i skipped class today to spend time with nathan. i seriously cannot sit through four and a half hours of theatre class when the sun is shining and nathan is in london! i finished my seven-page theatre paper last night and then went to a club with aaron, quinn and nathan. it was pretty fun but nathan was jet lagged and i was tired, so it was an early night. today we are on our way to the camden market so i can sell some books to a used bookstore (too heavy to backpack with) and buy my little brother something from london. i'm so very ready to be done with classes and then so very ready to travel and then i think i am ready to come home and go to the lake with my family and read at prairie lights and buy mate tea from the tobacco bowl. that all sounds very fine.
yesterday i was panicking because i thought nathan was supposed to be in london at six in the morning and i hadn't heard from him. i was wrong. i woke up at seven thirty to him calling me from downstairs. we went to breakfast at the hollywood cafe and i had the ham and cheese omelet once again. it's so good to have him here. i'm very anxious to travel.
at 11:26 AM
brighton was a major letdown because not only was there no sun, there was pouring rain. ofcourse i showed up at the trainstation in a mini sundress with a beach bag and flip flops and matt looked at me and said "aren't we feeling optimistic about today?" it struck me as funny then but unfortunately held true for the rest of the day. when katie, tim and i were on the boardwalk i tripped and broke my flip flop and had to wear these horribly corny ones with the british flag on the bottom. i must say that there is nothing a big hot chocolate won't fix though.. i ended up holing up in a bookstore and reading anais nin and watching the rain and trying to get rid of what seemed to be permanent goosebumps.
when i got home, i forced myself to sit down and write my essay for class. no getting up until it was done. after that, tim borrowed somebody's laptop and we watched "lost in translation" which i have always loved but hadn't struck such a chord with me until i started traveling.
speaking of traveling, i am going to rome on the 31st then to venice then to brussels and then to amsterdam. i'm so excited.. i love london, but i need warmth and sun and red wine and cherry tomatoes.
today i woke up around nine and put the finishing touches on my essay and then purposely got lost on the bus so i could see more of london. ended up at notting hill (no hugh grant unfortunately) and explored the portobello market. listened to a lot of postal service on my headphones today and bought two cute (cheap!) shirts and bought my grandma a tiny english tea set that i will try very hard not to break while backpacking.
today was my first day without coffee in about a month. i feel much better. i'm on way to dinner with steven bard, one of my aunt's friends.. since he's london he said he'd feed me a good dinner! i'm not sure those exist in this city though.
i'll let you know.
love you and miss you all. i miss iowa city where people don't hold their bags tightly if you smile at them.
at 11:24 AM
i spent the day wandering around london.. in and out of shops, a couple of coffee shops, came back and started a paper. every once in a while i have these pangs of homesickness and start longing for iowa. i don't want to be homesick because i know my time is limited here and i should be enjoying it and sucking the life out of this experience, but right now i just want a bubblebath and a big mug of chai.
i feel disconnected and drained but it will pass. it always does.
at 11:23 AM
everything is finally taken care of. my parents wired me money to get me through a couple of days until my new cards arrive, the london underground is sending me a new tube pass and i have a new school ID. my friends here have been amazing - lending me money whenever i need it, asking if i'm okay and the guys in my flat practically went on a headhunt after it happened. i really can't believe what a hassle this has all been though.
tonite i might go to a concert, tomorrow night i'm going to this famous club called fabric and saturday i'm going to the english beach town of brighton and i'm seeing wilco and belle & sebastian play. after sulking in my room all weekend i am dying to get out.
at 11:22 AM
at 11:22 AM
i spent all day yesterday on the phone with credit card companies, the london police department, the london underground helpline.. and no one was much help. after a call to my hometown banker in iowa i felt much better.. my parents and him were able to fed-ex a card to me. in the meantime, quinn is allowing me to live off on his money and food which is really nice.
the next time i try to predict life, i want someone to tattoo "you have no idea!" on my hand because it's the only thing that really seems to hold true.
at 11:21 AM
this morning i toured the globe theatre where shakespeare put on all of his productions. i'm going to see "measure for measure" there in a couple of weeks. i'm not a huge shakespeare fan, but it's a good london-y thing to do.
my afternoon class was cancelled because the teacher has the flu. what a shame. i spent the earlier part of the afternoon in the tate modern and saw original picassos and henri cartier-bresson. aw. love it.
