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Published:July 23rd, 2006 06:19 EST
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My Trip To The United Kingdom

By Shakti Ghimire

July of 2004 was an important time for me, as I flew to Europe to attend an international youth summer school in the UK. I did not get bored, and I started missing my family. I had one chance to attend the international conference to catch up on global ideas.

Some people might find it very boring to sit and travel in the sky just looking at the clouds. But, I really had an exciting journey. I had the window seat, from which I saw the clouds flowing up and down around the plane. I looked at the clouds and imagined different images. It was really fun doing that. I played with my clouds images for a long time. I was feeling cold and I asked the airhostess for a blanket. People were looking at me because I was the only one using a blanket. Then slowly I felt asleep. Our plane landed in UAE, it was very warm there. I had to wait in UAE airport because I was a transit passenger. After roaming around the airport for some time, I saw the boarding for London was displayed at airport monitors.

London: which, until now, I had only seen in the movies with castles and very old architecture. I had contacted my friends in London, but everyone was busy because of their studies and work. Then we moved to Greenwich to my sister’s house. We took an underground train to reach there. On the way, my friend asked me, why aren’t there any traffic police? I told him that this country runs by rules and regulations. It is different from undeveloped nations such as Nepal. We only get to see police here if there is any accident. We reached Greenwich station and from there we took a cab to go to my sister house. She had prepared MO: MO and rice with chicken curry. After dinner we had talks on different issues, including current political conditions in Nepal. After the interesting talks that went until mid-night, my friend and I went to sleep.  My Sister, who owns a travel agency in Nepal, had expressed her plan to establish a travel agency in London. There are many Nepalese living in the UK: such as students, workers, and tourists. Similarly, lots of people from UK would like to visit Nepal. Therefore, we thought a travel agency would be a successful business.  After wishing her good luck, we went to bed.

London is a city that has been developed through excellent management.  The city is a popouri of older small houses, apartment buildings, and each city has it owns beautiful parks. They believe that old culture is it’s crown jewel. I stayed in Hammersmith after my South Wales program. Ravenscourt Park and Themes River were my best friends that could understand my feeling of loneliness. I used to go for morning walk on the bank of the Themes River where a lot of people walked their dogs. Ravenscourt Park always invited me; it understood the feelings of lonely people. I was always there with my friend Mr. Sammer. One thing important about the park: there were a lot of wild animal too, such as squirrils and pigions, and nobody disturbed them. I like the environment, it was a sunny day and the park was full of people.

I had a friend-- Mr. Amit, a well educated person whom has a nice general knowledge, too. He has one ambition: he wanted to complete his MBBS from a European country, to help rural people of Nepal. He always gives me lots of suggestions about life. In the last period of my time in London he had invited me over for 4 days and we had lots of fun. We prepared food and had a glass of wine. In my life for the first time, I have tested and won the respect of his request.

It's a Tihar (Hindu festival) time. There were a lot of Hindu people who were playing with Pataka, too. Mr. Amit shared some of his life's ups and down. He wanted to remember that day when his dad was student of MBBS and his family had serious financial problems. But now each and every one were academic and independent themselves.

All houses and apartments are well equipped with the latest technology. Phone and internet are provided in low cost and they are easy to install. Phone and internet were also provided in the street. And there are lots of cyber cafés, where they take 75 penny to 3 pounds per hours. Cyber is the best way to pass the time, so I used to go there. I have also a good friendship with one aunt who is an Indian. I often went there to buy newspaper and played lottery.

First time in my life, I have celebrated Dashain (Hindu's great festival) in London out side my country and family. My Nepalese friend Mr. Sameer had invited me in his house. We went there around 12 PM midnight. All his family and other Nepalese people had already started dancing and drinking. They welcomed me with beer. First time I had also taken a test of Takila. We danced and enjoyed a lot. Woow! Nepali music, that developed a feeling we are in Nepal. After calling our family in Nepal we slept. In the morning, we had taken Tika from seniors' person. We two friend made a kids among others. So I have not only collected lots of chocolates but I got lots of love form their side. We had eaten typical Nepali food.  After return of this festival, one thing I realized that wherever we go and whatever we do, we can’t leave our culture and festival. Similarly, we make our community.

One evening, I went to the TESCO departmental store to buy cigarette for my friend. There the staff said to me to show my id card, but I had not, I said I am age of 23, but that person said to me he was surprised, my face looked I was under 16. They had no permission to sell cigarette to people under the age of 16. In the morning and after 11 PM they have no authorization to sell the alcohol. After 11 PM all bar closed. And at the weekend, they were celebrating like that is a last night of their life. I liked the environment of weekend around 10 PM... that was really fantastic. In developing countries like Nepal, we can buy alcohol and cigarettes in any place, at any time.  We must restrict and implement these rules in developing countries.

Every Thursday, there was open farmer market and I usually went there to buy fruits, vegetables and empower local farmers.

British encourage people for education. In every city or town, there was library with internet service. They provided free membership facilities after certain criteria.  I usually browsed internet there.  Plus, they provided free health service.
I had visited Buckingham Palace, golden eye, Parliament house, London, Tower Bridge and many more.

According to the towerbridge.org.uk, Tower Bridge is now one of London's best loved landmarks. It has stood over the River Thames since 1894 and is one of the finest, most recognizable bridges in the World.

British Monocracy wrote in its official website royal.gov.uk, Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since 1837. It evolved from a town house that was owned from the beginning of the eighteenth century by the Dukes of Buckingham. Today it is The Queen's official residence. Although in use for the many official events and receptions held by The Queen, areas of Buckingham Palace were opened to visitors on a regular basis. Most of the Royal Residences are also in use as visitor attractions, to which there are approximately 1.7 million visited each year. In the case of some residences - such as Buckingham Palace - visits to the State Rooms are restricted to periods when they are not being used in an official capacity.
 
Golden eye, a 135 meter high attraction was built over the Thames close to County Hall. The world's highest observation wheel, it provides a 30 minute slow moving flight over the capital. Undoubtedly London's highest view point you will get a 360 degree view of the city and surrounding area's. On a clear day, you will enjoy 40km panoramic views as far as Heathrow Airport and Windsor Castle. After the night fall, passenger’s delighted in seeing London's landmarks floodlit against the night sky.
 
Regarding London’s Underground transportation, probably the most useful transportation method for the visitor to London is the tube, or Underground. The London Underground can be properly said to have begun in 1890 when an electrically-powered line was opened between King William Street and Stock well. There are now 12 lines, plus the Docklands Light Railway serving millions of travelers around London every day. They have given priority for underground sub way. But I had seen in Nepal there are lots of overhead bridges which decrease beauty of city.

No matter where it be, I love to do social work. Also, at this moment, I have done a lot of social work in London. I am a member of an Amnesty International branch of Hamersmith & Fulham, and have attended a lot of meetings.

The UK has a fine culture. I am inspired by their moral exposure to an advanced country with democracy, respect for human rights and freedom of expression.