Tag Archives: free food

more tourists come to uk because of the weak £

2 Aug

london 1.57pm 23C cloudy friday 2019

i was coming back from a freebie, a free burito from tortilla, to celebrate the opening of a new branch in wardour st, soho. there was the usual grid lock in trafalgar square, that seems to be quite common now, i wonder why it should be happening so frequently. maybe there have been some changes in the traffic lights sequence. 

also saw the tourists sitting on the tarmac in front of the westminster abbey and taking photos and it occurred to me that  it is all rather silly really, that people are touristing around all over the world to look at these things. all this tourist business, and i read one of these tourist package holiday company has gone bankrupt. malvern group.

i cant really blame people for wanting to be tourists, because i too was guilty of these tourist trips when i was younger, so i guess i am just as silly. and since then there are all those young people following me so i guess it is just the nature of things. i have done it and enjoyed it, so i guess i should not tell others not to do it. haha. i am sure they too will come to realise how silly it is one day in the future, but then they can look back and say they  have enjoyed it while it lasted and so can stop now and not feel they have missed out. i guess every generation have to go through it for themselves. 

this free lunch at tortilla i only found out today, because steve sent me information of it. they were there too, and i asked for the naked burito, without the tortilla. i must say i did not enjoy it as much as i should. i found the meat very salty and i mistook the salsa for salads, and asked for it, not realising it is an extra to be paid for. and then she asked me if i want guacamole, and even though i am not that keen on it, i thought it was included in the free offer. then they lumped my order with steve and his wife’s, and asked the poor chap to pay an extra , i dont know how much he paid… but in the menu list they say salsa costs £1, guacamole £1.60, not worth it as it was just a small smidgen of both that they add to my open dish. if it had happen to me, and they asked me to pay, i would have told them to take it off again… but as it is , i did not even realise they have included my dish to theirs, until i saw them put all of it into a bag and gave it to steve. i saw my order have disappeared and realised it is in steve’s bag. if i had known i would ask them to remove those items. they are not really worth the extra. 

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it looks like a big dish, but i did not enjoy it that much. not much meat, too much beans and rice. meat was too salty for my taste, but steve liked his burrito, so i guess it must be me.

added. 8.46am saturday 3.8.19. saw this article about more tourists coming to uk from china and india because of the weak £, so that is the good thing if anyone asks what are the advantages of a weak £.

local businesses will benefit from those increased tourist numbers. and london and all other towns can cope with the increased numbers unlike barcelona and the spanish islands. or venice , who are overwhelmed. but i also wonder if threats of strikes in heathrow and gatwick, which this article says have allready affected 172 canceled flights next week will deter tourists. though it might be too late for those who allready are flying next week. but the threat of further strikes might make them think twice about flying to those airports for the rest of the summer.

with all these disruptions, i would not bother to fly anywhere at all, so i wonder if many will decide to staycation esp if u are from uk, the £ so low makes it more expensive to travel abroad.

free sausage, and found a spiderman bag

1 Mar

london 2.01pm 11.4C cloudy friday 2019



i went earlier this morning to islington, it is a new opening of a restaurant that sells specialised sausages from international sources which seem to imply from all over the world (though i suspect they are sausages from europe ) today they are giving away a free meal. i got their special, costing about £10. i dont know where this sausage come from… it looks like one of those german sausages. it was a lovely long size. (i have seen other’s orders  and their food is sausages inside a bun, so not as much as mine) the mashed bits are chick peas i think and beetroot i think which gives it its red colour. i was amongst the first few  to order so i got my food quite quickly. its quite nice. you might think it is pricey, but the price is normal for this area. its fun to try these places when they are doing a opening promotion and giving away free food.  

on the way back, i took the tube to pimlico, and decided to go to the library nearby and passed by a recycling bins and saw this, a spiderman child’s bag. its quite nice isn’t it? i think so. i like the 3-D effect. and i find the size very suitable for my things. i find it is better to have a small bag, so that i dont get tempted to put too many things in it. i have been using a gym bag (it’s a sleeping bag cover)but it is getting frayed and have holes in it. it is about 2 and a half yrs old. and it is still serviceable. i think it got an extended life because ian sewed the bottom with his sewing machine and that sealed the seam very effectively. i might keep an eye out for a tubular bag like that (a ex sleeping bag cover is what i should look out for) in case in the future i revert to using such a bag instead of this spiderman one or when this spiderman bag gets too worn. 

i think this spiderman bag is a lunch box. and an insulated one at that.  it has a label -disney store. this spiderman bag is too small to take my chromebook, but i can put it in there as long as i dont zip it up. so it is a bag i can use if i am not bringing my chromebook with me. or if i do, i need to find an elastic to secure it with the top unzipped. it even got a label on the inside where u can write your name. 

