Today was the first day of my UK trip. The temperature when we left Heathrow at 2:00 PM was a brisk 17 C, prompting me to turn up the collar of my coat. The parking lot looked like this:
Our chauffeur was well-read and spoke in depth on several topics from Brexit to 2008 financial crisis to the weather. It was drizzling when we set out but the rain soon stopped and strong sunshine burst forth between the grey clouds. Observing this he memorably said “In Britain, you can’t trust Weather, Work or Women.”
What struck me immediately upon leaving the airport was the intense greenery along the roads:
It consisted of mostly tightly packed lines of trees with sudden glimpses of well-maintained parklands flashing by.
Today was sort of a rest day so we basically hung around the neighbourhood of Knox Road, Guildford where we’re staying.
The garden of the suburban independent house where we’re staying was large and classically elegant. I settled into a garden chair with my newspapers and observed the small brown birds (sparrows?) pecking away at the grass and the buzzing bees hobnobbing about the brightly coloured flowers.
Newspapers are an essential cog of British democracy and lifestyle so I was eager to read them for myself. I had bought the Times and the Daily Mail. The Daily Mail was, though decidedly slanted, far more lively to read. The language was typically sarcastic and witty with intelligent use of colour and space:
Certain advertisements were noteworthy for their unique decadence:
In the late afternoon, I decided to take a walk. The weather was breezily sunny. The neighbourhood was typical of an English suburb.
The woods I walked through was simply breath-taking. The tall, sturdy oaks set amidst pristine rolling parklands were soothing to my mind.
I bought some fruits and The Guardian to hear the other side of the story on everyone’s minds: Brexit. Everyone I met had an opinion on Brexit and felt strongly about it. The pamphlets ‘for’ and ‘against’ were pushed through the door.
Now waiting for tomorrow when the real tours start.