A Week in London 2

POSTED BY DANNY CHOO On Thu 2011/06/16 20:05 JST in Travel

Was back in the UK last year after being away for 5 years. T'was a time to reflect on the past while looking at how London has changed over time. This photo taken at St Pancras where we used the Eurostar to travel between Paris and London - we ended up taking the Eurostar 4 times due to the volcano.

T'was my first time on the Eurostar and was rather shocked that it looked nothing like what I saw in Mission Impossible ^^; Probably because we were in Economy class? ^^;

Arrival at St Pancras station.

Picking up some tickets to get a bus back to mums place in Hackney.
Before I continue to babble, folks who have not done so already may want to read the "How Discovering Japan Changed My Life" post to understand and relate to photos and stuff in this post.

They didn't have these Oyster card thingies when I was living in the UK. The naming "Oyster" kinds sounded strange as I've heard "Oyster" being used to describe other things ^^; The Oyster is a card which you can charge with money that enables you to use the transport system. Cant remember if you can use it to buy other stuff like Suica or Pasmo in Japan.

The lady here is trying to convince the man that she lost her oyster and wants another one.

Mum has no Internets so I need to buy some in the form of these USB modem thingies from the O2 shop in Angel.

Never in my life have I seen a sight like this at Dalston Junction - bicycles instead of cars. Since I left London, they introduced a congestion charge which means that folks who want to travel into central London need to pay extra. Over time, many folks started to bike it to work like these folks.

I only learned how to ride a bicycle after I got to Japan - would love to cycle the streets of London one day.

The weather was gorgeous for pretty much the whole duration of our stay which made me think that the weather improved over the years from being cloudy most of the time ^^;

One thing that didn't change over the past 10 years however are the roadworks which were not being worked on. In the past I saw workmen filling holes in the road with newspaper and dumping tar on top which is probably of the reasons why there are so many sudden pits in the roads.

Been mostly living with mum after I got out of those foster homes and usually stay with her when we go back to London.
This is the computer that we bought while I was a student - bought it with a loan and was the best investment we've ever made that helped me pick up computing skills which I needed to built my career which you recently read about.
This machine had a 4GB drive and was on dailup at 56 or 256k ^^; What was the spec of your first ever PC or Mac?

I did have a Commodore 64 before this but didn't do much on it apart from play games like The Last Ninja - we loaded games via a cassette tape back then!

The quickest way to digitize old photos was to take a photo of them - stuck a bit of blu-tac at the back and stuck them on the wall to take photos - had been preparing that post since last year.
I love that beer mug tea cup which I forgot to bring back with me ToT

Entrance of mums house - all the Nishida Hikaru posters have gone walkies.

Looks messy but mums English brekkie tastes fab.

Was nice to see that the council came around to do up the kitchen - they left it for years and everything was falling apart.

Photos of the kitchen when I was living here can be seen in this slide.

Crumpets and Crunchy Nut! We don't get either of them in Japan.

My room which used to look like this and previously like this (!) many moons ago.

Been digging around the little belongings that I have left in the UK. Learned a lot of Japanese from that Furai no Shiren game.

I used to make sure that there was always water for this guy in that cup. On many occasions after I left the house, I would run back in and upstairs to make sure he had his water which he would drink (or evaporate) over a few days.

I was brought up on Argos and remember always looking forward to looking at the toys section when a new catalog came out. I see that its now tripled in size over the past 10 years!

Setting up my mobile O2 device which enabled me to work from Mums place. Fairly decent speeds but the connection would often drop.

The Millennium bridge popped up within the past 5 years - the first time I saw it was in Harry Potter.

Was out n about London in armor and you can see photos taken on the day in the Tokyo Trooper in London post.
I never carry the blaster around anymore as police have asked about it in the past before.

Made a load of comrades on the way!

Used to spend a lot of time at the River Thames thinking about my goal of living and working in Japan.

At my fave place in China Town about to nom on some Char Siew Rice.

I love British Food! Unfortunately there aren't that many places in Tokyo (not that I know of anyway) that do decent UK food. All the food photos are in the British Food post.

In the countryside on a gorgeous evening.

The more traditional side of the UK.

My neck of the woods - Hackney Town Hall.

Retracing the past by visiting places where I used to commute through. This is Dalston where I used to work part time for my dad.

Kingsland Road.

Out n about near Bond Street station. Used to work near here in a Japanese restaurant called Ikeda part time. My memories of working here are running for a bus in the rain close to midnight ^^;

A visit to some friends outside of London.

Friends who I used to work with part time at the Benihana restaurant went on to set up their own Asian ethnic restaurant called MoMo Cafe.

Had the pleasure of paying a visit to the university that I graduated from - SOAS where I also gave a talk. More photos from the day in the SOAS post.

Radio interview.

Thanks to everybody who came! I spy my Korean teacher Yeon Sonseng Nim.

The traditional technical hitches - not my fault!

Its always great to be able to meet readers in person.

Out in Stoke Newington for some Kebab in the evening.

Looks like there is more recycling going on in the UK. Wifey and I used to practice recycling when we were living in the UK but she got a shock when she saw the garbage folks just mix the brown and green bottles upon collection ^^;

Hackney Mare Street. The London College of Fashion (previously Cordwainers) is located here which my dad attended.

Fancy drinking from a dolphin?
Erm, I meant fancy a drink *at* the dolphin?

The badge man is still walking around after all these years.

At Bethnal Green station about to hop onto the central line.

Everything suddenly seems so small.

The central line trains haven't changed a bit and are still in good condition.

Rollerblades in Japan cost an arm and a leg. Out near Marble Arch looking for a decent pair.

Wanted this one but was way too expensive!

At dads studio mingling with the staff.

These are called "Lasts" which come in many different shapes n sizes.

A last named after Chun. Me in the middle of designing the Black Rock Shoe.

Leather galore. I just love the smell of it!

Making myself a wallet as I lost the previous one in Singapore ToT

Lovely architecture of this church turned into living apartments.

Walk in Hyde Park.

Mare street runs through Hackney where I was brought up. This is what it used to look like many many moons ago.

Mare Street today.

At St Pancras about to take the Eurostar back to Paris.

These kids we so sweet!

And before we knew it, we were back in the UK because...

...of the Volcano that erupted which stranded most flights around Europe. We were in France at the time and just before we got on the plane, they told us that the flight was cancelled.

We were needlessly paying to live in a hotel near Paris having absolutely no idea when we were going to go home. Decided to head back London to stay at Mums.

Back in London. Looks like transport staff have been having a hard time.

The Sun newspaper hasn't changed reporting breaking news as usual.

Another sight that I'm not used to - bicycles parked everywhere.

At Oxford street with Mirai-chan.

Oxford street.

Found something for the girls to wear at home.

More photos of London's West End.

The Japan Center moved to this side alley near Regent Street.

Cant remember where this is - Victoria Station?

Mum said that I went to this school before lived in the foster homes. No matter how long I stood there I couldn't remember life here at all.

At Victoria Park for a stroll with wifey and mum.

I love looking at vast areas of water. Inspiring for some reason. Ever changing.

These guys were so cute.

Lauriston Road was the first place we lived.

Still walking around the Victoria Park area.

Lovely weather throughout our stay.

Back near our place to pack our bags and head back to Japan.
Just out of interest, how many of you are from the UK or have UK roots?

All other London related photo posts listed up below.

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