Tag Archives: tourists

business is good in central london

27 Oct

london 8pm 7C dry sunday 2019 GMT

today the time has reverted to GMT, which means 12noon will be the highest point the sun will be from now on.

i was out and about today, and it is a day like any day… even though the indians will be celebrating diwali. but since this is a western country, no one else will be making celebrations.

in fact, today there is a demonstration on the street for kashmir, i think it is pakistani supporters against the indian govt. but i did not see them when i was about, as the buses were avoiding them, and not running on the  streets where they march.

usually trafalgar square will be taken over by the indians, to celebrate it, but this year it is on next sunday, not this one. i suppose it is only right, as those who will celebrate it will do so at their temples or at home, and wont be coming to trafalgar square today.

i was at marble arch, coming back from the paddington library, and changing bus at marble arch, and whilst waiting for the bus to get me back,  a number 6 bus came by and it says it stops at piccadilly circus, so i took a spur of the moment decision to board it and go to the virgin lounge instead of going home.

it was very pleasant at the virgin lounge, drinking coffee and soft drinks, and eating biscuits. haha. as well as reading the papers and surfing the internet.

the streets around it were busy with tourists, with every coffee house and restaurants full of eaters, which makes me think that anyone with a business in that part of london cannot help but make a profit, with so many people in the area and all so willing to go into the shops to eat and buy.

my impression as i walked through the chinatown area, was that every business was full of customers, jammed pack with people eating at tables. and the street was filled with people too. business must be good. 

a nice day in london

8 Sep

london 12.30pm 18C sunny sunday 2019 john lewis top floor eating place

i am having a lovely blueberry cheesecake and coffee now , using the free coupon that john lewis the store  gave me every 3months. its still very early for the lunch crowd to gather, so the place is quiet and peaceful. i do enjoy this cheesecake and nibbling it bit by bit to make it last. and though they say the cappuccino is a regular, the cup is quite big and there was a lot of it.

Digital StillCamera

earlier i went to victoria station to charge up my chromebook. i was early about 8.30am, and it being sunday the place was not busy. everyone is at home, this being a non work day. a group of men were playing loud music in the station. i wish they would take their train and go. that might explain why i decided to take the bus to the paddington library even though it was 9.30am, and way too early to be taking the bus  to paddington library  so that when i  got to the library it was about 10am,  it has not opened yet. in fact i could not even go  to the waitrose store nearby to browse around. too early. so i took a walk up the road passed queensway and explored it , looking at the shops lining it. before getting to a bus stop and decide to take the next bus,  the bus 27 back to paddington station, where i thought i might find a toilet, and also they will have  a place to charge my chromebook.

 i used their toilet, which is free, (now all the toilets at train stations are free to use)and a pret shop , not realising until i left it that there is a waiting room right next door  with charging points which i missed when i passed it earlier. so that is another place to remember if ever i am early and want a place to charge my chromebook.

there was road works outside the main entrance of paddington station, so the buses do not go down that street but bypass it. but the station is a big place, and i entered it via its backside, near the canal. and that was the side i took to get back to the library again and read the sunday papers. 

its very nice to be on the top deck of the bus and just watch people on the pavements below, people -watching can be a fascinating pasttime. and passing the shop windows and looking at the stuff they have on show is entertaining. i guess because i dont resent them, unlike if i crave those goods but not able to afford them, it would make a person jealous and resentful. 

that is why i think so many locals in european cities like barcelona, or those who live in mallorca who you see protesting against the tourists and telling them to go home, are those who resent what they think are rich tourists come to use their resources and make things so expensive for them, that they cannot afford to live there anymore and must feel they are being pushed out. but i hope we dont feel like that here, because if we are wise, all those stuff they sell in the shops are really overpriced things that we have just to sell to tourists. 

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. 

tourists trouble in spain, but not here.

