Getting Some of That "Culture" Stuff

After easing into the day, Chloe and I made our way to the tube to head East to Leicester Square. In this square is a discount ticket booth for many of the theatres in that area (and there are plenty!) to see if we could get some tickets to a matinee. The queue was pretty short to my surprise, so we had no problem getting 2 tickets to see "Oliver!" (I was hoping for "The Lion King" but they weren't selling tickets for that today.) The show was at 2:30p, so we had some time to explore some popular nearby neighborhoods. The first stop was Chinatown.

It must have been delivery day, for the main drag was full of delivery trucks parked in front of the markets and restaurants... it provided an eyeful of interesting foods. The main section of Chinatown, marked by the ubiquitous arches, was smaller than I had expected and we exited it not too long after we entered. With plenty of time yet before lunch, let alone the show, he headed north to see what Soho was about. I knew about its past, so I treaded carefully, making sure to keep little eyes away from anything curious. Thankfully, the route I took us on didn't require me to do things like "Hey Chloe, look at the neat lamppost!" or "They say it's good luck to close your eyes on this block."

We exited Soho in the vicinity of Chinatown in time for lunch, so I thought it would be a good experience for both Chloe and I to try some fare there. We settled on the Crispy Duck, because, well, it was the first one we came to that was open. I ordered us 6 Dim Sum dishes, being careful not to explain to Chloe in too great of detail what I was ordering... one wrong "trigger word" and we'd be in another gastro-pub. I can't recall precisely what I did order, but it wasn't too "exotic." (Though I do remember the mango-grapefruit tapioca dessert being splendid!) She tried all 6, and liked 3 so I was very pleased with the .500 average.

We ventured over to Covent Garden Market (think Boston's Quincy Market, but larger) after lunch to check out the shops and street performers. We sat down to watch one chap do the usual street performer stuff... juggle, tell corny jokes, escape from a straight jacket whilst riding a unicycle, swallow a sword, etc. After some more strolling, window shopping, and cookie noshing, we made our way to the Theatre Royal to get our seats for "Oliver!"

Long-show, short: It was great! The presence of kids on the stage (as well as a dog at times) made it a "relate-able" show for her to experience. Chloe wasn't alone in not understanding all of the works spoken or sung, but she was able to piece together what was going on. Personally, it was fun for me to glance over once in a while to watch her face as the singing/dancing was going on, or when the staging was changing... "wide-eyed" would be the best description!

After the show, we made our way to the nearby tube station, whistling "Consider Yourself" as we went along.

(Pictures, clockwise from top: Chloe under one of the Chinatown arches; and playing around with some sculptures; outside "Crispy Duck" with some of the "guests of honor" in the window; trying some Dim Sum for the first time; Tom, the Covent Garden Market busker, downing a sword; and Chloe enjoying some ice cream during intermission of "Oliver!")

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