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August 27, 2008

Freud Museum

On August 27th, 2008 I visited the Freud Museum in London, where Sigmund Freud lived from 1938 until his death in 1939. According to a traveler's guide it is open from noon to five o'clock on Wednesdays to Sundays. I got off the train at Finchly Road Underground Station and got lost some times, but arrived at the place more than thirty minutes before the gate was opened at noon on Wednesday. I waited in front of the gate of the museum, which was not different from other houses around it in appearance. I was one of the several visitors hanging around on the pavement there and a few people passed by wondering why we were there.

While I was waiting, I tried to find something that was related to Freud around the museum. Of course you could see two blue round plates on the wall, one for Mr. Freud and the other for his youngest daughter,  but except for that the museum was just a beautiful two-story red-brick house. After I took several pictures of the house over the hedge, I found a tall tree, the leaves of which the wind were rustling in the garden of the house next to the museum. Whereas I did not know the name of the tree, I imagined that Freud might have seen the tree from the window of his place. I took two pictures of the tree, which was taller than the houses around it.


After the museum opened, I rented an audio guide at the reception desk and entered every room of the house trying to listen to the voices from the small tool like a mobile phone. I could see a lot of things related to Freud and psychoanalysis, such as the couch which Freud had patients sit on, desks that he used, antiques which he loved, and so on. He is thought to have discovered the part of our mind which we are not conscious of, and I admit that his discovery is of great importance. Although I do not know much about his theory and I wonder how his theory is substantiated scientifically, I think he tried hard to listen to the words spoken by the person on the couch in front of him, which is exceptional in the case of ordinary questionnaire surveys used by us sociologists.


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