Well, I woke up too late to receive my complementary breakfast, but that was okay. I was able to find Schulte’s e-mail with the list of crap I’m supposed to visit. First stop today was St. Paul’s Cathedral. Unfortunately, they’re not really open for tours on Sundays. You can go in, but most of it is in use by people who are actually there for a service. I walked around and it was pretty neat, but didn’t get to go up top (which I’m told is great). I started to leave and noticed you could go downstairs where there’s a gift shop and a bathroom. I came up with this brilliant idea that they should sell T-shirts right outside the bathroom that said “I dropped a deuce at St. Paul’s Cathedral.” Or, perhaps more tactfully, “A little part of me is still at St. Paul’s Cathedral.”
Anyhow, after that stop I decided to check out the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms, which Schulte recommended highly. It was excellent. The museum was probably the most technologically advanced museum I’ve ever seen. Touring the actual cabinet war rooms was cool too. Just to get to this museum, I had to get off in the Westminster area, so I saw all the regular London sights (see obligatory Big Ben picture).
I decided I’d try going to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch but somehow got lost and wound up at Piccadilly Circus. It’s kind of like London’s Times Square. I stumbled upon the area where all the plays are in London. I was told that London has great plays and that I should see one. I then walked by a movie theatre. That struck me as a cheaper and easier idea than a play. So I walked in and saw the movie Melinda and Melinda since it starred Will Ferrell and was directed by Woody Allen. It was expensive (8.50 pounds – like 15-16 bucks) and mediocre. I would have seen Downfall, but it wasn’t showing at a convenient time.
I ate dinner at an Indian restaurant near the hotel. The food was excellent but it was run by morons. I actually watched them move a couple from a larger table to a smaller one so they could cram more people in, and the kitchen was so clearly overworked that the food was slow in coming out. I received a very small portion of chicken curry, which was disappointing because it tasted so good. I then watched the waiter stumble around with a large table full of Indian girls. He had written up the bill altogether but they wanted to pay individually. My favorite question they asked was about the 10% required gratuity. They asked “do we each have to pay it, or is it for the whole group?” Pretty much the most retarded question ever (they’re the same – it’s an f’n percentage). The waiter fumbles around and tells them that they each have to pay.
The f’n genius idea I got from the Indian restaurant came from the TV station they had on. It was some Indian channel. Down in the lower left-hand corner they had a spot for photos sent from mobile phones. You could pay a pound and a half and have your picture on TV for 10-15 seconds. Genius. I think we could take that a step farther and have an hour long live show where people make videos live in their homes, and we put them on air. Voters on our website could vote for which show they want to be on TV at any given time. You’d basically have lots of different shows trying to air at once. It would be like citizens fighting to entertain themselves. Now that’s reality TV.
Now I’m in the hotel lobby talking to the friendly concierge at the desk. He has informed me that London surpassed Hong Kong as the most expensive city in the world. I don’t know how to verify that claim, but I absolutely believe it. He laughed when I told him that in the U.S. there is no such thing as a hotel room without a bathroom (a luxury I paid an extra $40/night for in this hotel).