So it turns out that I’m studying abroad, not just vacationing, so instead of blogging, these last few days have been taken over by quite a lot of reading Chaucer, Shakespeare, stories about King Arthur, and a morality play about the crucifixion of Christ. To be honest, the homework is really fun and interesting; I really enjoy it. But it takes a devilishly long time. I feel like I read all day and night and then there’s always more to do. Also, I’m on dish crew this week, which means I get up earlier in the morning and take care of cleaning up and setting up everybody else’s meals before and after – which I am happy to do for just a week if I get waited on for the other five.
(Oh, just so you know, the voice in my head while I write or think has a flawless British accent now. My tongue won’t replicate it right – and the people just stare at you if you try – but just be warned I’m picking up on their speech mannerisms.)
So because I have a lot to tell you and not enough time, I’ll do it by short categories and days.
overview: Daily, I am amazed that these places are REAL and not just in my history books or novels or imagination. It’s never going to get old.
a funny story. The other day, as I was walking to a shop to pick up some basics, a senior citizen – although not elderly – British lady stopped me to ask Portobello Market was open today. As soon as I opened my mouth, she didn’t need to hear my answer to know that she’d asked the wrong girl.
“I’m sorry, I’m American, so – “
“Yes, thank you very much.”
Well, at least I blend in.
soundtrack as of late: Jack Johnson. I forgot how much I love this stuff. Been trying to listen to lots and lots of British classics while I’m here though, just for mood music.
disclaimers: I’m learning lots of stuff and getting a lot smarter. This blog post will not do a lot to prove that. I’m just excited and trying to write REALLY FAST. Also, I know I’m getting fatter. The chocolate here is worth it. Trust me. It is 75% more delicious than American chocolate. Even KitKat’s are really tasty.
tuesday, the 26th
main destination: Henry V at the Globe Theatre.
- Yeah. The theatre that William Shakespeare wrote his plays to be performed in. Little did my 9th grade self know, that theatre that I diligently colored for Honors English class was actually going to be visited by my actual self and that I would see a brilliant play there, with the Royal Shakespeare Company, costumes, fake blood, and total breaking of the fourth wall that actually brought a lot of meaning to the audience interaction. (Theatre reference. Google it.) I AM SUCH A THEATRE AND SHAKESPEARE NERD AND IT IS SO AWESOME.
- Standing for the full 3 hours of the play. I hesitate putting this as a lowlight because it was actually really, really cool to have it be part of the experience. You know. Experiencing it like the Elizabethan peasants did and stuff. But no lie, it was really hard to hold still, and my legs were trembling all the next day from locking my knees for so long. Such small price to pay for such good theatre, though.
wednesday the 27th
main destinations: Dover Castle, Cliffs of Dover, Secret Tunnels in said cliffs that made the Dunkirk Evacuation possible, Canterbury (including the famous Cathedral).
- The completely dairy free mint chocolate chip shake in Canterbury. It was a big deal, guys, okay?
- I WENT TO A CASTLE. A CASTLE WITH A MOAT, A STONE WALL, A DRAWBRIDGE, LOOPHOLES, AND A DRAGON. Okay so I lied about the dragon. Probably.
- The really adorable tour guide at Canterbury Cathedral, named Avril and from Wales. She was the most precious old lady ever. I wanted to hug her.
- How foggy it was at Dover. The pictures turned out crummy because it was all grey, and my hair went craycray because of the moisture. What’s new. It rains every day here and I’ve essentially given up on trying to look pretty because my makeup melts off in an hour and my hair is like Merida’s all the time. So that’s cool and stuff.
thursday, june 28th: sherlock day aka the day of fangirl, or the best day ever.
main destinations: Baker Street, North Gower Street (where BBC Sherlock was filmed), Speedy’s Cafe (Home of the Sherlock Wrap), and St. Bart’s Hospital, and Frankenstein at the movie theatre.
highlights: There are so many highlights. I’ll try to save the crazy freaking out for tumblr.
- Talking to the owner of Speedy’s about the cast of BBC Sherlock. He was such a nice guy and the staff was so serviceable, and they smiled at me. (This is a big deal: shopkeepers ignore you until you address them directly. It’s their way of respecting you and giving you space. This country was made for me; people leave you alone if you want to be.)
- The Sherlock Wrap. Seriously tasty.
- The American costumed bobby at the Sherlock Museum. He had us take some really great pictures with deerstalkers and pipes and a bowler.
- The Sherlock fan support at St. Bart’s. If you haven’t watch the show, you wouldn’t understand. But you guys. Srsly. Check the tumblr later.
- Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch as Creature, Jonny Lee Miller as Frankenstein, and Director Danny Boyle!? You guys. It was almost overwhelming it was so awesome. It was a recording of the play at the National Theatre, shown in a SUPER INCREDIBLY SPACE AGE NICE movie theatre just around the corner from the Center. (You guys. Seriously. It was a movie theatre from the future. Reclining seats, endless leg room, and waiter service for concessions that I was dying to use but was too cheap.) NOT TO MENTION THE AWESOME OF MY MAIN MAN BENEDICT. Okay that’s enough shouting. Itwassoflippingawesome. I wouldn’t/couldn’t stop bubbling to my companion, Kristina, who probably thinks I’m crazy now. And then I came home and died of fangirlitis.
- We didn’t get to go into the Sherlock Museum at 221B Baker Street because of time. Don’t even fret, we’re going back.
friday, june 29th
main destination: Tower of London
- The Armory, where I saw all of the suits of armor – yes, like “knight in shining” – and weapons. (“Guys, look at that huge stick thing!!” “It’s a lanceeee, hellooooo.”)
- The Crown Jewels. We weren’t allowed to take pictures in there, but wowwww I can’t even imagine how many millions of dollars are contained in that vault. (Yes, Sherlock fans, all I could think of was “Honey, you should see me in a crown.”)
- Rain, high winds, and me wearing only a sweater that day. (It was exceptionally hot the day before. It doesn’t help that the weather service websites here always think it’s opposite day.)
- Getting deathly ill in the middle of the day and missing the rest of class because I was literally delusional with sickness.
- Riding the tube home, alone, with a high fever.
Sorry, Tower of London, I’ll probably not have good memories of you for the rest of my life. Mostly, I just hated life and wanted to get in bed the whole time I was there.
And then I slept for 16 hours.
I should mention, I live with really nice people. You know. The kind that take extra notes for you during the lecture because you’re sick in bed, and the kind that ask you every hour how you’re feeling. Really nice people. I wanted to hug them all. They’re wonderful.
saturday, june 30th, 2012
main destinations: Borough Market, Tate Modern Art Museum, and a London Walk for class.
- Macaroons at Borough Market. I know, they were expensive and frivolous. I have wanted to eat European macaroons for several years and I finally had my opportunity. So sue me for fulfilling my expensive dream. They were so beautiful and so delicious.
- Sampling (very small amounts of) cool things like Scottish venison, cheeses whose names I butcher in my broken french, fig mustard, very spicy hummus, and turkish delight that didn’t taste like the soapy American substitute. I was in foodie heaven.
- The Tate Modern deserves a post of its own, that I may not have time to give it until I return. Short story: It was amazing. Even though the pictures on Facebook show me in sweatpants looking super nappy… give me a break guys, I had the flu.
- A used book market, where I found three 1st edition hardcover Harry Potter books, book jackets and all. These aren’t just Harry Potter Books. These are the real deal, exactly how JK Rowling intended them, and they were cheaper than I would have thought. This means I’ve now begun my second set, which I have long dreamed of doing, and can’t imagine starting my collection a better way.
- Losing my button from Tate Modern before I even got to put it on my backpack. What a waste of 50p.
- The fact that I really only felt like eating a smoothie at one of the biggest, oldest open air markets in London when everyone else was eating grilled cheeses and dark chocolate brownies from heaven itself. Darned sick tummy.
sunday, july 1st.
main destinations: church. and my textbooks.
- Fast and Testimony meeting, which had an unreal spirit. People who go to church really want to be there. Almost 100% of them are converts. It’s so great.
- One of the new missionaries in the ward is from Preston, Idaho! All the people in the ward thought it was so cool we were both from such close places in Idaho.
- Yummy dinner, including goat cheese pies with something that made them sweet.. cranberries? and little tiny garlic bread balls. Also, the cook put mushrooms, pimento olives, and artichokes in the corn off the cob. Sounds weird? I know. It was actually delectable and I will be trying it again at home.
- Playing the opening and sacrament hymn, spur of the moment because the pianist was late to the meeting. You guys. It was embarrassing. Like, I want to pretend it never happened.
- The bishop asked us to introduce ourselves in the ward by bearing testimony this week – which I was looking forward to until the piano fiasco and then I was super nervous and embarrassed! Hopefully that never happens again.
today, july 2nd
main destination: class, textbooks, and updating this blog. Man, sometimes you just need a down day. This place is so awesome that you just need a break sometimes.
this just in: I may have just found cheap tickets to see Les Miserables here on the West End! I’ve seen it before and my family has always been pretty adoring fans, but I can’t remember the storyline and I’m getting excited for the movie in December!
Well, that’s gonna have to be all for now. I need to start preparing our evening meal. (Man, when did I get posh all of a sudden? Also. Posh? Best word ever and I don’t even know if people really use it here but I think they do and so they do.) I’ll do some pictures later. Promise.
Keep sending me emails! I love hearing from you!
P.S. Mom and Dad said I’m not allowed to cut my hair. Boo.
P.P.S. Will somebody tell my sister to stop ignoring me? Kthnxbai.