Tag Archives: experiences

Londoners turn down free money offered to them in the street by a stranger | London | News | London Evening Standard

22 Aug

Londoners turn down free money offered to them in the street by a stranger | London | News | London Evening Standard.

rather a strange reaction by those people, why dont they take the money? it’s £50. i would take it, as she said there is no catch to it. and there is no harm in taking it and seeing what she does next. if she start making demands etc you can always return the money. haha

are londoners so rich that they can sniff at £50? it kind of make me think there are some people whose souls just want them to be poor.those people who refuse the money and  that guy who ran away are souls who will never be rich. their  lives may be full of rich opportunities which they will run away from. and then they will be always lamenting why they are poor, and always saying why no one gives them a chance.

there are women who will offer to give u a sprig of heather, and when u take it , will hassle you to give them money, so maybe these people have had that experience and so learn not to take things from people. but money is different from a sprig of heather. i will take the money and then see what happens.

are tastecards good value for money?

6 Jun

london 3.20pm 2015 saturday

i am seeing this offer at the daily mail, saying i can get a tastecard, normally costing £80 which gives u 50% off or 2 for 1 meals in selected restaurants. all i have to do is collect 3 (or is it 4, i forget) unique numbers from the weekend daily mails. i collect the numbers anyway but for the points which i can exchange for money vouchers from supermarkets when i collect enough points. and they dont even ask me to pay with points to get that card, for a year’s membership. (i wonder how they make money then, unless they are so keen to get members just so they can get more customers booking at the restaurants that are in their plan. even at 50% it is still a lot of money u have to spend, not to mention, if u order wine, that is even better for the restaurant. it is a fact, that if u run a restaurant, customers are what u want, if there are no bums on seats, there is no business.)

but have anyone tried these tastecards? i was looking at their website to see what restaurants are included, and dont see any of the restaurants i like… like the many chinese restaurants in chinatown dont seem to be included. it makes me wonder if these restaurants may inflate the ordinary prices, just to offset the discounts they give with this tastecard. so maybe if u dont have a tastecard, you might like to avoid those restaurants.

ah well, these are modern day strategies and pitfalls. haha. first world problems as they say.

added. i noticed from the rules they ask customers to order the drinks from the menu rather than ‘tap water’. so i think if they dont inflate cost of the main dishes, the starters and desserts are a way for them to inflate the price of the food; they will inflate the drinks menu. it might explain why all restaurants seem to have very high drinks prices. and of course we all know wine prices have a very high mark up.

we all want low prices but i think it is not the point here. it is a voluntary activity eating out;

i can see the side of the owners too, they have to make a profit obviously, and no one have to eat out, so i should think those who do must expect to pay for the whole shebang. think of it as getting an experience.

 added. 5pm. talking of getting experiences, i know those gurus that talk of what life is, say it is not buying things that gives u happiness but experiences. hmm. it can get overrated this experience thingy. haha. presumably they mean nice experiences, and not the experience of being bankrupt or being in debt, or falling ill, or being cheated , or being overcharged… so not all experiences are good, and so i say it is over rated all this talk of experiences are better than things. 

past times

5 May

london tuesday 2015 1.43pm

i was passing the recycling bins just now and it just struck me that i dont find anything to take anymore unlike in the past when i find such a lot of nice things.

i know the eastern europeans have cotton on to how lucrative the things are that people throw away here in uk, they can take and resell, so that there are not much things now that we can find anymore; but maybe another reason why things are scarce i  think may be due to people realising there are  men who make a business of it, they raid recycling bins and run off with the stuff.  and so people who live here are less willing to put out old stuff or get rid of stuff by just putting them out in the recycling area. in fact the authorities have resorted to putting a lock on each bin. 

there is a tv program called ‘wastemen’ tonight that seems to say as much… at least from the blurb written about it. i shall see it tonight and find out. added. 9.11pm i tried to see it but the first few tracks of it  was rather boring so i did not. haha. i know nowadays i have very short attention span. that is why i like if it was a written account rather than a film, it is quicker to read about it, and you can get the story immediately. unlike a film when it takes its own sweet time to tell the story. there is a lot of visuals so it is good for people who wants it spelt out in colour. 

