As we all know the Olympics came and went this year and I was "lucky enough" to be in the thick of it all. To be fair it didn't affect me in any way really. It fact it was kind of fun experiencing it all now that I think of it. Little things were changed, trains were later, waiting at banks was made more exciting with gymnastics playing in the background, people on the tubes seemed more talkative and the Metro was bigger.
But not everything was great about the Olympics and being smack bang in the middle of the city for it. I had just been employed at GAP on Oxford Street. And if you have ever been to Oxford Street you will know how jam packed it is, now times that by 10 and you have the Olympics crowd. Oh so many tourists. Basically going between the tube and GAP was a daily struggle, and going somewhere for lunch took 15min longer then it should have. I think the thing that made me the angriest about the Olympics hype was what they did to Trafalgar Square. They had a big screen in the middle of the square which was great, there were tables and chairs laid out and food stalls set up which was all well and good. But not only were the Lions completely cut off from the public but the whole square was covered with these ugly festival fences and you could only enter this square through one corner. The reason this didn't make much sense was because it was a free event.
I was quite lucky this year. I was in London for not only the Olympics but also the Jubilee. And I was in Poland, Warsaw in particular for the Euro 12. I followed the various hypes throughout my travels, but always remained an outside observer, except for the Jubilee, that was a great 4 day weekend. I guess I'm more of an observer then a follower.
During this week I met up with Georgia a couple of times and just kicked back for the rest of it because karma had gotten to me and because I had had such a great time in Paris I now had to make it up to the universe by being sick. On this day I met her after work and we went to a bar under London Bridge and due to the lack of seats at every single bar/ pub in London after 5pm we were sitting on the ground. I didn't mind though. I really miss having afternoon drinks with my girl G and we would discuss everything under the sun until we were blue in the face.
The next day I stayed in bed and then in the afternoon decided to go tick something off my to do list, go to the Hard Rock Cafe. I had no one to go with so I went by myself. On the way I stopped off in Oxford Circus to do some window shopping. When I got off the tube I was confronted with this. Hoards of tourists climbing over each other for a glimpse of the Olympic torch. It was absolute mayhem. I got out of there as quick as I could.
If you have been following my story you will know by this point in time I am well and truly broke, especially after Paris. So at the Hard Rock I could only afford a glass of Pimm's and a side Caesar salad which still seemed to break the bank. I sat at the bar and ate and while I was eating I was reading the third hunger games book and was quite into it. I was sitting at the bar which was where the chefs were preparing the food to go out and the waiters were kicking back. So I had a lot of the waiters start conversations with me and found myself telling the same sad sob story of being broke and without any friends hence why I was eating a side salad at the bar and reading a book.
I ended up having the waiters and chefs all feel sorry for me and I kept having little things dropped on my plate, sun dried tomatoes, olives, extra salad, garlic bread. By the end of it I had eaten over a full size salad. And not only did they do that but they insisted on singing happy birthday to me so I could get a free birthday ice cream. Which to be honest I didn't really want because I was trying to lose weight, which when I told the guy he pulled up a chair next to me and waited until I had eaten the whole thing. I still can't decide whether it was creepy or just over friendly. But either way the free food was greatly appreciated. And as I have said before, always rely on the kindness of strangers.
If my day hadn't been filled with enough serendipity already this was definitely the cherry on top. In my efforts to avoid the hype I ended up almost walking straight into it. Walking back to the tube from the Hard Rock I almost walked straight into the Olympic Torch. I like the design of it. I haven't paid much attention to the Olympics since it was in Sydney but I have a vague recollection of it being silver white and blue. Maybe I'm wrong I don't know, but this one is very modern chic. I was there for about the time it took me to take these two photos. As I said, the Olympics never really phased me. And to clarify with all those people who asked why I didn't go, I HAD NO MONEY. I was one broke girl in a big city suddenly obsessed with competitive sports. I watched one whole event from start to finish on tv though (I didn't have a tv so I just sat in a bar and watched it) showjumping, that is one intense sport. The horses are basically flying and then the medal gets given to the human. Here's to being the dominant species of the world.
I apologize for my bitterness towards the Olympics. It was just not that exciting for me.
With love from London