London Day 1: The Not So British Museum

Visiting the city of London has always been on top of my bucket list. London is one of the most beautiful places in the world. This city is rich in both history and culture. I would do anything to go there. I mean who wouldn't? Besides, I'm addicted to anything British. I watch British TV series, listen to British songs, and dream of having a British accent. You can't blame me; Blame my kindergarten teacher who forced me to sing London Bridge is Falling Down millions of times- and don't get me started on Harry Potter. I got my iPod, put my earphones on, searched Ed Sheeran's album, and hit play. Bring it on London.

Sunrise on-board Malaysia Airlines

When the plane landed at Heathrow Airport, the stewardess started spraying something inside the cabin. They said it’s required by the UK government.  I’m sure it’s deodorizers.  The guy behind me needed one.  After we got our luggage, we headed to Heathrow Terminal 4 Tube station.  We used it to get to the city center.  As I got out of Goodge Street station, a red double decker bus passed before me.  Welcome to London!  I asked the construction worker nearby if he knows where Gower Street is.  You know what he said to me?  He said,  “sorry, I can’t help you mate”.  Mate?!  Did he just call me mate?  It keeps getting better and better.  The guy beside me voluntarily offered his help and gave directions to our hotel.   And they say British people are cold.
The famous London underground

The racial diversity inside the "tube" is incredible. It's like an assorted box of donuts.
Goodge Street station
Old world building

Typical London shops

Unbelievable architecture

Here's Gower Street, mate! 
After leaving our luggage inside our hotel, we wasted no time and went straight to the British Museum which is just a few blocks from where we stayed.   I wondered why they called it “British” when majority of the artifacts are not from Britain.  As a matter of fact, I didn’t find anything British in that museum.  All the displays inside were from foreign countries looted by the British during their glory days.  On second thought, let me rephrase that.  All of the displays inside were GIFTS from foreign friends to the British people.  I guess that’s what they call it, gifts.

The "British" Museum
Inside the "British" Museum
7 ton statue of Rameses II- gift from Egypt

The mummy of Cleopatra- gift from Egypt
Statue of winged lions- gift from Iraq
Moai statue of Rapa Nui- gift from Easter Island
Marble statue of Emperor Caligula- gift from Italy
Haida Pole- gift from Canada 
Pediments of Parthenon or the 'Elgin marbles'- gift from Greece
After having a quick look at the crystal skull (yes, it exist), we headed to the exhibit of the Rosetta stone.  For those who don’t know, the Rosetta stone is the key in deciphering the Egyptian Hieroglyphics.  That’s another gift from Egypt.  It looks to me as if the Egyptians were very generous to the British.  

The Rosetta stone and my victim

Enclosed in a glass case, it was surrounded by hoards of onlookers. I wanted to take a picture with it so I made my sister Nicole go to the other side of the case.  I was about to have my picture taken when suddenly this old American man crossed in front me. Just great, I thought.  As a joke, I pretended to hit him with my map behind his back.  But the problem was I really did hit his back… pretty hard!  He instantly turned around and gave me the "what the fuck" look.  Immediately, I made the most innocent/angelic face possible and pretended to be interested in that piece of rock.  I don’t think he was convinced though especially when I'm the only person behind him.

Where are we?

After the British Museum, we tried visiting Notting Hill, made famous by Hugh Grant and Julia Robert's movie.  Unfortunately, we ended up with NOTHING Hill. We rode the wrong bus.  We used the 390 to Archway instead of using 390 to Notting Hill Gate.  All we know was that the bus should be 390. When we finally got to Notting Hill Gate, the stores were already closing! 

Our first day wasn’t perfect at all.  We ate our first meal in London at a Chinese restaurant.  We all got colds because of the ridiculous weather.  I almost made a scene at the “British” Museum and we got lost on our first double decker bus ride.  But in the end it’s all about how you look at it.  Yes, it may have some rough edges but it was a good start.  We survived our first day in Europe!  So let's all keep calm and carry on, yeah?

Want more? Read London Day 2!

  1. London Travelcard or Oyster?
  2. Be sure to have a copy of the London transport maps.
  3. Use the London journey planner for getting the fastest routes.
  4. Heathrow Airport: to and from London.
  5. Tube fare table.
  6. Tube fare calculator.
  7. Tube, DLR, London Overground and National Rail 
    • Peak time:
      •  Monday-Friday 4:30-9:29
    • Off-Peak: 
      • Monday-Friday from 9:30-4:29 (the following day)
      • Saturdays, Sundays and public holiday from 4:30-4:29 (the following day)
  8. If you want to avail the 2for1, 3for2 or 4for2 promo of Days Out Guide, buy your paper Travelcard in National Rail train stations only.  Travelcards bought in Tube stations and in Heathrow Airport will not be honored.  For more questions, click here.
  9. If you have a travelcard, just show it to the bus driver before riding a bus. No need to tap it.
  10. Visit one of the greatest museums in the world. British Museum's website.
  11. Plan what you want to see inside before visiting it.
  12. Join the free tour conducted by the British Museum.
  13. Visit Notting Hill for unique finds and vintage stuff.  

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