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London Bridge Isn't the London Bridge

My whole life I thought the London bridge was the famous bridge we always see on post cards, posters, travel brochures, etc. But it isn't. That's the Tower Bridge. Did everyone else know this except me? My entire reality is broken. What do we know about anything? What is real? What is truth?

These were the psychological torments presented to us when we visited London to meet Ganesh's sister, Bimala. It was so wonderful to finally meet her. I now have the whole Tamrakar Collection.

The London Bridge is so non-descript it wasn't even photographable. Bimala was a great tour guide and took us to three places in the span of a few hours. We took the famous "tube" from the airport to the city, which was about a 40 minute ride. I was so sleepy that I lost my ticket that Bimala got for me. I felt so bad. I must have dropped it somewhere.
Bimala navigating the Tube

First was the Tate Modern, that makes museum number 14 for my trip. I'm training for the museum olympics. I wake up Rocky-style and eat my giant breakfast, I stretch and warm up my toned muscles, practice my museum lean in the mirror for hours. I memorize the required choreography so that the judges give me full points: One arm behind back and other hand at chin, brow furrowed; One hand in front across ribs and other placed gently toward face, index finger extended upwards toward temple, expression pondering; arms crossed in front with head leaning to one side, expression inquisitive; Sitting on a bench facing the artwork, leaning forward, elbow on knee, tapping mouth with index finger; Occasional pointing to a small detail in the work before returning hand to one of the aforementioned positions. Of course these technical details are important to the overall score, but one must do more than merely pose, one must feel the position. Also, the speaking component of the score is vital. The quality of the commentary is what separates the true masters from the amateurs. It's the soul and the emotional component that really moves the judges. After my posing exercises I memories my vocabulary list. The judges love words like "cohesive," "use of line/texture/tones/contrast" etc. Making comments about the artist's "practice" or "work." Once all these pieces are mastered, then the top-notch athlete starts to form choreographed presentations: Walk slowly to the next piece, assume position number two, throw in a thoughtful point for flair, turn and say, "What I appreciate most about this artist's practice is his sense of color; his palette is cohesive with his message, enhances of movement and flow through the piece, and yet, somehow, surprising and fresh. The color choices complement perfectly with the overall composition of the work. Brilliant." An analysis of the aesthetics are required, but for bonus points an interpretation can also be added, "I feel that this piece speaks to all of us how the essence and yellowness of lemons lies within each of us." With all this practice and a little bit of luck, I'm definitely coming home with the gold.

This was filled with contemporary art and had quite a bit of photography compared to the other museums. I was also happy to see that Digital photos were included, the little museum descriptors saying "print from a digital photograph" or something to that effect.

A lot of contemporary art just makes me laugh, which I realize is a good thing. Any type of emotional response means that the art was a success, I suppose. There was a huge room filled with giant potatoes made out of burlap sacks sewn together. Just cracked me up. There was also a giant 20 foot tower built out of radios from all different eras and tuned to different stations. After the Tate we went to the Shard, the tallest building in Europe, and went up to the 72nd floor and looked out over the city. It was fun and we could see quite far and see most of the major sites in London all at once. Pretty spectacular view on a typical English gray summer day.
Ganesh on the Edge

I knew London would be old, but I didn't expect it to be so dirty and crowded. It's pretty uncomfortable. If I ever come back to England, I definitely want to get out of the city and see more of the old villages and countryside. I have a feeling I would enjoy the old villages and authentic English people a lot more. I'm a hermit, I have a reputation to protect.

Then we took the tube again to see Buckingham Palace. But by this time it was rush hour or something because the train was like a torture chamber. So many people and I swear zero air circulation. It was so hot and stuffy, I get so uncomfortable in those situations and usually feel very claustrophobic and panicky. I had to go into Om-mode to survive. I found it hilarious that some of the signs within the tube system looked an awful lot like tombstones and with phrases such as "Way Out" written on them. The only way out of this tube of doom is death.

But we arrived at the station and walked along a beautiful park to reach the palace. There were bazillions of people and it was crazy. There were also pigeons. Palace Pigeons. Ganesh noted how the palace looks like a jail, especially with the tall gate all the way around, gilded though it may be. We all agreed that basically the life of royalty has a lot in common with prison life. If only we were in a museum, Ganesh would have gotten big points for that.

Palace Pigeon


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