I know it’s been a while since my last post and usually I have no excuse for the long breaks between blogs but this time I have a legitimate reason for not posting and that’s because I’ve been in jolly old London, England. I have officially been here a full week and I absolutely love everything about the city that I’ve seen so far and I know that I will love the parts that I haven’t even seen yet.
Last Sunday I arrived at 74 Courtfield Gardens in the lovely borough of Kensington and Chelsea (yes, I obviously point to my name on the signs around the city and say “That’s my name!”; I think my new friends are starting to get sick of it). Kensington is apparently one of the wealthiest cities in the entire United Kingdom which became quite obvious when I saw a Bentley, Lambourghini and a Rolls Royce parked on the street in front of my flat. While it seems unnatural to put a bunch of idiotic college students in one of the U.K.’s richest boroughs, we were apparently put here so that we wouldn’t get shanked (stabbed) by some of London’s less finer folk. I am therefore OK with Boston University’s housing decision.
So, let me tell you about my first week here (Warning: this probably isn’t overly interesting so if you have something important to do you might as well do it now.)
The first day I was so tired I couldn’t see straight but I somehow managed to make my way to Carnival in Notting Hill. I decided that being social and making friends was more important than sitting in my room like a loser. Carnival is basically this enormous street festival thrown to celebrate the Caribbean culture of London. The streets were packed with loads of drunk people who were “dancing” to amazing and extremely loud music. There were people dressed in everything from bumble bee costumes to Gucci sweatsuits, it was fabulous. We then topped the evening off with a late-night serving of gyros and falafel at a local restaurant called “Fish and Chips”. It would have made sense to order fish and chips but my mind wasn’t quite right that day. Either way, my first day was officially a success.
The next two days of my London experience were dedicated toward getting affiliated with the history and culture of London. In order to do so, we attended a mandatory seven lecture series that covered everything from the birth of Britain to an in-depth analysis of the pound note. Did you know that Queen Elizabeth is on one side of the pound and on the other is Charles Darwin? This is why I love England. Admittedly, the may be the only piece of information I took away from the lectures as I was in a jet-lag induced coma the entire time. However, I decided to push past my coma and go out Tuesday and Wednesday night. On Tuesday we went to dinner at a local pub called “Prince of Tekk” which served great beer and excellent chicken risotto and then pub hopped all the way up King Street. On Wednesday we made some British friends who took us around Notting Hill. I mostly love the British because of their sense of humor and ability to incorporate horribly offensive words into everyday conversation. I can see myself being friends with these people.
Finally, on Thursday we started classes which apparently you have to do while you are abroad. Who knew? I’m taking an advertising and marketing class which lasts four hours a day so it’s fairly painful. All pain aside, I really like my professor who is absolutely hilarious. She gave us some useful tips and advised us not to talk on the Underground, which is the local subway system here, so as not to look like loud Americans. Too late.
Once classes we over, my three day weekend began. We saw some tourist attractions in Picadilly Circus and Soho and scored from delicious Indian food down in Camden Market. My new friends and I even spent the day in Kensington Gardens throwing a frisby around. I hit about three people in the back of the head with my un-athletic toss so I probably need to find something else to do at the park. All in all is was a stellar first weekend and I hope there are many more to come!