Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Shape of London

Cylinders stand tall and round, strong and of use. They hold up royal buildings; yet, they also hold trash in Green Park. Most notably,  they are the shape of the 20-pound hats that the guards wear at Buckingham Palace. Throughout the day, I learned about the importance of these objects.

Changing of the guard

We arrived at Buckingham Palace this morning only to see the guards wearing a different uniform that we expected. Their outfits were dark and unexciting. Ryan said that they must have changed the uniform. I was outraged—Not only did they ditch the red coats, but where the heck were their giant furry hats?! Instead, the men wore hats closely resembling a burgundy beret.

Wait—do I see what I think I see?

All of the sudden, large black hats emerge from behind. Men in red coats march to the gates. I broke a big smile. There they are, my symbol of London—tall, heavy cylindrical hats.

The idea of the hats seems silly: huge, weighted and hairy accessories sitting on the heads of stern men. However, somehow seeing these hats in person, straight and balanced in formation, make them appear important and necessary.

These men stand like statues and their hats accentuate their stature.

I stood beside of several guards today and barely noticed them breathing. A natural human quality is replaced with a almost architectural appearance. Their uniforms complete with boots and hat make them seem like a pillar erected from the ground. They possess a rooted immoveable quality.

I posed beside of the men like every other tourist does that passes through the area, but I felt a little disrespectful. Their job is dutiful and of high regard in London. They protect royalty daily; yet, visiting the area, I think that they stand as mere tourist attractions and entertaining accessories to the city.

Sometimes tourists taunt and swarm them so much that they cannot even complete their scheduled march. I can’t help to think they must hate us.


Bubblicious gum is a definite favorite of mine, but anyone who chews it knows that the delicious sweet taste is gone three minutes after putting it into your mouth. The later happened to me and I began searching for a trashcan to get rid of the tasteless blob.

What appeared to be a simple task soon turned into a mission impossible. We were walking around Westminster in London and there were no trashcans. None.

I walked down Whitehall for miles and still no trashcans. What do these people do, eat their litter?

Soon, Ryan asked us if we noticed anything unusual about this road. Apparently, there truly are no trashcans on Whitehall. This was done purposefully because the Irish Republican Army (IRA) used to plant bombs in the trashcans.

I thought this was a really interesting fact. Londoners just got rid of the trashcans plain and simple. I think that if something like that happened in America we would just build titanium bomb-proof trashcans. We wouldn’t compromise convenience just because someone is out to get us. Afterall, we would see the change as a weakness. However, Londoners see it as just smart.

Have a problem? Trash it.


1 comment:

  1. Probably your best story yet, because you injected some of your personality into it. Really solid job. I would suggest doing a little bit of research on something like the hats of the guards. Maybe some factual information on why they wear them would fit in nicely to the story.

    Great job with this story though -- you're moving in the right direction.