Thursday, June 7, 2007

Adventures in Tired Land

I am now in London. I managed to sleep for about 3 hours on the flight, which was excellent. We were an hour sitting on the tarmac at JFK, so by the time I got through customs at Heathrow, it was 8am. I took the tube into my hostel, which is situated about a block from St. Paul's. A business neighborhood-pretty much everyone not staying in the hostel wore a tie. Plenty of construction going on, but a nice location.
My first goal was to get a sim card for my mobile. I was successful. Email me if you need/want my mobile number. Then I decided to go to the British Museum to keep myself awake. I walked and walked and walked and ended up in a Tescos. Tescos is kindof like Rainbow or Krogers. I bought my whole lunch (juice, sandwich, yogurt) for less than a hot chocolate had cost me at Starbucks. (Yes, I went to starbucks. I was starving, and it was there, and hot, and caffeinated, and sugary.) There are so many sensations that I associate with living here that I hadn't even realized I had missed. Like the Yogurt. The type of yogurt I got is kindof like fruit on the bottom, except the fruit is on the side, and the yogurt, instead of the fruit, is sweetened. It was SO good. I took a picture of it for Katie K.
When I finally found the British Museum I had just about zonked out. (I also decided that it's the hardest museum in the world to find.) So I looked at the Rosetta Stone, wandered a little more, and left. The Reading Room was closed, else I would have gone there as well. I decided to head back to the hostel, a copy of The Independent in hand, and wait til my hostel room opened up so I could take a nap. I took a lovely nap (with earplugs and sleeping mask to keep out the construction noise and sunlight) and when I woke up I went out in search of food and a tv screen to watch the game on. England played Estonia last night in a Euro cup qualifier. (3-0) I never managed to find the game, but I did find food, in the form of a strange restaurant called Nando (more on that later). Coming back to the hostel, I tried to ring the house, but no one answered, so I went to Marks and Sparks instead. More food memories! YAY! Then I went to sleep. I am very boring.
Today started with breakfast at the hostel. It's a nice breakfast, although now that its half 11, (that could be's half 12!), it's wearing off. I went in search of an internet cafe because I wanted to finish up some stuff for my Grace Hopper scholarship application. Well...that didn't happen because the stupid internet cafe doesn't let you use Office. You can look at porn (as was the man sittting next to me), but god forbid you do any work. So I have been wasting away my minutes doing other things. It's great fun. This morning I passed by a Sainsbury's (a cross between Rainbow and Lund's...hard to explain to KY folks). It was my preferred grocery store in England and I hadn't realized how distinctive it was. It smells like Sainsburys. Anyways, I'll save the raving for Katie K later. I did buy Madeira cake though...which I am very much looking forward to eating for lunch. I also went into the first British Whole Foods, which doesn't resemble in the slightest the Whole Foods on the west side of Calhoun. It was quite different. But hard to explain.
I'm off now. I think I'm going to head over to LTS (a tall women's shop) to see what their sale encompasses, and then down to the Westminster/Parliament area to see what's up there. I may try to go to evensong at Westminster and then grab dinner on the southbank before heading back to bed so that I can get on my early plane to Italy tomorrow to see Rach.
Over and out.


Simon said...

First of all I am SO DELIGHTED that you're doing this blog because I was sad about not talking to you for three weeks and not knowing what adventures you were on. So hurrah for updates!

And secondly, it is really weird how many of my memories of England are associated with food and particular grocery stores. Like, I remember SPECIFIC SANDWICHES with freakish accuracy...

Glad you are having fun! I will look forward to pictures :-)

Katie said...

My mom asked me tonight if you were who she thought you were ;)

What grocery stores did you go to? (or, more importantly, what sandwiches did you eat - and were they good?)

Do you remember the mini milk jugs that were SO cute?

Simon said...

Mainly Sainsbury's (excellent pastry seciont) and Marks & Sparks (they had the greatest one-person quiches). Costco on campus (was it Costco?) didn't count. Those were the two that I got excited about going to.

When I was in Edinburgh in December my friend Helen and I split this AMAZING sandwich we got at, like, Boots. It was one of those ones in the plastic triangle, and it was incredible. It was called New York Style or something, and neither of us knew what made it that, but it was really good. And then, in Picadilly, right before we went to see Reduced Shakespeare, we (Helen and I again) split (again -- we were cheap) a sandwich that was basically Thanksgiving dinner on bread. And for some reason these two sandwiches basically define my culinary experiences in England. Is that sad? Or is it GREAT?

I can't remember what I bought milk in for some reason. I remember the kind that had an expiration date of two years later and looked like a gigantic juice box, but I rarely bought them because, I mean, why doesn't it expire? What's IN there? Seemed sketchy.

It's too bad about the pictures! Hopefully there's a computer somewhere in Europe that's functional.