added. i was curious to see if people really send their children to school with packed lunches, and found this article about it. there were a lot of warnings about keeping the food warm or cold, and warnings about bacteria, that even i got to wonder if it is worth it. after reading it, even i felt it is too dangerous to make a packed lunch. and i have been packing my lunch for years and think nothing of it.

in all the years when i have eaten my packed lunch, i have never had any problems, and i never keep the food in insulated containers. or even in the fridge at my workplace. and i know people in malaysia never bother with all that either. and none of us have even got ill and we live in the tropics where it is a lot hotter than here with more chances for germs to grow. but here we all hear or read of food poisoning, and warnings not to eat leftover food. dangerous to eating leftover rice, is one that i keep hearing about. it is enough to frighten u off making your own lunch ever again. 

a day of free meals

28 Sep

london 8.02pm 13.7C dry night friday 2018

i got a email from steve, this morning, when i woke at 10.30am about a free mac and cheese lunch at debenhams, oxford st starting from 12noon today. i allready have booked  a free meal this evening at a pub in elephant and castle. i was half thinking of giving the lunch a miss, but then i realise it is so near me, it does not take much effort to just wander there. so i did. and steve was there, near the head of the queue. not many when we arrived, but it later got busier. it was a very filling meal, it was macaroni pasta in melted cheese topped with meat , or veggie. mushrooms was one of the veggie options. i got a spicy chorizos with halloumi, which turned out to be melted as well. so not a good choice as it made the dish very salty indeed with so much salt in those cheeses. it costs about £5.59 usually. if u are hungry it would really fill you up. actually when i compare to what they are charging for mac and cheese in spitalfields market, this one is quite low priced.

then i went to liverpool st, spitalfields market to get the free icecream given away. this icecream is not sickly sweet, so i like it. they will do this promotion for another two days.   there were lots of people there, sitting around eating, listening to a band playing. i passed a stall selling brisket of beef. it looked very good, piles of meat . there was a sample board and i took two slices to eat. and found out they are very salty. they look so tempting, but the salt puts me off so that i lost all desire to eat anymore.

i might go again tomorrow, to get another eat of icecream, and visit the library there to see if they are open and have the daily papers.   i went in there to read them today after eating the icecream. those papers look unopened and it seems not many people go in there to read the papers.

the free meal at the pub in elephant and castle was very filling too. for some reason they gave me two portions. each portion consist of 3 small burgers, with different meats. and i got another tray of it . steve and his wife were there before me. they were sitting with me after their meal, for us to chat, when the food came and we were all surprised at me getting double rations. they were too full to eat it so i had to eat it myself. 

i thought i would be very slow getting served as there were two large tables with huge numbers of people allready there, and they were drinking beer and wine. but they never did get any burgers. so i dont know why , because they had numbers on their table just like us. so they must have ordered the meal.  still i am glad the kitchen was able to cope with the large numbers.

in the end, i was so full, (made worse because that mac and cheese really filled me up), that i just ate the meat and left the buns. as i noticed others have done the same too. it has been ages since i went south of the river, to elephant and castle, and the whole area  has certainly risen up in the world. so many high rise, and they got a sainsburys!! and the central roundabout, that used to be such a mess of underground tunnels for pedestrians was no more. they have buried all those tunnels  and just made the whole thing above ground now.

the actual shopping complex in the old elephant and castle building does not look at all as if it is lively. the building is all dark and looked closed. i wonder what they have planned for it. i was expecting it to be pulled down and a new classy building rising up in its place.

in the past, it housed the clothes stalls, and food stalls, run by small businesses. i was thinking they will be turfed out to make way for more expensive businesses i expect. though i hope it wont happen and they try to retain the market stall groceries and small wet and dry market type businesses.

not much profit in those unfortunately, if u want to preserve the low prices you will have to charge low rents. that is why those kind of markets are doomed to go extinct. 

added 3.10.18 a clever way to make mac and cheese for one. 

free food, no wifi.

