Eyes Unblinking

I could tell you about how my flatmates and I visited Kensington Palace on our own, how we went to Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands for our London as Visual Text course, or how in our Theatrical Spaces, Enduring Questions, Changeable Lives: theatre in London here and now we already seen two live performances (Escaped Alone and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime). There is just so much to do here, and even enough time especially on weekends to do independent travel. You have to believe me, because it’s been a week and I still haven’t gone on my pilgrimage to Platform 9 and ¾, nor have I visited Baker Street.

I am overwhelmed. In such a jolly good way.

I just want to share this photo of one of the rooms in the Pollock’s Toy Museum to metaphorically the feeling of being overwhelmed,img_2204

And this face right here,

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There hasn’t been a single day that I have been idle. And all of my experiences have been learning experiences. Dolls and toys from the past that frankly look creepy today have their own wisdom to bestow. In these photos the dolls happen to be white, but there were also toys from other cultures in Pollock’s Toy Museum. Some of the toys, however, were by no means racially acceptable by today’s standards. We asked our professor, and he explained that black-face minstrelsy used to be very much a part of popular culture. It was a disturbing but meaningful history lesson about race relations in the past.

While I’ve been in big multicultural cities before, London by far is the most vocally multicultural I’ve every been in. On the streets, in the Tube, I hear all sorts of languages from everywhere. Lots of European, South Asian, East Asian, etc.

Here’s another photo of metaphorical multitudinous:

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The angle of this photo gives me vertigo but that’s kind of how I felt when we visited Camden Market–an outdoor (and parts of it subterranean) market with stuff and more stuff some British some stuff from other cultures and other quirky stuff and food and more pubs all looking down into a canal and lock.

The theme of this blog post is multitudinous-ness because I have come to realize that the infinite choices London presents to me will or already has become a personal hydra to overcome. Even though we get to be here for seven weeks, I want to see as much as I can within that finite time period. Today in class we learned about coincidental interpretive work which essentially means that the order of things we experience expects our experience and interpretation of subsequent things. For example, if I watch three plays I can watch them in a total of six different orders. Each order of viewing will produce a different experience. If I watch Play A before Play B my impressions of Play A will color my impression of Play B somewhat, and so on.

Basically, of all the things I see and do in London, the order in which I do them, as well as other factors, will affect my textual interpretation of London as a text. My experience of London will be different from another person.

What does this all mean? Erm nothing, I don’t really have a punch line. I’m just going to continue going strong here and experience as much as I can and try to look at things from lots of angles.

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Also here’s some divine moss.

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