Monday, June 11, 2007

'cos I know how it feels, filling in the blanks, looking on the bright side when there is no bright side

London is absolutely fabulous. I can't say more good things about it. I'm completely content and happy here and I would not have it any other way. It is typical of me to totally isolate myself on the other side of the world. No friends, no roommate, nada. I have made one friend, though. His name is Joe and he is my kitchenmate from Seattle. Film student going to school in Massachusetts. Did I spell that right? I remember in 5th grade there was some song in order to remember how to spell that state correctly. Then you repeated in backwards in the same sing-songy way. Uh. There a large handful of people from Chicagoland here but they seem kind of dull. I met a girl from San Jose today, Jaime. She seems cool. Typical Bay Area girl. I'm down.

So what is different over here? It is basically like America but a thousand times more interesting. Literally everything is hundreds of years old. The city, the streets, the sites. There is a market I am going to this weekend that has been in operation since 1190. Uh. You see my point. So it's this mix of rich history there is this buzzing, modern metropolis. London never goes to bed. I was walking around in the middle of the night and busses were running, people were walking around, restaurants/bars were open, some shops were open. It was alive like it was during the day. This isn't exactly the hoppin' part of London, either. It's Chelsea which is rather posh and laid back. I can't imagine what Soho is like in the middle of the night. Dear god. As a night owl, I was extremely appreciative. People are far less high stress here and more about having a good time which I completely agree with that sentiment. As the people who run this school said, the American stereotype is that we are "work, work, work, ... and, 'Have a nice day.'" So true. I catch myself smiling and saying that to sales clerks as I leave and they don't do that here. They say "Thank you" or "Cheers"... but no having any nice days. I must be a bloody American.

London is obsessed with organic here. It's so amazing. There are organic shops, markets, restaurants... cosemetic stores, herbal medicine stores. Vegetarianism and veganism is very prominent here as well. The everyday mini-marts here have vegan food and not only that, but it's marked vegan! So cool! I'm such a dork. I love it, though. I couldn't be more pleased. This is so my place. The shopping is intense. There is just so much of it that I don't know where to begin. Literally. I feel like if I start I won't stop and get lost in a sea of fabrics and vanity. I love it! Ah!

Brit girls are really intimidating. They all sound so intelligent with their accents. I feel like a moron in comparison. They end every sentence with, "...yeah?" For instance, I was sitting next to some girls probably my age and they were having your average girl chatter. Everyone of them would say something like, "So then we went to such-and-such's flat and this thing-and-that... yeah?" It was really cute. Not only that but they are all super pretty, thin, and strikingly European. American girls look plain sightly in comparison to European girls. The presentation alone. Oh my god. These ladies know how to dress in a knock-out kind of way. Jeans and a t-shirt are MIA here. ...Bloody Americans.

The education system here is a lot different. I kind of like it more. Teachers and students are much more personable and have a more friends, hands-on relationship. You call your professor a "tutor" and when addressing them, you call them by their first name. Campuses are spread across the city, not in one central location. Dorms are the same way. There is a ton of reading. Apparently an archaic form of asking what one is majoring in in college used to be, "What are you reading in your uni?" Reading equals majoring... literally because all you do is read, read, read. I guess the American obsession with group projects is much more of a limited idea here.

I decided I want to move here. I wanted to move here when I was 16. I looked into colleges my senior year but I felt too young to off and move to another continent at 18. There is an advisor here that gives you information if you want to come back for a semester or a year or if you want to come here semi-permanently for school, such as graduate school. I'm down. I have no qualms at all. Sure, I'd miss America but hey, there is a Starbucks every couple blocks here too. Sadly not at every cornor but fear not, there is Cafe Nero and Cafe Primero in case you need that espresso jolt. Anyways, it's totally doable, I would just have to decide if its a good idea to have a British degree vs. an American one. It's either this or California. I feel like I can live in California at any point in my life, grad school or otherwise. London, on the other hand, is more of a once in a lifetime kind of ordeal. I'd be very dense to dismiss it, no? So we'll look into it. You see, when I have a dream and a desire to do something, I go through with it. It's mine if I try. Anything is yours if you want it bad enough.

In other news, I have basically figured out the Tube. Public Transit in any country, even one such as Japan, is really not hard if you have a good map. I don't get how people are lost. Perhaps my nose is too keen with directions. Generally it is which is good because I am far too stubborn to ask for any sort of help.

I feel like a seasoned pro at traveling compared to most kids here. It's weird to think this time last week I was in Chicago, back to Springfield, and going to St. Louis to shop. It's crazy how a mere airplane ride changes everything.

As far as lingual differences go, there are quite a few. I keep thinking that British English is some kind of weird accented version of my English, kind of like my mother's Russian accented English. But that isn't right because Americans stole it from England. So... They are right and I am wrong. It's odd. Their English is so cute. Some things that stick out: flat is apartment, lift is elevator, telly is television, sun cream is sun screen, mash is mashed potatoes, tatties is potato, bangers is a type of sausage, courgette is a zuichini, aubergine is an eggplant, chips are fries, crisps are chips, clingfilm is plastic wrap, bill is check, bitter is beer, biscuit is cracker, gherkin is pickle, jam is jelly, jelly is jell-o, peckish is hungry, cheer is good-bye or thank you, cheeky is being a smart ass, dosh is money, dodgey is something or someone who is untrustworthy, fancy is to desire something, pudding is any kind of dessert, starter is an appetizer, sarny is a sandwich, gutted is being really upset, jammy is being really lucky, knackered is being worn out, pear shaped is something that has gone wrong, pissed is getting really fucking drunk, rubbish is trash, smart is refering is how someone is dressed, snog is to make out, uni is college, squidgey is soft, zed is how you pronounce "z", normal is regular in referencing soda. I asked for light ice in my latte and they looked at my like I was nuts. I guess you say less ice here. Who knew?

Daft Punk is playing a festival in Hyde Park this Saturday night. It's $80 to go and it's all day with a bunch of bands. I kind of want to go because obviously, I want to dance the night away to some good electro alt French techno loveliness but also because I can say I did that in London... In Hyde Park! Othello is playing at the Globe Theater that night and I could go see that for free. I feel like I should see a play there. Maybe I'll just pay to see one some other time. ...Which one to go to? You tell me.

Theres a blue light, in my best friends room
Theres a blue light, in his eyes
Theres a blue light, yeah,
I want to see it, shine

Theres a ship, that sails by my window
Theres a ship that sails on by,
Theres a world under it
I think I see it,
Sailing away

I think its sailing,
Miles crashing me by
Crashing me by,
Crashing me by

Theres a world,
Outside my doorstep
Flames over, everyones heart
Dont you see them shining,
I want to hear them
Beating for me

I think I hear them
Waves crashing me by,
Crashing me by,
Crashing me by

Blue Light, Mazzy Star

Pictures eventually. I haven't seen anything really picture worthy yet. I haven't started the endless trek that will be site seeing.

Smashing, dahhlingss,

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