i have this theory about it, that it is big business now , unlike the amateurish old ways when people just discard stuff they dont want. now people collect these things and sell it off ebay, or send it overseas for 2nd hand markets in gambia; to take just one example.

anyway it did occur to me as i passed the recycling bins just now; that i have not seen anything worth while to take for a long time now.

it is just as well that i have gone over that phase of my life when i would enjoy finding such things. i have everything i need now so collecting these cast offs is not so crucial.

now, i am more focused on finding things to do, and experiencing things that i would like to experience.

in the past, i would eat out, and buy fashionable clothes to wear, and see films, or plays, or ballet, or opera; or go to see art whether in the block buster art exhibitions, or just to the free public galleries to see their permanent collections. but i seem to have gone off them now. and i would travel too, both within and without the uk. but i have gone off them now. 

instead i take grocery shopping and finding food bargains now  as new pleasure experiences.  more so now when every where the supermarkets are vieing with each other to give reduced prices and special offers.

i am looking around to see what other experiences i can discover that are new and not known by others, so that they dont catch on and become more expensive. i used to frequent charity shops and bought some real bargains, but nowadays charity shops are expensive. see what i mean, when i say when everyone cotton on to it as great places to get things, it then becomes expensive for what it is.

i think pound shops, and 99p shops, are beginning to succomb to that trend too. they are becoming popular as people realise that they can be bargains, but now i see they are not such good bargains anymore. not everything is a bargain, u have to be savvy and search out the good buys.

another thing i am into is seeing films on tv. ever since we bought a hd tv, and big screen tv, i find watching films so much more enjoyable, and also with the youview box given to me by talk talk, i get to see lots more channels and on hd too. the hd really do make a big difference in viewing pleasure. so that is another thing i am into now that is new from my olden days. and of course, the internet and blogging and just surfing the net and reading the news online has become a big part of my life now too. recently saw ‘dredd’. i did not realise that it was a sequel to the first film ‘judge dredd’ starring sylvestor stallon, which i did not find that interesting. but this one is really good, much to my surprise. i am glad i did not connect that it is a sequel to the first film, otherwise i would not have bothered to see it. 

so i am keeping my eyes peeled for new avenues of fun to do. to discover them before others find out and before it  becomes expensive or too crowded and so not  interesting to do anymore.

though there are some things when it is better if more people get into it. gay things mainly and sexual things. haha.

yesterday i was treated to a noodle meal.

27 Apr

london monday 2015

my friend gave me a treat yesterday. it was a sunday and the london marathon was on, and i met john in leicester square, which was not busy thank goodness. even then he managed to sit somewhere else and if not for the mobile phone i would not have known.

the mobile phone is really useful like the other day when he arrived at waterloo. he was late, but did not text me so i thought he had come and gone. all my phone calls were unanswered, the first one going to his answering machine.  and so i text him after waiting 30mins to let him know i am going home.

on the way outside the station i thought i shall ring him one more time, and to by pass his answering machine i stopped my phone after 4rings. for a wonder, he rang back, and told me he had not heard my other calls as his phone was in his rucksack which he had put on the top luggage rack. he should have called or text me to inform me his train was late, but still, i am glad we did meet in the end. 

well this treat was to a noodle shop nearby leicester square station, on the road going towards covent gdn. it is a tiny shop, and when we approached, we saw oh no, a group of 4adults with a baby in pram , trying to get in the narrow doorway.

fortunately, we got two seats on one of the two benches on the ground floor. the group with the pram went downstairs leaving the pram on top of the stairs.

i read reviews of this place praising the pho, and saying they make their own noodles. but i saw how big the bowl was by looking at the other customers, and decided it will be too hot to have the noodles, so i ordered the fried beef stew noodles instead, and john followed me. it cost £6.90, as opposed to the £6.50 of the soup version.

