If i had been in a time machine, here is how my day would have proceeded. First in Oxford maybe i would head to the cafes for discussions with past students like Adam Smith, JRR Tolkein, or for the best chat maybe Dr. Seuss. I'd go back to the glory days of British transportation and get the train down Oxford. (I actually took a bus that was an hour late because of traffic). Once in London I jumped to the future because hospitality among young people has probably reached its height. Thanks to Katie who studied in Budapest last semester, I have a place to sleep with her roommates here in London.
Off to explore the city I would maybe get on a horse drawn trolley back in the day. First stop was the British Museum with its remnants of the Acropolis in Athens, Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus, the Rosetta Stone, and a mummified cat. I also would have peaked in the reading room to see if Dickens, Marx, or Darwin were doing a bit of research but it was closed for me.
And just when i thought i was far from Hungary, I stumbled upon "The Gay Hussar" Hungarian cuisine in London. I even checked out the menu and it looked quite authentic with Hungarian wine and liquor and of course gulyas. Back in my time machine I'd wander down to Piccadilly Circus maybe at the turn of the century so as to avoid the neon signs, McDonald's, Starbucks, Gap and every other major chain label. A wander down Piccadilly street would bring up St. Jame's Church and maybe I'd stop and have a chat with Sir Christopher Wren in the 17th century as he was building what Dickens called "not one of the master's happiest efforts." I would provide some better words of advice.
Just as I was walking past a Ferrari parked next to a BMW Z4 I read in my book that Berkeley Square was one of the centers of aristocracy in London. Back in my time machine I'd run over to # 48 and see if Sir Winston had time for tea. He lived here only before become PM, or maybe I'd visit next door at # 50 where a former prime minister lived and ghosts still haunt to this day.
My next stop in Mayfair would probably be Hays Mews to visit the coachmen and rent a horse in the mid 19th century. Down to Shepherd's market designed for all the coachmen and stocked with all the necessary goods before the designer shops took it over for today's consumers.
After Mayfair I'd drop down past Buckingham Palace. I'd stop in for a chat with maybe George III about America's Revolution, and even Queen Elizabeth the II. She'd say I shouldn't be out in the rain or I'll get sick, but I'd just shrug her off and keep walking. Off to Trafalgar Square where I'd watch them erect the statue of Horatio Nelson to much applause. Then down Whitehall past 10 Downing Street. Maybe I'd step into yell at Neville Chamberlain or perhaps have the confidence enough to even approach Margaret Thatcher.
Next past the Cabinet War Rooms where I would watch Churchill plan WWII during the Battle of Britain. A stroll past Westminster perhaps in 1605 on November 5 where the first ever Guy Fawkes night would be taking place. Made popular in V for Vendetta, Guy Fawkes and other Roman Catholics tried to blow up parliament on the opening day with the king in attendance on November 5, 1605. The failed.
Maybe I'd stop in at Westminster Abbey to see a monarch crowned like William the Conqueror. I suppose I have to jump to the future for my attempt to enter the Tate Museum. There are actually two Tate Museums - the modern one being open until 10 pm - not the traditional one.
So this made for a nice long river along the Thames to the modern Tate Museum. Maybe I'd pass underneath the original Blackfriar's bridge and then come upon the actual Globe Theater before it burned down. Into the modern Tate Museum - I HATE MODERN ART.
Ok so the only reason i went to this museum was because i was wet and cold. It just reminded me how pointless modern art is - what a waste of space. I kid you not, I saw a guy sitting on a chair in front of a giant canvas that was painted all red with a solid line of purple along the right side. They actually have that crap in museums. Other favorites included a simple table that you or I could have made, BUT because the artist was inspired by divided families in Columbia - it becomes art. I hate to be insensitive but honestly - what makes something artistic? The museum also had stuff from famous artists like Pollock, Rivera, and others. I saw one painting and said to myself, hmm that's what would happen if I tried to copy a Monet - it was a Monet.
After my modern art museum experience maybe i'd take a time machine back to turn of the century Paris so I could see some impressionism. Set on the river I'd come back to 2000 for the opening of the Millenium Bridge - right when it was so wobbly they had to close it down for repairs. Across the river to Sir Christopher Wren's Masterpiece (as every book calls it) St. Paul's Cathedral. I'd maybe suggest a few changes to Chris and then head over to Old Bailey's to see if there are any interesting court proceedings taking place. Finally it was about 10:30 and pouring rain so I began my long walk home.