Or as I call it… The lil, cute Asian girl story…
Well, this I’m going to share with you. I am not (as you may know or have noticed till now) much of a let’s-do-all-the-important-tourist-stuff type of person but of course I was conviced that the “Change of Guards” is something I am not supposed to miss. I’m sure noone of you would want to read about this (there are great youtube videos that you can check out on youtube, I’m sure) but the reason I am posting about this, is actually because of the funny story of the day.
You can find the Change of Guards schedule here and yes, I would recommend you to go and check it, it might not be the most interesting thing I did in London, but it was for sure spectacular.
So, as I had mentioned I was supposed to watch this event on Wednesday but since I had to dry my hair that morning (let’s face it, I had to!) I decided to leave it for Friday. FYI, during Winter time the Change of Guards does not happen daily (now, I have some questions about that… Like… Do the Guards actually stay there for 2 days straight? etc…) and since I was leaving Friday evening, I didn’t really have a choice.
For you that haven’t seen yet Buckingham Palace, from the street it looks like this:
To explain you a bit more (you need it for the story, trust me) this statue in the middle of the picture, actually stands in the middle of the square that is in front of the Main Entrance of the Palace. History lesson (not required for the story but feel free to read and learn): This is the so called Queen Victoria Memorial, placed between the Buckingham Palace and Queen Victoria Memorial Gardens (there are squirrels there). It’s a gorgeous statue that pays homage to Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1837 until her death in 1901. The Memorial was (unfortunatly) finished in 1911, 10 years after her death and was designed by Sir Aston Webb (he also designed the principal facade of the Palace).
In the front and back side of the Memorial there are stairs and on the side there is water as I guess there is a fountain around it (probably working during summer?). So during the Change of Guards I was standing on the Memorial area, a bit on the side, it looks like a balcony with water underneath. Of course there were tons of people around me BUT next to me there was a tiny, cute Asian girl taking pictures all the time, as she was very close to me I turned and smiled to her once, she smiled back and that was it… until….. the cover of her camera lens… fell off her hands, bounced on the balcony type fence in front of us and landed into the water underneath! My first reaction was of course giggling a little, then feeling a bit sad because at that point I saw no way of recovering it, then I got a bit scared as she took out her cellphone and started texting (I guess she had to tell the story to someone), which made me automatically think “Oh no, that will end up in the water soon too”.
Well, after a while, I forgot the incident and since the Change of Guards started, I focused on that. While I was watching the Guards, taking pictures, laughing with the security people on horses telling us in English and French to watch for our wallets, the girl started poking me with her arm, pointing down in the water and asking “Do you think I can grab it from there?”. At the beginning, I had no clue what she was talking about, then, checking a bit more to the direction which she was pointing, I see in the water, floating, just few centimeters from the edge (you could access the water from the street’s level, people were actually sitting at the edge of the fountain down there). I was like “Hmmm, not sure, but why not?” which I guess gave her hope since she answered “Please, watch that noone gets it (that was weird, how did she expect me to stop them? If I could fly, I would have grabbed her cover before!) I’ll go get it!”. And there she vanished from my side, saw her going down the stairs, till the point where noone was sitting and from where she could see the cover floating. The first thing she did… was to make a picture of it! This is her, just after taking the picture:
Till she arranged her camera back in her bag and started to trying and get the cover of the lens, the cover took the direction to our right, just behind from where a huge group – of what I think were French students, sitting there, starring, being a bit loud and definitely a bit too intimidating for the shy girl – was sitting. I thought to myself “Well, she’ll just politely ask them to move so she can grab it” but no. She just stood there trying to decide on how to proceed. I was already feeling a bit sorry since her bad luck was amusing me and being able to speak a little French, I decided to help a bit. I went down there (took me a minute), found her, asked her if she got it. She told me that no, and she pointed to the French students. I went over and asked them if it’s possible to make us some space because something fell in the water and we need to recover it. The girls were very very nice, turned around, pointed to the cover as “Is this what fell off?”, I told them that yes, and for the next few seconds you could see approximately 5 people, the students, the little Asian girl and me, trying to reach for the cover. After few tries and a wet glove, I finally reached it, thanked the French girls and gave it back to the cute little Asian girl. Going back upstairs to the nice-view balcony like Memorial, I couldn’t stop laughing and thinking “God, I made my good deed for the day, make my plane not to crash”…
Yeah… Did I mention I’m terrified of flying?