i decided to check out oxford street and i bought some hot pink lip gloss and silver ballet flats. i'm having a heart attack over the clothes here. the best vintage clothes i have ever seen. i'm a top-shop addict now.
katie and i have decided that london has stolen our hearts and that we need to switch majors so that we can make cash and live here. then i can sit in sidewalk cafes in my silver ballet flats and leave hot pink lip gloss imprints on my espresso cups.
at 11:20 AM
i woke up at six this morning and couldn't fall back asleep. i grabbed a newspaper and headed to a cafe down the street for some toast and coffee. we don't have a television or radio in our flat and i haven't been picking up the paper, so i truly had no idea what was going on in the world, outside of the saddam trial. that is really pathetic for a journalism major.
i made a big pasta dinner for the guys last night and they brought a couple bottles of wine. we went to the pub for a drink but i ended up going back to my room around ten.
the sun has been out all morning. it reminds me of iowa. i woke up missing my strawberry waffles and iowa city and bubblebaths and big mugs of chai and my family and laying in the backyard in a bikini with a book but it will be okay because like he said, there will be ups and there will be downs and they seem more extreme when you are traveling.
at 11:20 AM
on my way home from writing in my journal friday night i ran into quinn, aaron and tim on holloway and ended up going to shepherd's bush to see "my morning jacket" on a whim - still carrying my schoolbag with my hair twisted up in a messy top knot.
the first people we met (six boys including one named jeremy and one girl named faith) were from south africa. we talked about ryan adams, michael moore and visas. one of the boys died when i told him i was from iowa. "kerouac said the prettiest girls in america live in des moines." he told me he had a plan to drive through the states and eat nothing but apple pie and ice cream. a noble goal.
tim, aaron and i decided to head back to camden market on saturday, but it was really busy and was making me feel a little nervous. we hopped on the tube and went to picaddilly circus and to the virgin megastore so i could listen to british pop music because it's really dorky and puts me in a good mood and then this girl told me she was looking for people for this new british guy's music video and she thought i looked the part. haha, can you imagine me in a british music video sober? no way.
here's a excerpt from my personal journal later in the day:
"the boys and i are laying in the a park in the center of leicester square. i am enjoying my first uninterupted hour of london sun. people are milling about crowded onto the benches and green space drinking coffee, holding hands, talking.. i have a calmness and appreciation for these moments. moments when i'm twenty - so young, so on the verge, so untamed. i don't feel nervous or anxious about what is next, but just ready and that feels right."
aaron and i are going to make a big pasta dinner with garlic bread and red wine to celebrate the fourth of july. one jackass on our floor said that he is going to run around screaming "i love the usa" wrapped in an american flag. if he does have a thick enough skull to go through with that, then i will be home when he comes home bleeding and crying. i just hope he has enough sense not to. most british people have a definite respect for americans, but nobody has respect for ignorance.
at 11:19 AM
an excerpt from my personal journal from yesterday:
"it's a chilly day - a very busy first of july. i had class in the morning then a tour of the theater museum in the afternoon, a latte in covent garden square, dinner in a delicious snobby restaurant and then saw "iphigenia" - a greek tragedy - at the national theatre. (i sat in the second row and could hear the actors whispering behind the curtain.)
no matter what area of london i'm in, i find myself sitting in a sidewalk cafe sipping coffee just watching the people. i'm not here to sight-see. i hate that philosophy of traveling, snap-shot traveling. i want to experience the people, the life, the ordinary days of london.
i want to live with my eyes wide open."
sporatic rain every hour/buying fresh flowers for my flat/wandering through the camden market/having my picture taken next to a stand that sells legal hallucinogenic mushrooms/having a vendor ask me if iowa was an island and then wishing it was/feeling slightly homesick when i woke up/eating a flapjack that was delicioso/getting lost on the tube with aaron and quinn/drinking a cappuccino/collaging my journal/going with the boys to buy a guitar for our flat/reading virginia woolf's jacob's room/going to an art exhibit on the 1960's at the tate/laughing so hard i cried when the bus driver called quinn a "bloody idiot" and slammed on the brakes/having a creepy old police officer named eddie ask for my phone number when i just asked where the internet cafe was/
at 11:18 AM