it came with a huge amount of noodles, some veg, and lots of beef, very tender and are like shank beef. at first glance you would think it is a lot, how to finish it!

there was a pot of chili on the bench, and it was really nice hot chilli. u have to be sparing with it, i got into a coughing fit from it at one stage.

there is a lot of food, and quite nice to have these thick noodles cooked al dente, something u dont get with chinese noodles usually. it is because these are hand made on the spot, and it is something new to me.  i managed to eat them all at record time. haha. 

as did the guy who came later with his girl friend. he ordered the same dish but with flat noodles, and he finished it before me, even though he came much later than us and ordered much later. i thought i was a fast eater, but he is king. i had thought of getting the flat noodles but am glad i did not as i think they are not hand made. the round noodles (called la mien is hand made).

there were two other women eating the soup noodles, during the course of our stay there. both did not finish their meal and left with uneaten portions in the bowl,.

what a waste!. oneof them even ordered two dishes, one soup noodle and another dried noodles dish of glass noddles and sausage -like. they were sliced and look like  paste in sausage skin. she ate all the soup noodles but left a substantial part of the dried noodle dish.

we had cups of chinese tea, nothing special, just tea bags with hot water. later we asked for hot water refills and got them, not sure if they charge extra for that, as john paid and i did not ask how much. thanks to him for the treat.

i was undecided whether to chose to eat duck rice or this, when john said he will treat me to lunch, but i see later that another customer was eating duck rice , so they have that too, though i did not see it in the menu.

the person who recommended the cafe said the noodles are the ones to go for as it is made on the premises. and indeed, on the way out i saw this man next to the till, making the noodles by hand. i am always wondering how u can make them, and this video i googled when i got back shows me how. it seems very easy. hand pulled noodles he shows how to pull the noodles by hand around the 4.44min mark

though i confess it is really much easier to just buy the dried noodles. if u want to make fresh noodles by hand,  the dough takes some time to prepare. i guess u can always make a lot before hand and freeze it , but it still means unfreezing it…

anyway i enjoyed my treat. next time someone gives me a treat i shall go for the duck rice but not at this noodle place.

so far i could not find any duck rice place that is recommended for me. in the past i go to a place in chinatown which just serves duck rice and nothing else but that place has shut down ages ago. or maybe i shall just buy half a duck for £8 and eat it at home. added.25.5.15 the price has gone up to £10.50 for half duck. 

we went for a stroll in covent gdn, and see the performance artists there. john said he was there earlier whilst waiting for our appointment time to come, and  he was quite tempted to sit at the tables under the covent gdn building drinking wine and watching the quartet playing their string instruments and hawking their cd for £10, or accepting cash donations .

it was a bit cold so i am not so tempted, but if i were to be, i would prefer to have something hot, and there was a couple having tea, with pots and cake stands on one of the tables, and that is more what i fancy. haha.

the buses were disrupted, and the roads were jammed, because of the london marathon, even though it was about 4pm, u would think the marathon would be finished by now, but not so.

so i said lets walk across the river over the millenium bridge. and we saw runners still straggling under the bridge to parliament square.

yet plenty of people must have finished the race because when we were walking towards trafalgar square,  we saw loads of runners having finished and wearing their medal round their neck walking towards us and we saw a huge crowd under admiralty arch, all coming from the finish at greenpark; the medal  looks like a pewter medal. or something that looks like tin. and we could see some of the people have this reflective wrap round them and some were wearing shorts … some of them looking really ill…strange why they dont put on warm clothes after their run.

i think it a silly thing to do , i mean not putting on warm clothes after the run, but also running itself; if u want to give to charity why not just give, and not have to put yourself through all this hardship?? but then what do i know??? i am sure there is something i dont know, that knowing it will explain this behaviour. haha.

on the millenium bridge, there were two large groups of people surrounding these guys playing the hide the object gamble. he shifts it under three pots and u are supposed to chose the pot with the object under it.

