mossygirl: (Default)
( Jan. 24th, 2009 20:19)
This has been a crazy couple of weeks, and I'm sorry I haven't provided more updates. I do however have a ton of pictures that I will upload when I get back (maybe to my Japan blog so I can make comments on them there), so perhaps then you will get more of the story.

Right now I am back in London. I miss Edinburgh a lot -- we had so much fun the whole time there: touring the highlands, checking out Edinburgh Castle, and just bumming around the beautiful "Old Town" area. Yesterday we returned here to England, and it has been grand as well. In the evening we watched Les Miserables at the Queens Theatre. It was amazing. It was really the perfect production to see because I adore Les Miserables, and with my experience as student director when Illiana put it on, I could've sung along 90 percent of the time. We were far to the back of the theater, but we could see all but the very front of the stage (which was a revolving circle -- very good for staging). I really enjoyed it.

Today my friends Christy and Emily and I went to the Tower of London for a few hours. A few of the Tube (subway) lines were closed down just for this weekend, so we had to switch around the lines and finally rode a double decker bus to our final destination. (Well, we had wanted to ride a double decker anyway, so that was fine with us.) The Tower of London is actually a complex of buildings -- "towers" of London would be a more accurate description. We saw the Crown Jewels (dazzling!) and explored all of the different exhibits on defending fortresses, torturing prisoners, murdering princes, etc. It was a very good time. (And we did a whole lot of stair climbing, so yay exercise.) My favorite part was perhaps seeing one of the six ravens always kept on the ground (it's an old superstition that the Tower will fall if there aren't enough, so their wings are clipped) at close range. The raven cawed threateningly at Emily and I actually saw its breath in the cold air! (I really wish we had a video of this.)

I only have one day left in the UK, and although I'm eager to return, I'm also very sad to leave. And there's so much left to do! I still don't know how I'll be spending my last day here, but I'm sure it will be jam-packed with exciting things.
mossygirl: (Default)
( Jan. 11th, 2009 21:53)
Now that I have time, I don't know what to say.

(That is, I have internet time which needs to be used before 10 or so tomorrow morning, and I will not have time in the morning -- but it's almost 10 p.m. now! I want to write in my cross-cultural engagement journal and go to bed.)

Ear is still blocked up, but I haven't taken any painkillers since this morning and it doesn't hurt terribly right now, so that's probably good.

(It's rather shameful that I've used Tylenol more in the past few days than in the rest of my life as a whole o.o)

I really want to write about Westminster and how it was so, so, so, so, so, so so so sososo ... yes. Wonderful. It really was, even if the sermon itself was very, very short and we couldn't explore at all (will have to go back for that). But. I am going to write that in my CCE journal, then perhaps type it up here? I don't know. This is an entry about nothing but my sitting here at a computer in front of a large glass window of a hostel. (Er, the inside of the front, that is. In case you were confused.) They play very strange music here -- the other morning we had a song sequence of Jennifer Lopez, Oasis, and Marvin Gaye. How does that fit?

I am just wasting my internet time now because I have a half hour left but no time to use it and it is officially 10 p.m. and I want to go back to my room but I don't want to waste the time and I am running on and on in this sentence purposefully.

(UK keyboards are just a bit different from American ones, didn't you know?)

Anyway. Time to go. Good night. Tomorrow will include giving a presentation on R. Burns and visiting the British museum. I think you can make a good guess about which I am excited about and which I am sort of dreading. Anyway. Off.
mossygirl: (Default)
( Jan. 11th, 2009 09:58)
I am writing again already, which sort of surprises me, but computers are clearer in the morning than the evening, and it is morning now. Yesterday we toured St. Paul's Cathedral. It was a very lovely building and our guide was a sweet old man named David who really disliked the Victorians' sense of style. Today we will be worshipping at Westminster Abbey, which is really, really exciting. (I even feel like using some exclaimation points in honor!!) I hope we have some time to tour the building because many, many famous people are buried there.

In any case, though my writing feels a bit off, I am doing much better after two (somewhat) good nights of sleep. My earache is still there, but once I take Tylenol, it really only feels blocked, so perhaps it's getting better. (I'm waiting to end up near a pharmacy/store so I can see if there's any over the counter meds that might help some more. For now, I'm just tilting my head at strange angles to try to unblock things. At the least, it hasn't gotten worse.)

So far we have eaten a variety of foods here -- from pizza to Tiramisu to quiche Lorraine. I think I've yet to eat anything truly "British," but I suppose that is the nature of food in a city as big and international as London is. (I think I have heard nearly as much French spoken as English.)

Our first day here we went to the National Gallery, by the way, which felt much the same as any other art gallery I've been to, but with a lot more famous paintings contained -- the most famous I think was Sunflowers by Van Gogh. Very exciting, though I was perhaps too tired to really enjoy it (but I did nonetheless travel nearly the whole place). Anyway, though I haven't been writing long, it's time to go off again. Perhaps I will post more tonight, because I still have an hour's worth of internet to use in the next 24 hours.
mossygirl: (Default)
( Jan. 10th, 2009 09:44)
No time for pics, but here's an e-mail I sent to my parents so you can get some sense of things. I don't have time for anything more :( but I hope to post up more later.

Here I am, writing from the cool, foggy city of London! The hostel we are staying in has computers available for internet use (though with a fee, but our lovely leaders are covering it for us). It has been such a trip so far. My ear still hurts (I'm easing that with Tylenol, which helps a lot), but yesterday I was complelely jetlagged (the lack of sleep for two nights in a row was certainly not helpful), so I'm feeling much better in general today.

It is very strange to be in London. In some ways, it feels much the same as any other city, but everyone has a different accent (and they don't always understand me). Riding the London tube (the subway) reminded me a lot of my experiences with trains in Japan, with the same sort of awkward silence and hesitance to even meet the eyes of other passengers (and on the positive side, the same wonderful convenience).

Our hostel is rather old and worn-looking. I'm staying with three other girls in a room narrower than Calvin's dorm rooms (luckily, we're all getting along well!). The bathroom could not be more tiny! (Well, I suppose it could be, but not by much.) The shower is just a stall with a flimsy curtain and a ledge in front too low to really stop the water from escaping, so our bathroom floor is always wet. But, we do have our own bathroom, and this is a cheap hostel, so it really could be much, much worse.

There's not really that much to say right now -- yesterday is a complete blur thanks to my sleeplessness, and I think my mind should be much more collected after today (certainly, it's much more collected now than it was at any point yesterday --- the six hour time difference is such that my body was always confused about whether it should be asleep or awake). I'm going to try writing in a journal so that when I have the ability to write on a computer, I can just type that up (which is not the case now). Anyway, I've just about used up 20 of our minutes, so I will sign off here!


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