11 Aug

london 4.35pm 21.9C cloudy bright friday 2017

9.15pm 19.2C dry night. well, its been a pleasant day today here in london for me.

and all these stories i read about tourists getting it in the neck by the anti tourist gangs in spain. haha. the locals or so we are led to believe are revolting against the huge influx of tourists, but i think it is political…  it all started in the barcelona area and we all know that part of spain have always wanted to secede from spain, and now they are being very aggressive in their attack on tourists and the touristy trade that caters to them. it is a way of drawing attention to themselves.  the central govt have categorically told them no… and so  to hit back at the central govt who refused to allow them to leave and gain independance from spain they are starting this strategy.  many of them are now branching off to the southern areas of spain and even the islands and start their agitating disruptions there.

i suppose they have some sympathy from the locals living there esp those who dont benefit at all from the influx of tourists. those who dont work for the tourist trade, or own restaurants or hotels, or rent out their flats via airbnb. but left to themselves these people wont be so upset as to get aggressive about it.  they realise that the whole economy benefits from the tourist trade.

but maybe the brits should just go elsewhere. come on, when u get it so crowded that even the locals are asking you to go elsewhere, just heed them and go elsewhere.

you can tell even though the £ is weaker and so it costs lots more to go there, we still go there. some people got more money than they know what to do with. or else, the increased costs is not that much to deter them. they can still afford it.  that is why i dont have much sympathy with people who say it costs more , let it cost more, high time these tourists pay through the nose for their holiday abroad. they are giving money to those foreign countries at the expense of their own country. now i come to think of it, the spaniards must have raised their hotel charges and other charges and still the tourists come… just goes to show u can charge very high, it does not deter the tourists… they are immune to high prices.

and what is this about their liquor prices. even though they charge high, it still remains cheaper than what people pay here in uk. just goes to show how much the british govt tax the alcoholic drinks here in uk. and cheap booze means a lot of bad behaviour due to drunkeness. a combination of cheap booze and sunshine means those places will always remain popular. perhaps that explains why those boozy tourists dont want to go elsewhere in the world. where else in the world is so easy about nudity and sexual behaviour than in spain… right?  one sure way of killing this golden goose is for the govt to put a huge tax on the booze. make it as expensive as in uk, that would kill it at once. haha. so that is what they should do if they are really serious about limiting the numbers.

but no one really wants that do they? tourists are like the wildebeest, they are the walking prey for everyone around. haha.

anyway here i am in london miles from all the tourist shit in europe, so enjoying life here. it may sound mundane taking the bus, going to the library, going to the supermarket haha. but it is quite enjoyable. i dont know why there are people who hate supermarket shopping for food. but they seem to have convinced themselves that it is a chore.

oh, yes, there is also the news about the eggs contamination by some thing or other originating from the netherlands. (and they are blaming each other for it amongst the european companies) and it is eggs from europe. haha. another knife into europe and their reputation for being very good about sticking to regulations . they have been caught spreading this all over the place and many of it has come into uk. ha. so i noticed the sandwich shelves in the supermarket are reduced , and that explains why. it is not the eggs as such, that is ok, so fresh eggs (they are british)are left alone; it is all the sandwiches made with eggs , and plenty got mayonnaise in them, hence they have to clear the shelves . 

added. 12.8.17 saturday. looks like the egg scandal is going to spread to desserts, cakes as well. 




travelling to europe will have more delays at passport control now.

1 Aug

london 4.58pm 22.2c sunny tuesday 2017

its a very pleasant day today, even though if u just look at the temp, 22.2C it doesnot sound like alot. but on the ground, to experience it makes me realise it is really quite ideal. i used to think 25C would be ideal , but i have reconsidered now, and think anything from 20C to 25C will be fine.

today i read this article telling about long queues to go through passport control in those big cities in europe… paris, madrid, lisbon, milan, amsterdam,barcelona, palma in majorca, i thought at first it is only at big airports, but no, it is europe wide even in the smaller airports, due to a new directive brought out in march, about checking all non schengen passport holders against the records to be implemented by oct this year. so be prepared for more disruption and delay after oct.

but perhaps it will have done its job and drastically stop people going to europe unless absolutely necessary. as one comment said, dont go there.

i remember in the past we used to have to buy visas, to visit a country, and it involves long queues at their embassy. then visas were abolished and u can get a stamp on the passport at the port of entry and allowed to stay for a certain length of time. but now every passport has to be checked not only for authenticity, but also against a list of terrorists. perhaps the computer would make that very quick. but still it would take time. 

i think we shall all look back on the 90s when we could just pop over easily and cheaply to europe as the golden years of travel. i know i do.

