Tuesday, June 29, 2010

p UK

I was in London yesterday to visit the queen to renew my passport. I've never been to the Philippine Embassy in my almost 6 years of living in this country and I was actually pleasantly surprised at its location. Situated in the St James district, right in central London, the embassy is in a prime spot. I'm sure the infamous iron butterly, the delusional (as I'd like to call her) Madame Imelda Marcos was behind the acquisition of this exclusive property. This was probably during her spending spree which resulted in the purchase of properties in NY, Tokyo and other cosmopolitan places in the world

Anyway, the embassy building is right beside the University of Notre Dame London and The National Gallery, practically, in its backyard. Y'all know my fascination of old buildings and architecture, so read the history of the place here.

The entire process of getting a MRP (machine readable passport) was just over an hour and a half which wasn't so bad as intructions on how to get one were printed on A4 papers and pasted on walls in at least 3 different rooms! It was like a wild goose chase. Of course I'm exaggerating but you get my drift. I realised yesterday that no matter where you put the Philippines in the world, it would still be an organised mess. It was hot too. Alright, not as hot as back in Manila but at least there, most buildings are fit with air conditioners and you are only hit by the hot, sticky air outdoors. In the UK, it was actually more unbearable inside than outside because majority of the buildings don't have air con.

Inside the embassy, people were talking about the latest Aquino saga. No, they weren't talking about P-Noy's inauguration tomorrow but Kris' separation from her husband. The latter said she has been mum on her marital woes for a couple years. If she had waited that long, couldn’t she have waited two weeks or two months more until the revelation of her doomed marriage?

Agaw eksena. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Once my business at the embassy was finished, I went to Earls Court via tube (the underground was like an oven) for lunch. Earls Court is the city's Filipinotown. There are at least a dozen Pinoy establishments in the area from supermarkets to restaurants to hair dressers to travel agents etc. I picked a restaurant where Ketty and I had been before. It was alright. At 5 quid for all-you-can-eat rice, Dinuguan, Embutido, Humba, Calderata, Pancit, Arroz Caldo, Calamares, Chop Suey and a free Wowowee viewing, I was stuffed and entertained.

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