Sunday, September 30, 2007

I'm so tired...

We did a bunch of shopping today, which is good because now I have some silverware and a couple of plates. I don't have a can opener yet, nor any hangers. But I'm getting closer to having an actually stocked kitchen.

What I do have (and this is really key) is an alarm clock! Which is orange and cost one pound and that my Mommy bought for me while I was having a bit of a nervous (sleepy) breakdown. Isn't she wonderful and amazing?

We started the shopping somewhere up by the Angel tube stop at a street market that was just beginning to open. It was fun to see all of the booths being set up and to realize that these are actually fully functional stores that just happen to be nomadic. I couldn't think of any sort of comporable thing that I've seen before. I'm used to street booths like that in NYC, but they don't sell anything decent there- just designer knockoffs, which is I think why I was so suprised to figure out that being in a market booth didn't mean that what you were selling was trash. (Isn't that so arrogant of me? To assume that? Oh well, I won't anymore.) We got a lot of kitchen stuff in the market and then stopped at Woolworths which was good because now I have a towel.

We dropped our purchases off at the hotel and then made our way to Spitalfields which was phenomenal. I want so many things that I can't afford! Mommy did an excellent job of haggling and ended up with three new pashmina scarves. (The seller was charming and towards the end of our haggling started giving Mommy the price written out on the screen of his cell phone rather than aloud. He was very good at his job.) We didn't have quite what he asked for in cash, so we handed him everything we had left and he didn't take it all (he gave us back two or three pounds) which, as Mommy says, was "the most charming part." She's holding one of the scarves up right now, and she's right; it is "glorious."

What did we do next? I have no memory...oh! We went to the Museum of London! I was suprised (again) to see so many human skulls. I guess the Britons used to throw skulls into the Thames for ceremonial reasons (they think) which means that archaeologists have found all sorts of skulls, but not many complete skeletons. They have interesting room reconstructions there, but what really got to me was the tribute book to the people who died in the tube bombing in 2005. Each of the 56 people who died got a five or six page section filled with pieces written by friends and family and filled with pictures. I kept trying not to cry (it was in the middle of a museum after all.) There was a very palpable sense of "this could have happened to any of us." Which feels like a good sentiment. Mommy pointed out that there was no information about who the attacks were carried out by, no advertising for them at all- just a very sweet, very personal memorial.

Then we came back to the hotel and I passed out for five hours. School starts tomorrow, I'm not really sure when, but I figure I'll wake up early and take it from there. I seriously doubt there is anything I need to do before 9am. (And by seriously doubt, I mean when I called all the time this summer I wouldn't get ahold of anyone before 9:30am and even then was usually their first call for the day "hold on a sec' while I get my computer on...")

Why is everything in German?!

Actually- not everything is in German, just the little notes that more specifically explain certain buttons on Blogger. To be fair, it isn't like I have bothered yet to check on my language settings that may have inadvertantly been changed. (Though you'd think that if they had tabs such as "Settings" and "View Blog" would also be in German...)

Whatever, the point of this entry is that my father tells me that I am not writing enough. Okay then. In that case I will tell him all about my night.

The bed squeaks in an alarming way when you toss and turn, which I was because the "Oh my god I'm living in London" bit has started to hit me. I completely missed the move in day party at the basement pub because it took so long for us to get a taxi (oops, Saturday night- didn't think about that part.) and so by the time we had dropped my luggage off at Sundial Court it was around 9:30. Keeping in mind that The City is basically the financial district there was *nothing* open to eat at. So we walked towards the Old Street stop on the Northern line and and eventually ate at the first place we found: a fancy Indian resaurant that had seven servers standing around and absolutely no customers. We ate there anyway because beggars can't be choosers and proceeded to have the best biryani ever. (Seafood Sofyani Biryani to be specific, Mommy picked up the menu.) However, I found it very unnerving having all these people standing around watching us eat. No one else even stopped by while we were there. I hope they do a booming lunch trade during the week or else this is a serious case of failing to follow the "location, location, location" adage.

Getting back to the sleeping story. Remember how yesterday we slept until noon? Well today I was supposed meet Mommy at the hotel by 10:30 so that we could go to Spitalfields. I woke up at five, I think. (I don't have a clock.) It was definitely still dark out and was for a couple of hours after I finally got out of bed as well. I finished unpacking everything, read a portion of "Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui" by Karen Kingston (Or, in German "Heilige Orte erschaffen mit Feng Shui. Ein Anleitungsbuch") I highly reccomend this book, even if you have a really low tolerance for New Age-y things. She has a lot of helpful and good suggestions and advice and you can easily ignore the stuff that doesn't sit well with you. So I read that, played with my sink (Everything is so short! The top of the sink hits *maybe* my mid-thigh. Short!), fiddled with my furniture, and eventually gave up when it got light out and decided that if I was up probably so was Mommy so I hopped on the tube and now am at the hotel.