when u consider you can get fined, or hosed down with  water to prevent you from eating your own food in the public squares in florence or rome, as they are doing or thinking of doing… it makes you wonder why you want to go there anyway. if they are so precious about it, they can keep it. and if they are so unwelcoming to tourists, they should jolly well not get any. 

eu and our leaving

8 Oct

london 8.51pm 14.2C saturday 2016

trouble with nowadays when news is so easily available and news feeds throw news our way continuously, it makes u feel as if there is so much turmoil in the world.

if not from man made killings, it is huricanes, like the one hitting america’s florida coast. it has devastated haiti, but it seems its force has gone down once it hit the coast. islands by the very nature get the worst blast from them. nothing to block them and deplete their force. these islands are considered paradise , or what paradise is like, but it  is not so paradisical as far as i am concerned. these devastating huricanes are not an isolated incident. it happens almost every year.

not many places in the world are trouble free from nature. that is why i consider uk as paradisical, in that the weather here is friendly and never extreme. if it does go extreme it is not horribly extreme. if that is not paradise, what is?

i had a very pleasant day today. nothing dramatic happened, but got a little bit of everything.

freebies to collect… free coffee from john lewis, and lego bricks from daily mail which i collected from the whsmith store in victoria station. so far i had not felt the urge to break open the pack and build it up.

and i avoided the traffic jam on that part of the west end that borders hydepark. there were marchers who had marched from the north to london to enact king harolds march to hastings to fight the normans, and where he got an arrow in his eye that ended it all. they had amassed at hyde park, and i supposed would have been quite nice to see, as they are wearing costumes, and i daresay the papers tomorrow will show them. but in terms of getting around london, i am glad i avoided them.

its quite a normal day in london, people going about their business, whether shopping or eating out, which is all i see, from the top of the bus. you would think that is all they do, but then they all look like tourists. and they are enjoying themselves what with the £ costing so much less now. its parity now. £1= 1 euro.

i can see the businesses in central london may well depand on the tourists spending their money. how else are they going to get customers, certainly it would not be possible to have so many businesses like there are here making a profit if they only rely on locals patronising them. every  business seem to be full of customers inside. it might be to uk ‘s advantage that the £ is low… tourism will boom.

the papers are also full of articles about the fears of eu punishing uk for voting to leave. they have threatened it, so it is not a fear that is unfounded. we shall see if they really can do it and not make themselves lose money. and obviously they will try their best to steal business from the city of london and other uk businesses. but they are especially eager to bring back financial business back to a european capital, and centre it in frankfurt or paris. though plenty of observers say they dont have the expertise , and the business will go to new york, if they try to cut out london. or the whole thing fails and they do not get london or new york and their own businesses find it hard to raise finances or do any business. we shall see.

in the meantime i think we here in uk will have to keep to our shores, and forego foreign holidays for a time. at least for those of us who like a bargain. because it really rankles when the £ does not buy as much as it did before in europe. at least i get rankled haha. that is why i stopped going to europe when it dropped from £1=1.50euros to £1=1.20euros. now that it is £1=1euro, there is even less reason to go there. for me anyway.

i have yet to hear from my friends who have recently gone to europe. perhaps they did not notice much difference.  perhaps their liking for europe overides the low £, and they will still like going there. i wonder if the low £ will entice even those in europe who dont like to travel to come to england. or will they get so angry with uk voting to leave that they refuse on principle to come here. haha.

i have someone in the gay website telling me he is coming to uk, he is from bulgaria,and recently i got a message from him saying he is here, in london and staying at a hostel in bloomsbury. he wants to find work as a kitchen porter. his written english is good but he says his spoken english is poor. and from the news the govt has conceded that most of those eu citizens who are here will remain, as they cannot be forced to leave legally. so i think anyone who comes in now and work here will be allowed to remain. they will be given automatic leave to remain when uk finally leaves after giving the two year notice. uk is very gay friendly, and is ideal for a gay guy to come and live. 

i ahve a feeling eu citizens will still be allowed to come to work, uk needs them to fill up the vacancies. people should make a distinction between those who come specifically to bring their families and claim benefits from those who come to work and take up the job opportunities for work here. though if the £ remain low, i wonder if they might not find it not worth the effort as the money they earn will get less when they send it back to their home countries. 

