Revisiting places when I travel gives me comfort. It’s nice to know that some things do not change – that there are some constants. Such as going to the British Museum to see those caryatids. It’s comforting and familiar (which is a bonus, especially when it’s your first solo trip across the pond).
On this trip to London, since there was nobody else to stop me, I went back and tried to find things I remembered from when I studied in London.
I found the blue lights that I saw the first time when I was walking from Waterloo Tube Station to the National Theatre.
This time I retraced my steps and, ah-ha!, there they were!
I don’t know if the whole of London has gotten brighter since 2004 or if I’ve simply discovered how to use the flash on my camera. It’s probably the former…
Other than familiar sights, I also look for familiar places. I try to find that really cool comic book store, I visit the National Theatre, and I look for that place where I had that really good meal.
The place in question was called Wagamama. I know that everyone in the UK is probably collectively eye-rolling right now, but I didn’t know it was a chain at the time. I just knew that it had a really cool name and postcard.
In 2004 I visited the Covent Garden location (by myself) and had an amazing meal. I had the gyoza, fresh-squeezed vegetable juice, and the big bowl of soup with chicken and noodles.
This time I found a Wagamama in Leicester Square (amidst a whole bunch of construction). I thought ‘let’s try something new this time’, so I did. Honestly, I don’t really remember what I ordered – I think it was noodles. This pretty much goes to show that I should have gone back to the familiar soup.
When I live in a place I can’t stand going to the same restaurant and eating the same dish over and over (which shows how much I’ve changed in the past 20 years). But when you travel it’s nice to have that familiarity.
So here’s hoping that the place you visit has kept their standards up to snuff since all those years ago.