10 Aug

london 10.56am 19C rain friday 2018

first day i am experiencing life without home broadband. its a pity there isn’t a public wifi i can use at home, because there is no starbucks or cafe nero, nearby . the nearest wifi i can get is from the tate britain. now i am in  a public library to get online. 

yesterday, i went to a free food given by pilau, in goodge st. they are giving away a thalli of butter chicken, or paneer(some kind of cheese). only two choices because that was all that was in the menu. steve and his friend were there too and they tell me it is to advertise their evening opening. but there are only two choices in the menu. there was also free beer, in bottles.

i met quite a lot of the others who i see regularly go to these free food offers. a chinese lady who brought along her english partner and her elderly mother and father. she is a banker but she said she had taken voluntery redundancy and got a years salary. so she is taking that year off to travel. bringing along her parents with her. she said she is enjoying it and not feeling sick of it . i think because she is taking it in doses. coming back to london in between. rather than buying a one way round the world ticket and travelling all the time. she is from china. 

as for the food, i find they are generous with the chicken portions, but being buttered chickens, they are not spicy. later i saw a chinese lady eating, and she had asked them for  chilli paste. i think i expect it to be spicy because it is served in a thali dish. i was expecting a curry sauce too,actually, but they only gave us chutney. there were not many people taking up this offer. they are only giving away 50 meals, but there was no queue. it costs £8 for the chicken thali, £7 for the paneer thali. i found the beer quite strong, and gave it away to the lady who sat next to me and who i got chatting to. from what i see, most chose the meat option. i think the restaurant has a charity connection. the sign says they provide free meals and mentioned how many they provide but there was no mention of who they gave the free meals to.



if u are a tourist, speak english.

24 Jun

london 1.48pm 25.2C sunny sunday 2018

i was at the john lewis department store in oxford st, and was browsing their laptop section, and was surprised to see only one brand of chromebook, on sale. and it cost £285 and 10inches. it does not seem to be reduced. (in the past, they sell for £200 or less.) john lewis are the only ones giving a free 2yr guarantee on all their electrical goods. it is worth while getting that. 

i wonder what happened to all the other brands of chromebooks. i got chatting to one of the assistants and she said john lewis seem to have  stopped selling chromebooks except for that one. she too did not know why. i am a huge fan of chromebooks. they are perfect for the person who just want to get online with the minimum of fuss and bother and who could not be bothered with antivirus , or uploading of updates or slow downloads. she did say keep looking, because after the sales john lewis might have more chromebooks. 

my own chromebook, this one i am using now, is coming up to 2yrs, and if what i experienced of my old one is any indication, it will conk out after 2yrs. haha. it is a replacement of my old one , which conked out after 2yrs. i was glad for the john lewis free 2yr guarantee, because they gave me a new replacement at no charge. and this is the one i am using now. if it conks out it wont be replaced.   

here is hoping it bucks the trend and keeps going for longer. i have read that the pc is going down in sales, as people are buying smartphones instead. i hope they are not discontinueing the chromebooks.

on the way back, i passed by trafalgar square and got off the bus to see if they are giving away free food there. it is the hare krishna festival, where they drag 3 juggernauts through london. and they always give free food. and sure enough they were doing so, even though it is quite early and the juggernauts have not arrived frm their starting point in hydepark corner. the queue for the food is not long.  the food is delicious. and quite filling too. no tea this year. or maybe it has not arrived yet. they are giving water instead. it was quite early , it has only just started at 1pm. that explains why the queue is so short.

there were tourists there, but they did not know what was going on i think. at least these two white women and their two children. i tried to tell them of the free food, but they did not speak any english and gave me suspicious looks and edgeing away when i tried to tell them. haha. i suppose i cannot blame them for looking so suspicious , after all, if they dont know english they will be getting a lot of people who will be trying to sell them things and will rightly assume i am trying to sell them things too. but it does mean they lose out a bit on the local events like this, just because they dont know the lingo. i was thinking the kids will enjoy the free food.

frankly i think if u are going travelling as a tourist, learn english. even if u are not visiting the uk. it is such a common language there will always be someone , wherever u go, who will at least know some bits of english to communicate with you. i know others reading this will say i am arrogant to suggest it, what makes you think english is so common… haha. well all i can say is i have travelled the world and it is my experience that it is always possible to find someone who can talk english for you to ask information . so when u are in the middle of a crowd, you can ask what is going on, and someone in the crowd will invariably be able to answer you in english. 

easy life in london

1 Nov

london 11.25am 14.2C cloudybut bright. wednesday 2017 victoria library

i got notified that linkn is giving away a free breakfast sandwich,made by sub-cult.co.uk  just to celebrate success. it is in the shoreditch boxpark, near liverpool st station. i first stumbled across the boxpark when i went to the nun’s free soup kitchen. its an interesting place built of containers to carry goods in cargo ships. the boxpark itself was closed, it opens at 11am, whilst the free sandwiches were cooked up in a van near the shoreditch overground rail station, just outside the boxpark. i arrived around 9.30am, only a short queue, and they were making a veg version, and a meat version. i got the meat version, very nice it was too, egg and chunky pieces of beef. the veg version was avocado mash with bits and pieces of veg. 



