Tag Archives: richard ayoade

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. 

megacities

8 Oct

London
I saw a tv program  called ‘gadget man‘ channel 4, episode 6 about  miniature gadgets and the presenter ,Richard ayoade, built a small cubic space and stock it with small gadgets and movable walls to create 5 rooms in it.
But at the end of the program my thought was that the gadgets were all expensive and unnecessary. And even the cube can be lived in without all those gadgets and moving walls. Just have the bedroom in the loft, and a enclosed space for the toilet/shower; and the rest can be used as an open space where u can do everything without moving walls about. Like this tiny house where there is no need to make moveable walls. 

He said there are 12,000 people per square mile in London. Is that supposed to be crowded?
How can that be? I live in London, and I walk about the street, and sometimes I don’t see anyone as I walk out from my flat and through the housing estate and reach the main street. Where is everybody then? And I live right in the centre of London.

It is one of the characteristics of uk towns. The streets are rather empty, when u compare with streets in s.e.asia, or India, or china, where there are people everywhere. I wonder how many per square mile in hongkong , for eg, or Tokyo? 67,000 and 11,300 respectively.
www.newgeography.com/content/002808-world-urban-areas-population-and-density-a-2012-update
Fascinating read that website.
Google is so wonderful. Instant answers. And London was nowhere mentioned. Its seems its population peaked in 1951. London is not rated as a megacity.
The facts about paris is interesting. Fastest growing city in Europe, and now is a megacity with more than 10million. Most of it in the suburbs which stretch over more than 1000miles. The historical core (ville de paris)has declined in population. It appears that paris is experiencing the flight into the suburbs, though I think it is the poor who are going into the suburbs,  unlike other cities where it is the rich deserting the centre.
This is a little diversion and off topic, but worth a good look , it is about mega cities.
www.theguardian.com/global-development/interactive/2012/oct/04/rise-of-megacities-interactive

I think people here stay indoors in london, unlike in India, or asia, where people practically live in the streets and do everything outside.

I can understand that in winter, when the streets can be cold and windy, but it has been very mild and this summer has been warm, and yet hardly any one in the streets where I live, which suggests to me that it is the way of life here and nothing to do with how cold or rainy it is.

I think also many people commute into London, so they come in morning, and leave evening, and stay inside their offices most of the time. Only during lunch time they come out, then u can see the crowds. I once walked in the city of London during office hours and it was like a ghost town, so empty of people; until lunch time came and suddenly hordes of people just appeared .

That may explain why u cannot get away from people in those Asiatic places, whilst here in London, it is easy to get away from people.

When we visit s.e.asia or china or India, it is a novelty for us to see so much street life , but after some time, it can get very tiring. Its noisy too. Here in London, it is v quiet, at least where I live.

Now and then, I get reminded how glad I am to be living in London.

I have a feeling that London is dominated by a population of transients. At any one time, I am sure the transients are the majority. By transients I mean people visiting or working temporarily (up to 1 or 2 yrs) . They come and go. And these people are not counted as they don’t stay long enough. They are the ones who sustain the services in London, restaurants, hotels, theatre, opera, pubs, nightlife, fashion, retail shops, etc

added. i should also include amongst transients those who commute daily to london from outside london. google unfortunately could not come up with the numbers who commute from outside london. there are 14 underground stations that are outside the greater london area. 

added. saw this today about the uk weather. it explains why it is so changeable. i love this weather, because it changes all the time. we all who live here will know that if it is a south wind, it is likely to be warm. which is why i like weather reports that gives us the direction of the wind. this one tells us why.