Wednesday, May 20, 2009

London's True Love: Inside the Lines

There are many traditional objects that are shaped like rectangles in London just as there is back in the States. The credit card shaped Oyster Card, the beautifully decorated currency. Perhaps the most recognizable figures of London are the rectangular shaped double-decker buses that are everywhere throughout the city. However, there is one rectangle that is cherished by the locals that folks back across the pond do not care for very much. That is of course the beloved soccer field, sorry, football pitch!

London has so many fun and exciting attractions it is almost impossible to condense everything into one trip. However, already, after just two days of tours I feel more knowledgeable and aware of my surroundings, which is to be somewhat expected as time goes on. Thus far, we have toured some of the London’s most historic and famous landmarks. Today we continued to cover the basic places that pretty much every tourist goes to see when he or she are in London. We visited Big Ben, Buckingham and St. James’ Palace, and Westminster Abbey. Oh yeah, and if you haven’t been reading my blog (shame on you), we also ran into some old maid that goes by the Queen of England during the changing of the guard ceremony.

            After today’s tour there was only one shape that resonated in my brain when I thought of London: SQUARE. The people in Westminster were incredibly plain, almost as much as the motionless guards who stood perfectly straight in their red uniforms with their famous black fur-like helmets. These stiffs wouldn’t move an inch if there were an army of Swedish bikini models posing right in front of them.

At 6:30 p.m., after a long day of walking, Michelle and I walked a few blocks over to Sydney Street to a destination that is not frequently visited by foreigners. This place won’t show up on any maps or tourist itineraries. It is the local pitch, where men of all ages come to play their beloved sport.  One thing is for sure; the English are far from square on the pitch, they are absolutely OBSESSED with football. 

When we arrived we were both stunned by the masses of people sporting their favorite uniforms in the park surrounding the pitch. There were people on wooden benches outside of the playing area, undressing from their suits and jumping into their red English National Team jerseys, shorts, and cleats. Once the game started the magic really started. Teams were separated into red and white colored shirts against blue colored shirts. The conversation between the players displayed their love for the game as they sprinted back and forth in their rectangular shaped pitch gated off by a dark green fence. On special occasions, players from opposing teams would compliment each other for an exceptional play yelling, “Great ball mate”, which was followed by a, “Cheers”, from the other player. 

As I stood outside the gated playing area I thought about how for the last year at college I had made fun of my roommate for wanting to watch European football games on T.V. Now standing there, I wanted to do nothing else but run on to the pitch and strike the ball in the top corner past the keeper. 

Look at all of those wonderful rectangles!

1 comment:

  1. This story is solid -- except for the very first paragraph. Try starting off in a more personal vein. You can include "I" and "me" into travel stories.

    You mention that rectangles are everywhere, but give a personal account of it if you can. "I've noticed since I've started on this journey that rectangles keep popping up all around me."

    It helps draw the reader in, as if this strange phenomenon has happened only to you. I hope that makes sense. Basically what I'm saying is use yourself as the narrative force behind the story. It will make it more interesting in the end. These type of stories are part column, part feature.