Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ode to London

As some of you may know, 'flipping the bird' here is a little different than back home. Rather than the middle finger, here they do the pointer and middle finger, either open (like a peace sign) or closed, with the palm of your hand facing you. It is said that this (the closed finger) came about when England was fighting against France at the Tower of London. The bows could be shot a certain distance and when an archer was captured by the French, they would cut off those two fingers, thus rendering him useless. So, when the British were prevailing, as kind of a "nanny nanny boo boo" they would put those two fingers in the air, as to say "ha ha, looks like you're gonna die now". Pretty cool, huh?

I mentioned my friends and I went to the pub the other night (and again last night to watch some of England v. France) and pubs here are very interesting. ANYONE is allowed inside; they even have a children's menu at the table! While we were there the first night, someone even brought their baby in! Last night, a family (either from Canada or Minnesota) came in with their four under-10 years old children! Crazy! 
At the pub, I have fallen in love with the drink called Pimms. It's so delicious and fruity and fresh. In my class, we're currently doing haikus and he had us write one about something we've experienced here that has made an impact. So, I wrote one about Pimms. Here goes:  

In the pub
mint on top
fruit dances beneath
God bless this drink 

My teacher really liked it. He's Irish, but moved to the US at age 12, so he has a very American accent, but lots of hints of Irish in there too.

I've been writing lot's of Haikus. I'll share some more:
Walk, rain, train, and tube
Rain drips down my green raincoat
Say watch out below
Sandwich Shoppe cramped
Mango juice and no seats left
What to do
(this one is dedicated to my friend Lindsay) 
Rain falls, taxi beeps
Puddle splash and walking feet
English boys are hard to meet

Those are all from my first night. It rained on Monday, but that didn't stop us. We went to a pub that night for some dinner. I mentioned that in my last update. 

In class yesterday we wrote more Haikus, though this time it was Narrative Plus Haiku. Like this:

The morning came early with a list of things to do. Excitement filled my bones as I lazily dragged myself from bed.
A dark room awakens
the bed begins to stir
a journey awaits
I went through security and waited at my gate. Clutching my phone waiting to hear from my dad.
At the airport lands
A plane at the D Gate
Father rushes for goodbye
My flight landed in Jersey and was delayed and delayed. Finally we were off. We landed 6ish hours later. 
The plane touches down
Excitement fills the passengers
Here goes nothing
We didn't make it to Harrods yesterday as we had planned. Lizzy, mine and Kelli's neighbor, had class from 2-5 but changed into a 9:30-12:30 class. Which is good, so now "the gang" (myself, Kelli, Lizzy, Katherine, Lindsay and Brandi) doesn't have to wait for her or feel bad for doing things without her! Harrods was on the itinerary for yesterday but Katherine had to meet with her class group to work on something at 16:30, then Brandi and I had a meeting about the Paris weekend at 19:00. So we took the tube to Russell Square. Then we grabbed lunch at Pret A Manage, a sandwich shop. Then we ate in Russell Square, and let me tell you.... Pigeons are like "honey badgers" as Lizzy says. And holy cow- they are. No mercy. Katherine dropped some popcorn and they SWARMED. Crazy. Hilarious. 

Then we walked round the corner and to the British Museum. That was neat. We didn't check out the entire place (it's MASSIVE) but it was still cool. We saw a de-wrapped mummy. And some wrapped ones, but the de-wrapped one was much cooler looking.  After that we stopped at a shopped called the Red Bus Shop and I picked up a couple souvenirs for some people. We walked back to the tube station and saw a policeman on a horse and it was really quite cool. We walked through Russell Square on the way out and there were some dogs running around playing. Made me miss my puppies. 

We arrived back from our journey and just chilled until we were done with meetings. I attempted to do some homework, and actually started this update instead. After my meeting I stopped at the "Food and Wine" corner store to get some laundry detergent, then headed back to my room. The gang ventured out to this place called Giraffe that has a burger special on Tuesday nights, but we weren't thinking and instead of going left outside our dorm, we went right. So we instead went to Pizza Hut. Then we went to to tube and went to KINGS CROSS STATION. 

Need I say more? It was awesome. We found Platform 9 3/4, and we rocked it. It was like a fantasy being lived out. I actually realized owls can't fly over the Atlantic, which explains why I've not received my Hogwarts letter! 

Pictures are on my Facebook, and since this post is long enough I'll let you look there to find them. 

Class today was great, we talked a lot about stereotypes of different regions and travel tips to people traveling to our part of the country. It's a very interesting class. 

We're about to head to Tescos for lunch. Then to Primark, which is a store that is Black Friday on CRACK. Sales are AMAZZZZZING. 

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