My Life as a Museum Rat

London Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 31 › view all entries
    I've always been a Museum Rat (among other things: Dork, Book Whore, Bartender, A Boy).  I love going to museums and losing myself in life, history, art, and the past.
    Back home I would often spontaneously go to the Met or the MoMa, especially in times of distress - just to forget myself and visit with lovers that will never ask anything of me in return.  Lovers like Van Gogh and Picasso and Queen Nefratiti. 

    I suppose it's only right that a majority of my time here (and by "here" I mean, the continent of Europe) will be spent as a Museum Rat.  This is a life-long dream trip partly because for as long as I can remember, I would ache to come and see/touch/feel the things that the great ones of the past did.  So, where ever I go, I will be looking for a museum to explore.

    All that being said, I was pleased to discover that a majority of London's premier museums are FREE.  How f-ing aweseom is that?!  (I don't know why we don't do that back home - education and history and great art SHOULD be free and accessible to everyone.) 
    Saturday, Matt took me sightseeing.  We walked the breadth and length of the City of London - I got to see Big Ben, Wesminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace (Oh!  Mom, I saw Prince Charles and Camilla drive by to the Palace.  Royalty in real life!  I can't wait to tell you - since I know how much you loved Princess Di.), Piccadillly Circus, the London Eye... it all reminding me of NYC, especially Times square, just spread out over a larger area.  Yes, there were Londoners and tourists everywhere.  I was even accosted by a roving band of protesters... although exactly what they were protesting I couldn't tell you.  They had signs contesting all sorts of moral violations from the war to pollution to torture to the earthquake in China all headed by pictures of Saddam Hussein and Che.  Hmmm...
Of course, my favorite part of it all, was the museums.  (Did I mention they were FREE?) 
    At the National Gallery I visited with Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Monet, Gaughgin, Van Gogh (his Sunflowers are here), and Cezanne.
    The Museum of the Docklands had the coolest special exhibit on Jack the Ripper.  They had the letters he sent to the police on display!  It was all so deliciously evil.  London's East End (where the museum is located) is experiencing a gentrification - it is, among other things, the new financial capital of the world.  The museum explored the East End's history as a "slum", for lack of a better word, and Jack the Ripper's role in it.  Again, it's not unlike NYC's Five Corners which is paid tribute to in the Lower East Side Tenemant Museum back home. 
    Yesterday, sunday, was a lazy day. I allowed those while I'm backpacking?  My wonderful President, George Bush, was in London (why is he following me?!) so we decided against going out as security and traffic would be obnoxious.  I told Matt I would be more than happy to venture back to Buckingham Palace to throw rocks at my President but he ruled against it as getting arrested in the UK for crimes against the US would put a damper on the rest of my backpacking trip.  I rolled my eyes and told him to  live a little.
    On a side note, it's really funny/sad how the people here make fun of our blathering idiot of a President.  It permeates all parts of their culture from their postcards to the 6 o'cock news to daily conversation.  They've also have little nice things to say about the dinosaur McCain, who they expect us idiot Americans to vote into office next.  ...I believe their name for the USA is "Dumbfuckistan". 
    I went for a run along the Thames river and swimming (in a pool, not the Thames).  Then Matt's girlfriend, Michelle, came over and we cooked dinner, drank wine, and watched the PGA US Open.  Real exciting. 

    Today, I venture out to the British Museum, home of the Rosetta Stone.  More of that tomorrow and if time allows, Shakespeare's Globe Theater and St. Paul's Cathedral.  Then, I'm off to Amsterdam.
    It's a hard life, being a Museum Rat.

PS. I posted some pictures so you know for sure I'm not dead.
jiggajaime says:
I'm really enjoying reading your blog! I just came back from a trip to Europa and I'm moving to the netherlands in august!
Posted on: Jun 26, 2008
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photo by: ulysses