It is Friday.
A couple from Netherlands shared our hostel room. They were friendly, liberal, and hated Trump. They talked about the economy, and the growth taking place in Netherlands. They spoke English with us, and it seems that English is the international language in Europe. They said that Holland was booming. They said that if you visited Holland, you should not only visit Amsterdam, for there are many beautiful cities and areas.
It dawned on me that we are now in the countdown for the final days in London. Worse than that, it is the count down for my time with Walid. I wanted to spend quality time with him during our last three days. I also wanted him to be comfortable, since he is really uneasy in a hostel. I wanted to have a private place where we can play Um Kalthoum at night, and sit and talk for hours while eating his wheat Loaves of Bread or his grapefruits. “Make sure not to peel the white parts”, he would tell me.
Walid has grown to mix his knowledge of traditional medicine with his investigation of modern medicine. He has formulated some interesting medical and health opinions that try to marry both thousands of years old traditions with modern research. He is very skeptical about modern medicine and the excessive commercialization of the medical and pharmaceutical institutions. I take his opinion with so much respect. He is a guru in medicine. If you are a doctor who is reading this and you don’t like what you are reading, screw you!
So I looked through Hotwire.com, my favorite hotel app, and booked a hotel in Paddington area for the last three days two nights. Luckily, I got the Paddington Hotel, which was located in a perfect location minutes away from Hyde park, and with beautiful and large room, with two beds. The two nights costed me 157 pounds (about $230 American Dollars).
I woke up Friday morning and headed to the Tea shop across from the hostel that I read about in America to be one of the best tea places in London. It is called Drink, Shop, & Do. I wrote some of my Travel memoir enjoying a truly delicious English cup of tea, till Walid joined me in couple hours. One of the reasons for our success in our relationship, is that we don’t mind being late to each other, and we are always busy doing something productive anyways, so we don’t pressure each other with expectations, the downfall of any relationship.
I actually made a resolution this year not to schedule appointments with individuals who are very anal about their appointments. I don’t need that pressure in my life. I am often late. Yes! I am late to almost everything. And this habit has been positively reinforced throughout my life through boring events that start late anyway, performing better under pressure, and compensating by quality of presence or participation. I rarely miss out on something, because most of every thing is lame anyway. And it allows me to squeeze many things into my schedule, that I am living five or six lives simultaneously. So I prefer to be tardy in 5 lives, rather than on time in one.
Actually, being on time is impossible scientifically. To be on time, you have to be early. I am early to those appointments whose time is structured in a strict way, like boarding times, work interviews, and immigration appointments. I arrive early and I use my time wisely in waiting till the appointment time.
People who are most anal about appointments are those who tackle life too seriously. You will be surprised that they usually are very unproductive on the larger scheme. They do a lot of waiting! I don’t wait for anything or at anytime. I don’t wait for the red traffic light, because I am busy studying French in my car, or have conversations with friends in Egypt. I don’t wait at the doctor’s office because I am so busy reading my book that I have been waiting for ever for a chance to read. I don’t wait in line, because during which I would be writing an article on IRSHAD, and posting an Instagram ad for my business, or connecting with someone who is on my agenda to connect with over text. People who wait doing nothing, are just boring people, and negligent about the most valuable commodity in life …. time.
We took the bus to Paddington, and tried to check in the hotel, but it was kind of early while they prepared our room, so we left our bags there, and Walid headed to Friday prayer with a stranger, while I headed towards the Natural History Museum, sort of my temple.
I went through Hyde park one more time, but took a different path, filled with the fragrances of flowers floating in the air, and passed through romantic walk ways. London is beautiful. It is so BEAUTIFUL!! Every street. Every corner. It is just beautiful. The doors were beautiful. The porches. The windows. The signs. The trees and shrubs. People were beautiful. Taxis. Buses. Cafes. Shops. Book Stores. Fountains. Monuments. Sculptures. I was in love. I fell in love with columns. I would bend down to take a picture of something, but I would fall in love with a brick in the ground. It was full of surprises. Walking its streets was like making love. Discovering angles, feeling curves, entering dark pathways, passing through pillars, hearing my name whispered from corners.
I ended up in the Imperial college, standing in front of the Nuclear Engineering department. Then it passed me through to Albert Music Hall. And it pushed me through a door to the Royal College of Music. Then I found Albert and Victoria Museum. But I reminded myself that I am going to the Natural History Museum, and it is already 2PM. I know I will need to 5PM at least to take a glance. The museum has over 80 million items!
I needed a bite. I had a small veggie lasagna and some baked cauliflower in the Museum’s cafe, or one of its cafe, for the museum is huge. These pictures will give you a glance.
Then I visited the Darwin Center… 7 floors recently built to give you the ultimate experience of trip of investigative science, with access to real research scientists. The 7 floors spiraled down in modern halls full of artifacts, specimen of life science, and videos and interactive displays.
The Natural History Museum was magnificent. Established in 1756, that is before even the theory of evolution, it houses some of the most important fossils. It has been developed over time with many sections, and I barely could visit it all.
I keep the Human Evolution section last in hope that Walid will show up and we can perhaps see it together, but he never did. So I didn’t visit it due to the closure of the museum. I visited the Human Evolution sections in New York Natural History Museum, Chicago Natural History Museum, and our small Michigan’s Cranbrook Natural History Museum.
I left at 5:30 and stopped by a coffee shop for some afternoon tea. They had some books on the table which I glanced, and added to my Amazon books wish list.
I then walked to the market. It was fascinating the scene of cafes and restaurants filled with people after work hours. Although, I am to have dinner with Walid, I could not help stopping at this Lebanese restaurant picking up a Falafel sandwich.
On my way back, I passed by what appears to be Lord Baden Powell’s home, or the first scout center. Lord Baden Powell is the founder of the Boy Scouts. As a Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts from the year 2001 to 2005, he meant a lot to me. I confounded the Muslim Scouts of Michigan in 2001 to encourage scouting among the Muslim community in America. I left it in 2004 after it because a sectarian cult. I believe in scouting, and am a scout master at heart. I just don’t like the exclusion of homosexuals and atheists from the Scouting organization, and I don’t like its privatization.
I passed by many Embassies too. The French, Portugal, Iraq, Yemen, Oman, and United Arab Emirates.
I was again struck by the beauty of the Albert Monument. I had to take a closer look.
I reached Walid at the hotel. After sunset. It was a long day, so we chatted, then resorted to sleep for tomorrow was going to be our Arabic fool day. That is beans! A traditional Arabic breakfast, stewed beans, mixed with various things depends on which Arabic country.