For Sherry. Five things you can do in my home town. Scratched my head a little; what’s my home town? Is it Kingsbury, London NW9? Or is it London Town? No matter, I’ll do both.
(Taken with cameraphone)
Five things you can do in London NW9:
You can immerse yourself in the life that is our High Street. Start at the Kingsbury tube station end on the right hand side and walk up and pop into all the interesting little shops: grocers, meat shops, pound shops, sari shops, party stuff shops, haircut shops, fast food shops, key cutting shop, Internet shops, pots and pans shops, school uniform shop, Iraqi shop, Sri Lankan shop, Gujurati shop. When you get to the second hand cars shop – cross the road and walk back down the High Street on the other side. When you get back to near the station you can pop into the tiny little run-down arcade that accommodates even tinier little shops – and right at the back you will find a little gem of a place called Udupi Palace where you can sit at a tiny little table in a tiny little room and order yourself the yummiest masala dosa in the West with a cup of tea for under 4 pounds.
You can experience the best view in the whole of London from the very front of the top deck of the Route 79 bus. Take your music player with you, to the southbound bus stop on Honeypot Lane near Kingsbury Circle. When you get your seat, put your music on and watch real London scrolling by. If you don’t have a music player, you could instead try to count how many security cameras you will have been captured on as you make your way through Preston Road, Wembley and Ealing Road. Get off at Alperton tube station.
You can escape to the Far East by popping into the food court at the Oriental City shopping mall. There, you can lunch on a choice of over a thousand different dishes; Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, Singaporean, Indian, Thai, and eat your choice on very ordinary tables and chairs in a big communal area where you can spend the whole day just watching all types of people.
You can get a very good feel for a typical London suburb, where typical Londoners live, and the types of houses they live in, by being driven around the London NW9 neighbourhood on your way to a the local ASDA supermarket. If you take a video camera with you, you could film the view from the rear windscreen, and then sort of time-lapse it afterwards and load it up on YouTube for everyone to see.
You can get Internet for free if you choose to live here. 6 different unsecured Wireless LANs detected from my computer desk in my bedroom.
And In London Town:
You can experience a “white-knuckle” ride on the tube on the Eastbound Piccadilly Line between Acton Town and Hammersmith. Hold Tight! When you get to Hammersmith, you can get off and walk down to the riverside and sit on a bench and just watch the river and people passing by.
You can take a leisurely walk down Piccadilly towards Soho, soaking up all the history, grandeur and glitz that is Central London and end up at the New World Chinese restuarant where you can enjoy fantastic Dim Sum at great price. (Take a Cantonese-speaking friend with you though.)
You can go to a place where the tourists are gauranteed not to go: Woolwich. There you can grab a stodgy donut at the very first McDonalds restaurant to open outside North America before making your way to the Woolwich Foot Tunnel, where you can take an eerie (strange effect on your ears) walk under the river Thames to a place called North Woolwich, which is the most depressing place in London. However, strangely you can catch a train here (North London Line) and end up in Richmond.
You can enjoy a breathtaking car journey on London’s best urban highway: the A40 Westbound from Hanger Lane Gyratory all the way to Junction 2 of the M40 – where you can pass through Slough towards Maidenhead and find a little village called Dorney, where you can find a spectacular man-made rowing lake called Dorney Lake. There you can just sit by the water’s edge and meditate.