Coming back was hard for a few reasons. One was that London was not just a study abroad it was an experience and I loved every minute of it. From going to Starbucks at night to catch up on a few sketches or walking around central London with everyone during the day, every minute was great. Coming back to work and school is a little difficult. Last time I studied abroad it was in may so I was able to go right home after it and have two months for summer. Spring break brain is hard to rebound from. I will say, even though we woke up around 7 each day, went clear trough til 5 or later, then went out at night just to do it all over again, it was still a break. We were able to be out element and enjoy someone else’s way of life for a while. I will miss London.
I also tried to post this one on Friday but again, wifi…
So the food in London…was GREAT!! I really tried to get stuff that I either could not get in America or things I have not tried before. For instance the crepes made out of pancakes at that place by Westminster Palace, that place was really good. Not as filling as I wanted so I got ice cream after. Really cheap ice cream too. Thing is with ice cream in London, at least for me, is that it was extremely light and fluffy. Almost like whipped cream, but it was really filling. Shauna and I got some crossing the bridge by the London eye and it was honestly some of the best I’ve cream I have ever had. Desserts in London in General were delicious. The desserts we had at tea was good as well. The chocolate was really rich and the shortcake tasting treat was also light and fluffy with that amazing filling. I also tried fish n’ chips and yes I have had fish before and yes I have had fries before but it was fun to have it in London England. It’s about the equivalent to having sushi in japan which I hope to one day have as well. I also can honestly say I did not have a single mcdonalds, baskin, Burger King, or chipoltle in London which I am proud of because it is very true that even though it’s the same name, the menu can be different and was with mcdonalds in Germany. Group dinners were also a great time to experience with new food. For instance wagamamas offered a very spicy dish of pasta and chicken which I probably too eagerly ordered, but hey it was an experience right? Overall the good was great and it was different enough that I felt like I was in a different country but similar enough that I wasn’t eating crazy weird food.
And butter beer at universal studios for Harry Potter was amazing!!! Plus it is one of two places in the WORLD to get it! The other is in Florida! Great experiences!!
I tried to post this on Thursday but the wifi wasn’t working.
I wanted to write a post about the fabric of London, now that we have seen a great deal of it from various heights and angles. I found it extremely intriguing to look at the gherkin from the angle next to the cheese grater. It was nice to see the different layers of the city that have been built throughout time: the old ruined church, the newer neoclassical building, and the nearly brand new gherkin. From chipped, dated stone to thin glass, you can really see how the city has grown over the years and it is quite a sight. It makes you think about the history this city went through. And today seeing the globe theater up close with it’s thatched roof was also nice because it brought my point full circle. Obviously from a logical and sustainable standpoint, thatched roof and wood buildings aren’t going to last, and even if the fires did not occur in London, at some point, that architecture would have been rebuilt with stone and marble and other materials. But, to see thatch in modern day, thick poche at places like St. Paul’s, aged stone, and thin, tall curtain wall, just makes me appreciate this city more. That kind of stuff does not happen anymore; you can’t see that stuff in columbus ohio. It also makes me think about the heap of issues Londoners have had to overcome. From fires and rebuilding their entire city to accepting buildings like the egg, the gherkin, the cheese grater, the walkie talkie building, the shard, and the inside out building all within the last few years, makes me realize and appreciate their culture, architecture, and way of life. Their buildings are truly a melting pot of architecture.
I find the language to be different here than in other parts of Europe that I have been to and this is why. When in Germany, Italy, France, ect, it is expected that people will speak German, French, or Italian, with the hope that someone will speak English. And when they do you pick up on accents and words they say and common questions they ask at stores when you are checking out, and ect. But it is almost a different language in England, even though it’s not. There are different words British people use like ‘chips’ instead of ‘fries’ but their accents make it sometimes hard to understand. Or we kind of expect or anticipate a ‘you’re welcome’ after we say thank you, but instead I have only heard a bunch of ‘thank you’s’ instead. I find this interesting and Reuben brought up a good point when he said that he notices they say ‘thank you’ if they know you’re American and ‘cheers’ if they haven’t heard you speak. It is a phenomenon I have noticed as well. On that note, I have always wanted to know what an American accent sounds like to say a British person, and that whole dynamic of hearing yourself through someone else’s ears comes into play and what do you really sound like, and are you speaking clearly. But yes, sometimes their accents are so thick that it is hard to understand right away what they are saying.
So in my London guidebook, I flagged a page about nightlife and pubs and bars, and I wanted to check out some of the scenes. One of the ‘hidden’ gems of nightlife that I would not have thought to look at was Leicester square. Not hidden in a sense that no one knows about it and it’s in some back alley but hidden meaning it’s not in books as a place to hang out. While it had shops and restaurants and maybe some pubs, the square itself is lit up like New York or Las Vegas but better. The lights on m&m world change between blues,purples, and greens, reds and oranges, and the colorful interior, which can be seen from the outside contains a life size model of a London bus, and other m&m plastered objects. Next to it is a store, also a few stories tall, which blasted music from today’s R&B and hip hop, that sold London attire and souvenirs. The fountain we saw was closed off and dark but it made all the other shops and stores and pubs that much more bright. There was also a stall where people were buying tickets to a performances to a theater, play, or some type of musical. I really appreciated that aspect of the space. It almost made it feel smaller and ‘old school’, and not so city-like.