10 May 2007

The First Week!

Wow! This week has been extremely full! I’ve just done and seen so many fantastic things! On Thursday things were much better because I had slept for several hours and I was feeling much, much less delusional. We had our first classes that morning and got the general sense of what the term is going to be. Not a whole lot of work and a TON of playing! Sounds like my kind of semester! After our classes my flatmate and I went exploring! It was fantastic! We found this awesome little place called High Kensington. It is a shopping district (way out of my student price range for the most part but it is so much fun!) that is quite long actually. Higher class shops and all. After that we made a giant loop back through Kensington Gardens. That is probably the most beautiful park I have ever been through or seen anywhere in my whole life! Lucky for me it is right across the street from my flat! I would love to live in this area some day. It is so fantastic! We went to St. Mary’s Abbot which is a nice little church. Old and beautiful, but humble and not too pretentious.
Friday we had more class which was a bit tough because we had just had class and I was still trying to get my bearings straight. After class I went out on my own to Kensington park and read for a little while. It was such a nice sunny day and it was too windy to read, so I tucked all of my stuff under me (so none of it could be stolen!) and fell asleep for a little while instead. That night we went to see Othello at the Globe. It was really fabulous, but we stood for 3 hours and 45 minutes plus! WOW! We were in the yard as the ‘groundlings’ (yes, college students = peasants, don’t worry) but the show was so amazing that it was totally worth it! I couldn’t have had a better place for it though. Front and center stage! No one to block my view at all! YES! We didn’t get back until well after midnight here so we were all dead and passed not long after we got back.
Saturday morning we went on a walk around London to see the famous Shakespearean sites (as well as some random others) then we went to a great little open market. One of the most fun things we saw was the site where Nancy was killed by Sykes in Oliver. On the way back we had to stop at the National Theatre and buy some of our play texts (also our texts for one of the classes) and I found the most beautiful masquerade mask! That night I went to the market with one of my other flatmates where I got some berries, a knee brace, and dark chocolate. Not a better combination to be found anywhere! Their fruit is the best here and absolutely nothing I’ve found can compare to their chocolate (Well, other European chocolate can hold its own as well).
Sunday was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I went to church in a little branch that is all Spanish and Portuguese speaking. I didn’t understand anything that was being said, but the spirit was so strong there! I was able to have one of the other girls there who served a Spanish speaking mission translate for me for most of it, but there were parts where I just didn’t know what was going on. It was very different being the minority and not being able to understand the meetings. It was so tender though when a little family was blessing their baby. It was the daddy and two members of the bishopric. It was so humble and sweet. It was tough though because by the end of Sunday School I had a headache from trying to concentrate so hard to understand anything! In Relief Society we had a lesson on reverence and it was so moving that I actually was almost moved to tears. These people are so humble and good. It was sort of funny though. One sister made the comment that ‘the BYU students are being so reverent and they don’t even understand what is being said, and look at the example we are setting for them!’ It was funny to me though, because I was thinking to myself ‘yeah, we’re being so reverent because we can’t understand what is being said and we’re too afraid to say anything.’ We got Spanish Books of Mormon though and I’m going to try to read through it with the help of Lisa (the girl who served a Spanish speaking mission) and my English BOM. We’ll see how that all works out.
Monday we finally got into the schedule we are going to be on this term. We had class and I was fairly bored so I was working on my screen saver. It was pretty awesome because I clicked on one image that I thought was a picture and low and behold. Not a picture but a video clip of me doing the Tango and it was playing for the benefit of the whole class. Luckily I was able to get it off after about 1.5 seconds though. Oh, and it finally rained on us. Not too much, just a little introduction to the rain. Actually that’s a lie. I was pretty much soaked from the knees down. My flatmate and I went with one of the other girls to the Sherlock Holmes museum on 221 Baker street just like in the books! It was a riot to get there though! We took a wrong turn off of the tube station and ended up wandering through the streets for a while. It was a bank holiday though so there weren’t that many people to ask for directions even. So apparently Sherlock Holmes was a real person and he did actually address Watson as My Dear Dr. Watson. What a kick! Our director took us on a walk around Kensington park and showed us the monuments and such. Good times! OOH! I also learned that I LOVE Indian food. I wasn’t sure about it before, but now I know of its goodness and that I will never go back to not eating it again.
Tuesday I finally got to sleep in a bit. Not too much mind you because there is just too much to do to waste all day in bed, but enough to make for a welcome change. When Cabrina and I finally got up we ran come errands and went to the London Museum. It has the history of London from before it was… well… London through the current times. Unfortunately it was only open through Medieval though because of renovations. =( As a side note, I had really odd dreams about the Bubonic plague and people trying to steal my purse that night. On our way back we stopped in a thrift shop and I got the most fabulous things! I got a vintage trench coat in salmon (which I found out today isn’t waterproof) and a silk bag and scarf. Not too expensive either! I am way stoked about it! That night I did my homework and researched for class and went to bed. Not too much else really.
Today was another exciting day! Class was interesting because I was part of the group that was presenting which was a fun experience. Then I came home and wrote some letters, did some housekeeping, ate, and I was off again. I decided to go out shopping/exploring by myself. In one of the shops one of the owners had the most darling puppy named Lucy. She was so sweet!!! The shopping trip turned into somewhat of a fiasco because it was raining and not the kind of rain I’m used to in Utah. When it rains here it really rains! I unfortunately left my umbrella home (USA home) so I was drenched! I was quite a sight to behold! I didn’t really get anything, but I looked at some neat shops! On my way back I decided to stop at Starbucks and get a banana nut muffin and a hazelnut hot chocolate. That didn’t work out quite as I had planned. I grabbed my stuff and ran back to the flat. On the way back I realized that I had not actually gotten my hot chocolate, but instead a cappuccino and it was lukewarm at best. I realized that I do not like coffee like I used to either. So when I came home I looked like a wet cocker spaniel and I didn’t have my hot chocolate. I felt rather let down. However after a good blow dry of the hair and a change of clothes I felt much better. We saw one of the most visually fabulous shows I’ve ever seen in my life tonight! It is called A Matter of Life and Death. I would try to explain the plot, but it is insane! It’s about a pilot in WWII who cheats death and falls in love with the radio operator who is listening to the line when he bails out of his plane without a parachute. He has a trial to appeal his death and it is really so confusing at times, but it was so amazing to watch! I may go back and see it again so I can get more from it.
That’s really about all for the week. I have managed to have two men blow me kisses, one be checking me out all the way to class this morning (so says one of the girls in the program who was watching me walk there) and I sat on a British mans lap on the bus today. I would say for one week I’m doing fairly well.


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