added.7am sunday 9.10.16. i had word from him that it is difficult to open a bank account now. he said it was easier in the past. without a bank account it will be difficult to get that job. i suspect it is a catch 22, he cant get a bank account unless he gets a proper address, instead of a hostel; or a proper job.

 i have a feeling lots of new comers will get this drip drip obstacles put in their path. not only in uk with newcomers, but in europe, with uk citizens maybe not being able to get free medical treatment in europe. it is not a problem for uk tourists visiting europe, most will have travel insurance, but the long term stayers, the expats, they will feel it if they dont get their usual free access to medical care. 

added. 8.06pm 12.8 light rain,monday 17.10.16. i got a message just now from the bulgarian guy who came to london to work. he started work on 11.10.16. and lack of a bank account was not needed to get the job, he just needs one so that his salary can be put in it. so he used his friend’s account. it seems very easy to get jobs here. it looks like london need these eu workers to fill the vacancies.

 added. 7pm 13C wednesday 19.10.16 he got a job as a kitchen porter in a 5star hotel,

he says ‘ Yes they give us free meal and soft drinks.
Im working 9-10 hours per day from 7 pm to 5 or 6 am
with 1 hour break and in this hour we eating and drinking in zale for staff.’

its long hours, but hey, if i were him, i wont mind. after all the idea is to make money here. and long hours means the daily wage will be higher. even at minimum wage of about £7 an hour, that means about £70 , less tax and national insurance  so maybe £50 a day. it is possible he might get higher wage scale for the unsocial hours and weekend work. so he is looking at least £1000 a month take home pay. maybe more. hmm, i shall have to see if i can get him to tell me how much he gets. haha. but i can see why this kind of work will not appeal to the british person. such long hours… not to mention if i am on income support that is £65 a week,given to me free money…  plus if i get free housing, (£500 a month, if not more even if it is a room, and if a long term benefit person i  might have a one bedroom flat allocated to him by now, rent free or paid for by social security. ) he would have to earn hell of a lot more than £1000 a month to afford the rent. so no wonder none of them want this kind of work. 


i dont think travellers really gain in the exchange rate

2 Jul

london 8.33pm 17C sunny clear sky saturday 2016

i was in town and saw the exchange rates that the high street money changers were charging. they have a buy and a sell rate. 

if u want to change £ to Euros, they charge u £1 =1.17 euros

if u want to change euros to £ , they charge u £1= 1.34euros. the official exchange rate now is £1=1.19euros.

so it looks like the euro tourists here dont really get the full benefit of the cheap £. i think this is the universal truth … you can never get good exchange rate if u are a foreigner changing your money to the local currency in the country where u are visiting.

that is why it is a wise move to buy all your currency in your own country before u travel. the downside of course is that u are carrying a lot of cash and u can get robbed. alternatively u can pay with your credit card and just pay the exchange rate that applies on that day when the purchase gets processed by your bank.

nowadays i dont like it at all , so that is why i dont visit countries anymore. it is only part of the reason i hasten to add . the other part is because i have lost interest in visiting countries just for the sake of visiting them. i have gone there and bought the t shirt as it were, and seen them and got it out of my system… and so have lost that urge to travel now.

in fact, i seem to have gone the other way round, i dislike leaving london so much so that i wont even take the £1 train that takes 2hrs to bournemouth to visit john. i mean to say if even that low fare does not tempt me, nothing will.

burlington gdn street festival


nothing much happening

1 Jul

london 10.40am 18C light rain friday 2016

the start of july.

london 7.07pm 17C sunny . the day has been a mix of sunshine and rain.

this morning i saw a large carpet rolled up near the recycling bins. it was v heavy. it would be nice to have got it, but then, i also think i dont really have anywhere to put it. my flat has more than enough of carpets. it is strange that i like carpets. i wonder why because living in malaysia I never have any experience of carpets. all the floors in malaysia are either wooden, or tiled. carpets would just make it harder to sweep clean, because u have to lift it up first. not to mention having to beat it now and then. here in uk, we all mostly have wall to wall carpets. but it is not the same thing. the patterns in the carpets are what fascinates me i think, and what makes a lot of people like having them. anyway, when i returned from the library, it was gone. the whole area swept clean, so the removal men have been to clear up i think.

