling all kinds of things--a plant, a hat stand--out of her bag, Bert walking all the way around the border of the stage (up the side, upside down across the top, and back down the other side), and of course, Mary flying on her umbrella. The story was different than it was in the movie, but still definitely enjoyable.

After the play some of the others stopped for gelato, but Amber and I came straight back to the Centre and went to bed.

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