London Wrapup

September 4th, 2010, 4:08 pm PDT by Greg

Our time in London is almost up: we leave tomorrow for the University of Sussex for Kat’s conference, which is the theoretical purpose of the trip.

We have covered London pretty well, considering the short time we were here: British Museum, Greenwich Observatory (and thus the Prime Meridian), Westminster Abbey, and we walked around/past Trafalgar Square, Westminster Hall, Buckingham Palace, Trocadero, Chinatown, Covent Garden, London Eye, St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Certainly the highlights for me were the British Museum and Westminster Abbey.

The British Museum (motto: “we’re going to steal your antiquities, but promise they’ll still be around in a hundred years, okay?”) has an awesome collection and I’m glad I had a chance to see it. The Westminster Abbey (motto: “if they’re important and dead, we have them here”) audio tour was narrated by Jeremy Irons, which alone was enough to put it near the top of the list. Also Newton and Darwin (and a bunch of kings or whatever) are buried there.

I have posted a few photos from the trip. More will appear when we get back (and Internet-access-permitting, through the trip).

But more importantly, I have several questions about British people, based on observations made in and while walking past British pubs.

Question 1: Do British people not eat? Every restaurant and pub we walked by were filled with guys drinking beer. I don’t think I saw more than a dozen people actually eating in restaurants the whole time we were here. That was consistent across the whole after-work time span. Do people skip dinner just to drink? Do they somehow rush home and eat before getting to the pub at 6:00?

Question 2: Following up from the previous evidence: Where are the women? Every pub I was in was about 3 men (drinking beer) to each woman (drinking white wine). I assume women do something and don’t all just sit at home when the men are out? Are there places somewhere with 3 women to each guy?

6 Responses to “London Wrapup”

  1. Kat Says:

    “They should use Morgan Freeman to narrate this thing” — American tourist talking about the audio tour at the British museum. He needs to go to the Westminster Abbey – they have Jeremy Irons narrating their audio tour.

  2. Andy Lumb Says:

    Hey, I can actually answer these questions…

    1. Yes, they do eat, quite a bit. They just do it later. Normal supper time starts between 8 and 9 pm. They can therefore spend the early evening drinking before going home / restaurant for supper. I really kind of like the idea of getting off work, going for a pint with friends before going home for dinner.

    2. Yes. They call them cocktail bars. The girls have a cocktail at some chic bar before going for supper. They often do this in pairs, which I believe satisfies your math.

    These trends are common through a lot of the UK, but they are really pronounced in London. London is really like one big Yaletown with a little bit of the 19th century mixed in.

  3. Greg Says:

    I could accept that the 5:00-8:00 and after-8:00 crowds in the pubs were different groups (with the later group eating slightly earlier and heading back out).

    For question 2, why doesn’t one of the group of guys standing at the pub eventually say “hey, maybe we should go to that place where all the women are”? That seems somewhat thick of them.

  4. Eugene Says:

    Football fans aren’t exactly the brightest bulbs in the box. They also probably drink enough to the point where instead of saying “Hey, let’s go to where the women are,” they say something like “You know what would be good right now? A song about Manchester United! And then hooliganism!”

  5. Lisa Says:

    Two things:

    In regard to the question “Do British people eat?” – maybe they don’t. One can only stand so many “pies,” meat or otherwise. However, your fish and chips look pretty yummy…

    Your comment about the British Museum is pretty right on. I think I remember one story about the Elgin marbles wherein Greece said they wanted them back and the Brits said, “Well, you can have the heads…,” which is why many of the statues are headless. Did you hear that too?

  6. Curtis Lassam Says:

    “Are there places somewhere with 3 women to each guy?”

    Have you checked Sweden?