Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Howdy Blokes! [London, Pt 2]

Howdy Blokes!

I've been in the UK for almost a month now. It's a most delicious place with delightful people, beautiful scenery and good beer. I've made it my mission to do something fun and new every single day and so far I have succeeded. I've giggled more than my fair share, eaten the most delicious cheeses and pastries, and drooled over the countryside. I'm on my way to level 2 expert tube rider.

I've explored much of west and north London, dabbled in the east end, have run across most of Camden (where I live!), and have done 5 terrific markets so far (Camden [my favorite], Borough [best food!], Portabello [cute-ness overload], Old Spitalfields [hip and happening] and Covent Gardens [great performers!]).

I did a running bootcamp in Hyde Park, a pub crawl in Whitehall, hiked the Seven Sisters (from Seaford to Eastbourne), got lost in Kentish Town, went touristy at the sight of Big Ben, and have mastered the currency (so many bloody coins!). Attempted some 'yoga meditation' (false advertising -- it was basically an attempt to convert us to some type of religion), did swing and jazz dance classes, ate some delicious vegan food on Oxford Street, attended the Philaharmonia Orchestra performance of some of the worst contemporary classical "music" I have ever heard (with perhaps the most moving lecture I've ever heard  from an Oxford professor), did the London Art Fair, and hiked across Crowborough (with stops at the last home of Arthur Conan Doyle [author of Sherlock Holmes -- *I definitely fan-girled it up at Baker Street] and witnessed the view that inspired the author of Winnie the Pooh). Also, I traipsed across fields and farms, failed at cuddling with the sheep, and hitch hiked (my first time... you guys are probably so unimpressed, but I'm high-fiving myself right now).

Let's not forget the inhabitants -- these people are fantastic. I've met so many really interesting people from all over the world -- Hong Kong, Bulgaria, Brazil, Kenya, Belgium, France, Poland, Japan, Canada, etc. To be honest, I think I've probably met more international people than British people, and sometimes I think I hear more French than I do English.  I live in a cute house with a family from South Africa who are splendidly cosmopolitan, always out-and-about and full of useful tips and tricks from which bus to take to what queues to stand in for for theatre tickets and what latest exhibits are a must see [*skip Paul Klee, do see Isabella Blow]. The 2 other lodgers are very nice a Brit bird (english for girl) who's dating a professional hockey player (unfortunately, it's not ice hockey) and an Argentinian film-maker/cook-extraordinaire.

Everybody's got a story, everybody's got some new insight into life and I'm doing my best to put it all together -- to figure out who I am and what I want from this here earth. I've consider my travels akin to dating; I'm looking for my soulmate city and though I don't think London is 'the one,' it's going to be a wonderful whirl-wind fling that will probably leave me brokenhearted when I leave.

I'll stop the rambling now and leave you with this: "Bob's your uncle"