one guy got so carried away we saw him hand over £50, and lost it. these guys doing the game were holding £20 notes. i thought wow is it so lucrative that these people are able to hold bundles of £20 notes just like that. i thought people would gamble  £1 stakes or so… but the fact they were holding fistfull of £20 notes suggest the stakes are high.

and you would think how can anyone be so gullible to fall for it, but we saw with our own eyes this young guy falling for it. £50!!!he had his friend with him. and they both walked off quickly after losing the £50. john told me that the con man was urging him to bet £60.

john  tells me they have a stooge who would win and get handed a lot of money. that fools the gullible guys to play.

i said the strategy may be to change your choice if the guy is so eager. pick another pot. haha.but u still have  two other pots to chose and u might pick the wrong one… of course the best strategy is not to play at all. period.

we saw some really nice shorts in the window in floral street, and they look so nice,with water scenes of the mediterranean printed on them.

 i guessed they will be £150, so john went in to ask and they turned out to be £225. well, we were wrong on the price. but the shop lady was real nice and friendly ( she even complimented john on his pants, and asked if he bought it at their shop. haha. she is real nice, as i said, heehee and knows how to flatter. haha. john told me he told her he bought them for a pittance at a charity shop.) i am sure she knows we are not buyers but still willing to chat with us. 

and we were able to see the shorts up close and feel it and she told us more about it. its made of polyester, and double as swim shorts. if u got lots of money and want to spend it, because after all, what is the point of having lots of money if u cannot find frivolous things to spend it on, right? ( i hear that south korea rich people dont liek living there because there is nothing to spend their money on haha) these shorts will be just up your street. haha.

travel, is it all that great?

20 Apr

london 9.17pm monday 2015

i just saw richard ayoade and stephen mangan in marrakech, morocco. they spent 2days there and tried all the usual tourist things. and they showed all the things that are mundane about it, so that u would think it is not an interesting city why go there? haha. i think it very funny, showing how it can be very boring to do a rushed 48hrs visit to any city without giving u a chance to just sit and enjoy its atmosphere , its people, and the local life that unfolds unhurriedly if only u would sit still and see.

i have been to marrakech and do enjoy just wandering around and looking. that to me is the best thing about it. as in any city actually… my tip is just wander around keep your eyes open and just watch the city and its people go about its business and you watch the real life play unfolding all around you. it is one thing that is not applicable to london i have noticed. here in london u cannot just wander around and watch people because people here live their lives indoors out of prying eyes. if u wander the streets of london u wont really see the essence of the city. yes of course u see the tourists sights, the well known landmarks, but the people and what makes them unique u wont be able to experience. perhaps because most of the people here are also visitors, some very short stays, others who come to work here stay longer, but they are visitors for all that. we are all visitors, there are no born and bred londoners in enough numbers and keeping their local customs to make a difference anymore.

i myself can remember a distinctive east end culture, a barrow boy shout -out- to buy-spiel in the street markets; and eel and mash cuisine , that was still apparent in the 80s, no more now.

the tv show featured them walking aimlessly getting lost in the medina and worried about getting to the destination, when the fun of that medina, the old town, is getting lost and just walk around and see the strange things that happen all around, and stumbling across strange sights, like whole streets devoted to just one item to sell, or artisans working in the open air, outside their shops, or in the case of the tannery, looking at them from high up and seeing the colorful pits and the toiling workers but far enough away not to get the smell;  and just the hustle and bustle and people going about their business. but if u have not been, you too would come away thinking why bother going there. haha.

what mangan said, at the end, that you see all these things in films and documentaries but it is only when u actually are there that u get the feel of it.  that is a good observation about why we travel and sight see.

but i have noticed that once is enough. so many places i have travelled to , i am glad i saw it, but once is enough. i dont think seeing those sights again or experiencing those emotions again will be as meaningful if done again.

they all say buying such experiences are so much better than buying things and goods. but by their very nature, those experiences are only powerful when done once. repetition dulls the experience of it. at least that is my take on it.

perhaps there are plenty of others who can retain the thrill of the first sight of something even when they see it many times.