London, Day 12 – Football, Michael Jackson, Bad News

October 17, 2012 – Wednesday

After walking around Crystal Palace Park the day before, we were quite tired on this day. I woke up around 10:00 and tried to stay up, but I quickly fell back asleep and didn’t wake up until 1:00. We had planned to visit the Natural History Museum, but decided to stay in instead since we had Cirque du Soleil lined up later in the evening.

We got the laundry started at the neighborhood laundromat, then went to the pub for a late lunch. As luck would have it, the rescheduled England vs. Poland World Cup qualifier was on, so I got to experience beer and football in a London pub. Ace!

It was almost time for the show so after the game we took the Bank branch of the Northern line and then transferred to the Jubilee line to get to the O2 Arena. I thought it was interesting that one line could have multiple branches and still be considered one line. Also, I noticed that the 1996 stock of the Jubilee line had a distinctive sound when stopping that was different from the other trains we had ridden up until that point. Ah, the joys of being an ADD transport buff.

The O2 Arena
The O2 Arena

The next few hours were spent at the O2 watching Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour. I had wanted to watch a West End show in London and didn’t pay attention when I ordered the tickets, assuming that this Michael Jackson show must have been the only one in town (I had seen some advertisements for an MJ show). Turns out that the advertisements I saw were for the other Michael Jackson show that was a West End one. Argh.

The show was entertaining and it was nice hearing the songs, but the volume was really loud (reading reviews afterwards confirmed that I wasn’t the only one who thought so) and I actually had to cover my ears at one point. The thing I’ll remember the most about the show, though, is missing the finale because the two people in front of us decided to stand up and start dancing around. There were specific sections for people who wanted to stand, but ours was not one of them. When the people next to us asked them politely to sit down, they flat out refused. Boy was it awkward seeing the only standing people in our section try to, after getting told off, pretend like they were having a good time while continuing to passive-aggressively block the people behind them.

The guy next to us tapped them again and gave them an emphatic WTF expression, and this time they finally sat down, but the climax of the show had already passed. You just have to love people sometimes.

After we went home, I checked my email and learned that my cousin had passed away earlier in the afternoon. Although we knew he was in the final stages of cancer, it was still a shock. I stayed up until 4 AM that night, unable to sleep, drinking Scotch, thinking about all the good times I had with my cousin.

Next: London, Day 13 – Packing, Buckingham Palace

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