Wednesday, 12 January 2011

100 Dolla Bills, scratch that, Pounds Ya'll

So I've been in London for five days now and I can safely say that each day i've a. been lost on the tube and/or streets b. drinking in a pub or bar c. spending lots of money- a true Londoner already? 

Yesterday I had to find my way to my individual advising meeting at Westminster and got horribly lost.. luckily, I left two hours early to find it (thanks mom for instilling that unnecessary timing instinct in me). Once I did get there I had a nice meeting and finalized my class timetable- it looks like I have one class everyday except for Tuesdays (what a random day to have off) I also have a 9am class on Thursday that could be rough considering I have to take a 30 min tube ride to get there... luckily, the woman at the coffee shop across the street already seems to recognize me, ok so she recognizes me as the dumb american who cant count her change right, but its a start. 

Because we don't have classes this week and very little orientation programming, I've been staying out pretty late everynight- not great for my jetlag adjustment... but I'm sure it will get better once classes begin. Monday night I went out to a pub in Covent Garden and last night Jack and his flat mates took us to a nightclub in a similar area, it was an 8 story club with awesome views of London. We danced the night away- and one to many backstreet boys songs (no joke) and sambuca drinks (delicious!) later we found ourselves at 3 AM, long after the tube stopped running...oops. Christina and I decided it was probably better to just sleep at Jacks then find ourselves on a "dodgey" late night bus, which worked out well, except this morning I had to ride the tube home wearing my outfit from the night before. Luckily I dressed much more conservatively than the other night club patrons so I don't think I stood out much more than the early morning commuters on the train. Today, after a long nap, I made my first venture to the grocery store- although the million of kabab places surrounding my flat seem much more appealing than cooking at this point. 

Tonight, I met up with Scott and Lucy from Skidmore and we headed to explore my neighborhood to find a place to eat. Not but a few blocks up we found ourselves in what must be London's "little Vietnam" as the entire block was Vietnamese restaurants. We took a lucky guess and headed inside one (we decided against the one thats sign advertised its air conditioning) and I had my first vietnamese meal. I thought coming to London would avoid the language and cultural barriers of studying in a new country, but I guess not, Lucy ordered a vodka soda only to be given a glass of pure vodka and I struggled to use chopsticks and finally settled eating my meal with a spoon. I ordered a chicken in coconut sauce and it was delivered literally engulfed in flames! I was a little scared of it but it looked awesome, and when the flames settled the meal was delicious. At another point during dinner the entire restaurant went dark, and a cassette recording of happy birthday came on to bring a man a small vietnamese cake. Very amusing- I wonder if they did the cassette because the waiters don't know english? If so, very clever, and even if not, very clever. We then headed to a cool pub in my neighborhood where there was karaoke happening in the basement... speaking of karaoke, I'll leave you with a karaoke version of one the songs that was played at the night club last night. I can only dream of being as good as this guy one day. Its people like him that make me miss America. 

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