its very nice, we each got half a sandwich. 6inch one.  its that nice that i wish i got a whole 12inch sandwich.haha. worth while to go there again tomorrow and the next day if u are around the area. the meat makes it worthwhile. go after 9.30am i think, because i imagine earlier the office workers will be crowding round it, the worst of the queue will be over by 9.30am, i think, as they will be at work. also if u go there by tube and bus, the tube wont be so crowded.

but of course, it is very cheap to make your own breakfast. it is very cheap to eat if u cook it yourself. i know it, that is why when i hear this… i keep reading of newspapers saying so many families are too poor and have to decide to eat or heat… i dont believe them. 

we are all familiar with advertising, and i think have gone along with the premise that advertising pays… that it will bring in customers. i dont think there is any one testing it , it just seems to have gotten into the general consciousness. and of course everyone wants it to be so, because if we are customers we get freebies… haha. and the whole internet is available for us at low costs because of these adverts. this article in takimag.com talks a bit about it. it questions whether internet advertising is effective; and concludes that if u tag your advert to news, it helps. and gives an explanation why billionaires like bezos, buys the washington post.

does giving away free food helps? what do you think?

does internet adverts really works to persuade u to alter your behavior and buy their stuff? i know it does not affect me , in fact i go even further and say a lot of the clicks that i do on the internet is done by underhand tricks of the website, i click on the adverts accidentally, or i was fooled by their layout to do so, or even they automatically switch on the advert without me even knowing about it as soon as i land on their page. so if you, as the advertiser is paying money to them by clicks on your advert, you might find it is based on misleading statistics. as for giving away free food, well, i hope they continue haha. if i ever get to do a survey asking me if i am influenced by free food, or free samples, i shall tick yes… haha. and i bet plenty of us will do that , not only me. haha. i think adverts affect me only in that they make me hungry watching them… esp if they are food ads. but instead of making me rush out to buy them, i just go to my kitchen and make some food. haha. though if i know i am not hungry but just seem to crave for something to eat, i just drink water. a mug of tea takes care of the cravings. 

10/11/17added that free breakfast sandwich was sponsored by  linkedin, and found out that microsoft paid $26billion last year to buy it. 

24 Oct

london 2.48pm brightcloudy tuesday 2017

i went again to the billy and the chicks restaurant this morning for their freebie. this time the doorman told us it will be a pulled chicken over chips with their special hot sauce, called fuck sauce. haha. i could not believe he said that. i misheard him say fuck chips, but a couple, who looked indian and waiting along with me told me it is the name of the sauce…  i was chatting with them as they joined just after me. then the daughter of  the elderly chinese man  just ahead of me came and joined him, and they discovered they know each other. the daughter who is in her 20s said she  works around here and able to get time off to come. she said it was for her father to experience it. they spoke mandarin to each other, so dont think they are from malaysia. from singapore, or from china i think.

i dont usually see chinese or indians queueing up for these things. but this place seem to attract them, because yesterday there were a lot of young chinese guys queueing up too. but the rest of the queue this time was composed of young black and white guys wearing trainers and track suits… so perhaps they are not the usual office workers. perhaps they are from a construction firm working near by. 

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i was hoping for proper chicken fried with batter but maybe that would be expecting too much. i found out kfc actually have a special , two fillet of chicken sandwich, no buns, the fillet are the buns. i thought that would be rather nice to have.

on the way to the library, i pass by victoria station, and went up to the mezzanine floor of victoria place to see how much they are selling it. £6.09. hmm, it sounds like a better bargain. it would be difficult to compete with that. looks like kfc got the chicken market all sewn up. haha. but will it taste good though. i have yet to buy one to taste it. 

the chicken burger of the billy place which i got yesterday is very nice. very tender and juicy. usually chicken breast  can be very dry and tough. i think they use chicken thighs. it must be difficult to make sure it cooks right through and still not overcook it.

i suppose one of the things that we amuse ourselves with is finding nice food places , people do that all the time in malaysia, thailand, singapore, but here i think we have a bit of variation, where to find free food. haha. the only thing is they are confined to the hamburger, chicken, pizza type of food.  its interesting that none of the chinese, indian, food places offer free food. i guess they dont need to as they have enough customers… or do they? maybe competition between burger, pizza, and chicken joints is much fiercer. or there are so many new restaurants opening offering the chicken, hamburger, pizza variations, that they have to advertise by giving free food to let people know they are there. whereas not many of the other types of restaurants are opening. i hear there is real shortage of cooks for indian, chinese food so maybe that might be the reason why there are so few new chinese or indian restaurants opening. 

added. 8.20pm. hmm, it seems london is the chicken capital of the world. it seems there are tons of chicken shops all over london catering to the locals. it seems school children allready have a £2 chicken deal aimed at them. so might be those young guys in the queue are all from the outer reaches of london where fried chicken is king.