I feel a little bit bad that I haven't already spent more time bonding with my flat mates and meeting other people, but it is only the second day and I will be living with these people for at least three months, so it is probably all okay, right? In anycase- it is. Mommy and I are now going to scout for breakfast even though it is Sunday and nothing opens until at least 11:00am. (The hotel restaurant is open, but their prices are ridiculous. The english breakfast costs 10 pounds, we got a better sounding one yesterday for 3.50, including the tea.)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sundial Court

Hello and Welcome everyone. I am now awake. (You will be pleased to learn, I'm sure, that it is possible for me to sleep until noon regardless of where I am. Though in my defense I would like to point out that I was making up for somewhere between two and three nights of sleep.)

But on to more important things! I have a room! And flat mates! and little pots of parsley, basil, and coriander (see how well I am adapting already? I didn't write "cilantro" and Basil is being pronounced Baaaz-ill, but not really, because I think Baaaz-ill sounds silly.)

My room is quite spacious and directly across from the kitchen. Time will tell if this is actually handy, or awful. I have four flat mates and they are as follows (I may get the spelling of their names horrendously wrong, for which I apologize in advance.)

Latana: age 25- early music singer from Paris. She has cool purple and green glasses and spent her undergraduate in Berlin. I feel embarrassingly monolingual. (She was telling us to correct her English, but aside from a slight accent she is fine.) She was the first one I met and when we were introducing ourselves she said "Oh! You're from so far away!" and I was about to respond that so was she until I remembered that just because they are impressively foreign in Seattle doesn't mean they are in London. Paris is like 2 hours away by train.

Patrick: age 21- actor from London. He was feeling embarrassingly local compared to the rest of us. I'm glad that we have an actor because I was afraid that they would be completely segregated. There are apparently only 16 people in the drama section of the school (that can't include the techies, can it?) which is impressively tiny. Though that does explain how they can manage to produce such stellar alumni. Like Ewan McGregor and Clive Owen. I should tell Patrick that I expect him to become incredibly famous so that I can then brag about knowing him...

Moises: age 23- trombonist from London. He has more trouble with English than Latana does, but is very nice. He is so tall that he doesn't actually fit on the bed. I suggested that he use the footstool at the base of the bed, but suspect that that would still be wildly uncomfortable. We'll see what he ends up doing.

Meredith: age 22- French horn player from Connecticut. She was the last one I met, and when she started talking I whipped my head around because "Hey! I know that accent!" She is also very tall, I wonder if she fits on the beds. She has been here for a week already and apparently they have been doing a lot of last minute refurbishment. When she moved in none of the rooms were set up except for hers and there has been steady progress throughout the whole week. It still isn't done yet- in the stairwells there are a lot of places that have been sanded down to be painted, but obviously haven't been painted yet.

We haven't moved my luggage yet, so I'm not sure where I'll be staying the night, but Mommy did go grocery shopping and so now has lots of chutneys and chocolate.

Oh! The northern line has been under repair today- so there are huge delays and remarkably little air on the tube. Fortunately there are only two stops between the dormitory and the hotel- but ohmygosh that was awful. Also, considering how cool it is, I have been sweating a ton the last two days (Aren't you pleased I'm informing you of this?) So many places have been so crowded and/or overheated and therefore muggy. It's been gross.

We did also find a little cafe. (Called "Market Cafe." A creative leap ahead of Laine's cafe named, simply, "Cafe") Mommy got jacket potatoes with beans and cheese and I had a vegetarian English breakfast. It was remarkably good actually. We watched them slice the mushrooms (so they were very fresh) and the tomatoes were also very fresh. When we ordered the waitress called out for "weak tea" but the tea wasn't terribly weak- so we wondered what she was talking about...

Be on the lookout for a guest blog entry from Mommy- she has been taking pictures for that purpose. Also- for some reason blogger has decided that I would like all of the commands to be in German. Isn't that sweet? In a really non-helpful way? For instance: what does "Tastaturkurzel" mean?

Friday, September 28, 2007

We're in London

I would write more, but I'm not going to right now. Suffice to say that my mother and I have made it to London (and to our hotel!) and are both struggling to stay awake until some reasonable (or even only vaguely reasonable) hour to go to sleep. As it is now nearly 2pm, we're going to have to struggle vainly forward for the next four hours or so.

See, I shouldn't write when I haven't really slept in three days. (or whatever.) I write things like "struggle vainly forward" and all I'm talking about is sleep! That is hardly that dramatic. Oi.

Also, I made friends with a street cleaner.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I'm not homeless!

I get to stay in the Sundial Court for at least the first term, which is fantastic! So, um, yeah. I'm leaving Thursday morning! And Mommy and I have a hotel! (Well, "we" for the first night and then "she" for the rest of it because I'm not homeless!)

Also, I have a snazzy new computer that I have been stealing my parents' music with and am currently typing this entry on. You can't see it, but it is lovely.

I should go get some sleep because I have just a ridiculous amount of stuff to do tomrrow. Like actually shove all of my stuff into bags.

Friday, September 21, 2007

My hearing aid works!


It's only been, like, nine months or something like that since I've worn it... So thank you Lori and Larci: you guys are awesome.

ps. including today I've got seven days till London (well, six since I'm leaving on the seventh.) (Or 5.5 since today is already half over?) (You get the point.)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007