I really need to get a hang of this blogging-regularly thing. More than a week is definitely too long to go between posts, but I have no idea what an appropriate interval is. Because I do want to write with some detail, but when does detail become tedious? Believe it or not, there IS such a thing as a boring day in London. Unless, of course, you think sleeping late, going grocery shopping, going to class, doing laundry, etc. is exciting. In which case I really have to wonder about your priorities. I find it pretty unnecessary to blog about these days.

These are the things I think about, people.

Okay, so last Thursday, Jen and I attempted to go to the J. Edgar premiere, but it was a complete bust. It was being advertised as the premiere, but I think it was actually just a screening: no red carpet, no barriers for the crowd, no security, no nothing. No stars, either. It was pretty lame. We did see some British celebrities that were just randomly staying at the hotel, though – a band called JLS, and some soap opera star. Ah well. You win some, you lose some.

The next day we woke up super early to get into central London and rush tickets for Hamlet. The box office opened at 9:30 and we got there about a half hour before… and they ran out of tickets before we could get them. So we went to a bunch of other theaters (hey, when you pay for an all-day unlimited tube pass, you use it!) and still came up empty. We spent the rest of the day wandering around the city and got to see the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park.

We went back to campus in the late afternoon with the intent of going back out to see if there were any returns at Hamlet, but we all kind of crashed instead. Well, Jen and Lorraine went out again to hang out with one of Jen’s friends at UCL, but once I sat on my bed there was no way I was getting up again! Most of the weekend was spent recovering/doing the boring things it’s not really necessary to talk about. ;)

On Monday my one class, Architecture in London from 1837-Present, had our first site visit. As a class we met up at Big Ben tower and had a lecture on the street as we stopped to look at Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and the British foreign offices. I basically took that class as an excuse to get out and see the city, so it’s really cool that that’s actually what we’re doing! When we were finished, a guy from my class named Henry and I walked around a little more to be touristy.

Since the tube is pretty expensive, I decided to lump my excursions for the week into that one day and do my assignment for another class – Text, Art, and Performance in London. We had to download an audio tour online and then go do it. It would’ve been really cool, but it had some things seriously working against it.

1. It was made ten years ago. So when she says, “walk in the direction of the orange restaurant with the red stripe,” there was no restaurant anywhere in site. Basically, I got lost. Really lost. In an area of the city I’d never been to before. And I was alone. Luckily I had a map with me!

2. On top of the anxiety of having no idea where I was or where this lady was taking me, she was talking creepily into my ear about a murder and telling me to turn into various alleys. I’m sorry, but that goes against everything I’ve ever learned.

3. I’m sure the story would’ve been interesting, but instead of paying attention to it I had to try to time my footsteps with hers, listen for directions, worry about whether not I was going in the right direction… Basically, I had no idea what was going on in the story. I was just trying not to lose myself in Whitechapel, thanks.

So THAT was an experience.

But later that night Amanda, Celeste and I made four-ingredient peanut butter Nutella cookies. And they were freaking delicious!

On Tuesday, I did various errand-y things (and wasted all the print credit the school gave me because everything here is ridiculously convoluted) in the early afternoon. Celeste doesn’t have class on Tuesdays either, so the two of us explored the East End a bit and went to the Museum of Childhood. It’s basically exhibits of toys throughout history, and we were there for like two hours just ogling everything.

That night was Refreshers Fair, which is the QM equivalent of CanesFest. All the clubs and societies had info tables set up in a room that got miserably crowded. I put myself on the list for student media. I’m not sure if I’ll want to write much, or if I’ll have time to later on, but we’ll see.

The fact that I only have to wake up early for class twice a week makes it really difficult to go to sleep before 2 am, which makes my 9 am class on Wednesday a huge problem and Wednesday itself a day of sleep. To make matters worse, it was foggy and drizzly and dark – quintessential London weather! So I napped for like two hours during the afternoon. Blackout curtains are pretty magical, did you know that?

That night, I hung out in Amanda’s room with her, Jen, and Lorraine. We watched videos on YouTube and… played Neopets. Well, I didn’t. I can’t even remember the last time I played, and haven’t the slightest idea what my login info would be. So I sat there and marveled at the fact that Neopets is still a thing!

But later that night (or, well, the next morning), the fire alarm in Feilden went off at 3:15 am. There’s nothing like standing outside in the drizzle in the wee hours of the morning to facilitate some flatmate bonding time, right? They call roll during fire alarms here. It’s bizarre. I can’t even imagine them trying that at Miami! But no, here they call your flat and each room as to declare him or herself. After 45 minutes of this nonsense, I was very glad to get back to bed. I didn’t sleep well after that, though. Waking up for my 10 am class on Thursday was brutal.

Thursday is my “long” day, with four hours of class. I have a nice little hour break for lunch, though. That night we all got together to cook dinner – stuffed peppers this time. Nommmmmmm. Seriously, it was delicious.

Friday was another crazy day spent in central London. We woke up even earlier to try and get Hamlet tickets – we left campus at 7 am – and failed again. Not cool. But again, we paid for all day unlimited tube tickets, so we took serious advantage of them. We went to Oxford Street (aka SHOPPING!) first so Lorraine could return a coat she’d bought the week before, and then walked to the British Museum. I actually have a few memories of when I was there in 2004, but this time the Olympic medals for this summer were there, so I’m imagining this time was far superior. Ya know. Just by default.

From there, we walked to the Tate Modern (which included crossing the Millennium Bridge!) for tea. Holy delicious, Batman! There is nothing quite like a scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam. <3

Ughhh. Want.

We sat and ate and recuperated for a while, and then took some beautiful pictures of St. Paul’s Cathedral all lit up. Our first stop from there was Platform 9 ¾, of Harry Potter fame. We did all the typical touristy pictures, and then Amanda and I reenacted some scenes because we’re just awesome like that.

Dobby may have sealed the barrier, but we can take the flying car to Hogwarts instead!!!11!1!!1

From there, we headed back to Oxford Street and did a little bit of shopping. We hit up Primark, where everything is cheap – I got an awesome scarf for £1. But that took forever because it was so crowded, and by now it was getting late and we were slowly but surely crashing. So we decided to forgo a stop at Big Ben, and just headed back to campus.

I slept obnoxiously late on Saturday, and all I did was go grocery shopping. That kind of day is just necessary sometimes! We hung out in Liz and Celeste’s flat at night, which involved drinking and Chat Roulette and living up to the “obnoxious Americans” stereotype. I can happily say that I was just a spectator in both aspects (I think I might be British at heart), and that it was too hilarious for words.

Sunday and today have been pretty slow as well. There was an unfortunate laundry fiasco yesterday, and I Skyped with my grandparents and my parents, and some trip planning was done at night. And today I just had class (actual class this week, unfortunately) and grocery shopping. Fascinating day, right? :P

But tomorrow is Castle Tuesday (WOO!) and I’m going to the Woman in Black premiere (WOO!), and on Wednesday I have an interview to be a volunteer with the casting department for the Olympic ceremonies (WOO!). Good, good things!

Have I mentioned that London is awesome?

1 comment :

  1. I am only imagining what the next few months have in store for you...or, more likely, what YOU have in store for THEM!