my life now is rather uneventful. my friend john just now wrote me an email talking about what he intends to do with his bedroom. he is (at last) putting in a double bed. it is very small bedroom so he has to juggle everything else to make it fit. for a gay man to have a single bed for so long is v unusual. most of us like to make room for another person to sleep with. so he is spending a bit of money to upgrade his bedroom.

there is turmoil in the political world where two major parties are trying to change their leaders. i am not too bothered with it. there is much jockeying for positions but it is all an internal affair involving the members of the two political parties. i think to all of us on the outside, we just want them to get on and vote and select a leader and then they might get on to the real work of preparing the country for brexit.

the world goes on as usual, with tourists flocking to uk. i see lots of student groups wandering in line or milling about in a crowd around the westend and quite young children too. now of course they must be rather happy as their foreign money goes further what with the £ being cheaper to buy.

as for me, my life really goes on much as before. if anything things are cheaper… the 10kg kohinoor basmati rice which i bought for £10 has gone down to £9 and now go down to £8.50. there seem to be a glut of them now. i wonder why? commercial things like this are a mystery to me. why some things goes cheaper and others not.

veg is going cheap too. right now lettuce and celery are 29p each. usually they are 50p-80p. so i am gouging on them haha. but of course u cannot really glutton yourself on veg. it is impossible. 


Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

lots of kids from europe or at least that is my guess, but dont know why they are all wearing union jack caps; come to london for their holidays. under eros statue in piccadilly square.

duck tours

11 Mar

london 6.48am 4.6C misty it seems, though where i am the sun is comingup and it looks like a nice day. friday 2016

i see these ‘ducks’ around , most times in the thames near where i live, because across the river is where they enter and leave the water , but also now and then stuck in traffic on the roads, haha. this article which i read this morning says they have been around a long time, since 1946 when the first one was bought to form   wiscousin ducks tours. they were originally bought as cast offs army surplus amphibuous crafts during ww2.

they are distinctive not only for their water-land combination but for the running commentary by the drivers. i have not been on them, but i can understand their attraction to tourists. i enjoy the sight of them on the water, actually rather than be inside them looking out. haha.

cold day, forecast snow for london

15 Feb

london 7.02pm 5.9C dark now, sunset at 5.14pm. dry. monday 2016

would be nice if we have snow in london. its very pretty when it snows. and usually the temperature rises too, when water turns to snow, it throws out a lot of heat.

now there is a north wind blowing so if u are out, it is a cold wind blowing at you. if u have your neck uncovered, it can be bitingly cold. they say it will be -2 tonight. i shall believe it for london when i see it. haha. lets see what the weather website says tomorrow.

indoors my nhs thermometer says 12C. i think i will be cold only if it is 9C so now, nothing that a hot drink wont cure.

i was on the bus this morning and watching this foreigner , french i think, who pressed his oyster onto the reader, but it did not work. it might not be his oyster card’s fault, because earlier the reader did not register for me. (though the driver was changing shift, so maybe he had not configured the reader yet.)

anyway, he was about to get off when the driver said something, i guessed about his credit card, because he returned and started taking out his cards and i could hear  him asking the driver to take the payment from the card. instead of just pressing it onto the reader,   he put them on the counter one by one,and i could hear the driver talking, but i wastoo far to hear the words.

 maybe the driver was telling him to press it against the reader, so  i expected him to press one of the cards against the reader, but he did not, and i could hear the driver talking again… maybe he does not understand what the driver was saying… anyway he took back his cards and got off.

i dont know why the driver did not mime it, pointing to the card, pointing to the reader and pressing his hands together… but maybe it never occurred to him that the guy dont understand his accent. because lets face it, people here in uk dont speak the queen’s english. just like when u go to another country they too have their accents, even if they speak english. 

i was thinking it is one of the things i dislike when i am in a country where i dontknow their language. this is one case when not knowing the language make him lose the opportunity.

it is very frustrating, if it happened to me. and that is why i dont go abroad anymore. one of the reasons anyway.

it is a minor thing, but it can really ruin your experience of a country. you ask directions or information and get a stream of language from a person, and you know  he is telling u important information but u just dont understand him.

anyway, it is things like this i see that reminds me how glad i am to be in london and not away in some foreign country.