Today’s east end tour helped me gain incredible perspective on the readings we did for the class. As we walked along the street of Brick lane, it was amazing to see how the immigrants were able to take what little space they were allowed and transform it into what could be a completely different country. It’s unfortunate that the immigrants were only given the spaces of Brick lane and some of White Chapel, but the incredible smells of the restaurants, the mosques, and the cultural street art proves that they were able to make a foreign place their own. As we continued to walk throughout the community, before we reached Spitalfields, it was so easy to use my imagination and picture the dirt roads, run-down houses and long lines of people lining up for soup kitchens.
Once we reached what used to be the ‘Old Nichol’, I was fascinated with the idea that this small, but seemingly decent community, was once considered the worst slum in London. With the way all the houses apartments were built so close together and clustered, it was easy to see how two hundred years ago the area became such a horrible slum in the hands of the incredibly poor. And since the community is tight and close together, and was so poor, it was also easy to see how and where the inspiration for ‘A Child of the Jago’ came to be.
Finally, and my favorite part of the day, the Thames river cruise provided inspiring views on the majority of Londons famous landmarks. It was amazing to see the Eye, the London Bridge, Shakespears Globe theatre, and Big Ben all from the view of the Thames. The tour guide was very funny, but provided interesting information on all the landmarks along the river,especially the ones that have been there for hundreds of years, like the Tower of London. I guess I was lying yesterday when I said that was my favorite day, because EVERYTHING about today captured my interest and helped me gain a new appreciation for British history and culture.