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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.


August 26, 2008

Science Museum




Natural History Museum




August 25, 2008

The British Museum




King's Cross Station



August 24, 2008






Two days after I arrived at a town north of London, I became a little bit uncomfortable surrounded by buildings, houses, and people in a small town. On August 24 I left a hotel in Stevenage, and boarded a train for London to visit Stonehenge, a famous prehistoric site about which enough data has not been fully collected yet. I changed trains at King's Cross and London Tower and arrived at Waterloo, where I took a train to Salisbury. I took a ride in a bus from the station to Stonehenge.

When I arrived at Stonehenge and saw the huge stones at the site, I felt disappointed. It does not mean that the stones were smaller than I had expected. But I was not very much moved to see the site. There were too many people around there, though I was one of them. After several minutes passed, the sky suddenly went dark and it started to rain. My umbrella was not large enough, and my trousers became  wet. The rain and the wind lasted for a while. If it had not rained at that time there, my impression of the site would have been less deep.



August 23, 2008





Stevenage Old Town



August 22, 2008

Stevenage New Town Revisited

Usually we prefer new things to old things. As far as I am concerned, I want to live in a modern new house rather than an old house. But when I first visited one of the British new towns nineteen years ago, I realized that some people loved old houses. I could not understand the reason. One person told me that old houses were scarce so the property values of old houses were high; this might be an economical explanation and it does not say anything about the housing preferences of ordinary people. Although new town houses were new and functional, they were not supposed to be very "pretty"; this was the answer that I deducted from the conversations with some people living there. I could not really understand what the word pretty meant exactly.




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