Everywhere you look in the city of London there is an unmistakable shine that can only come from the color gold. Whether it is the bright, clear gold color of your favorite beer shining through a glass in a local pub, the goldish-auburn tint from Ryan Parkhurst’s facial hair, or the hundreds of sparkling statues and ornaments that surround this incredible city. Gold loves London, and London LOVES Gold.
I will be the first person to admit I do not have the bar scene down. Before yesterday I had never sat down in a bar or pub and had a casual beer. Part of the reason is because I had never been in England before, the other reason is that I am a nineteen-year old
baby face that gets IDed the second I ask for alcohol. Imagine my surprise when I sat down for my first meal in London, Wagamama’s, and receive a big smile, tall glass, and 24-ounces of liquid gold in a heartbeat.
Although this is incredibly painful for me, I am going to refrain from focusing on my experiences with beer the first few days here, and instead put the spotlight on the rich history of London’s culture. Don’t you fret though; there will certainly be plenty of pub stories in the very near future.
Any who, back to London, outside of the pubs. One thing that has become very apparent to me is that the weather in London SUCKS. Even when the weather is temporarily gorgeous, no one can be happy. This is because everyone knows in a matter of minutes the sky will turn from bright blue to dark gray, the clouds will part, and rain will begin to saturate the old-fashioned cobblestone streets. One constant in London, rain or shine, are the gold monuments sprinkled throughout the city. The decorative golden pieces on top of the Tower Bridge (aka the “London Bridge” by tourists) glisten on the Thames River. In the middle of town the shiny gold clock located on church outside Tower Hill looks down on all the patrons passing by. A statue of Thomas More, a famous Catholic Church supporter who was murdered defending the rights against the expansion of the Protestant religion in England, was erected in gold and silver in the suburbs of Chelsea.
Today, the group and I visited the Tower of London, where we were given a guided tour by a
Beefeater, a retired English soldier who served 22 years that now entertains the foreigners site-seeing. Although he claims that the Gin Company created the name after they were already established as guides, I’m not buying it. As we adventured through the towers, we came across the Jewel tower, where there were hundreds upon hundreds of gold kitchenware. Still, one thousand years later, gold still is a valued part of English culture.
Throughout the history of English culture gold has been used to show royalty. Whether it was royalty in business, family, or country gold demonstrated ones strength. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that in hundreds of years to come the London standard will be the same as it was in the days of King George VIII, likewise as it is today.