Where to begin. I actually attended two modules this week. My Introduction to Image Media class should actually be really good for me. We go into depth analyzing how mass media is portrayed and received. I have done a bit more exploring around the city of London this weekend. We spent some quality flatmate time at a pub, dancing our hearts out to Blink-182 and meeting foreigners. Somehow, no one is actually from London. I’ve also been spending more mornings inside the British Museum. I’ve made five trips and I’m just about done looking at the ground level floor. The British Museum isn’t just a gallery for art, it holds so much cultural information that it takes me hours to move throughout the rooms. I’ve seen the Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek, Roman, Chinese, Enlightenment, African and American Galleries. The Ancient to Medieval Art History class I took with Pizer might be keeping me in the museum for longer than I normally would. I find myself searching for particular Greek, black-figure vase painters and being upset when Perikles’ plaque doesn’t even mention his ill-formed head in the sculpture. That class did me well.
I made it to the Tower Bridge yesterday. Kaleo, Kelle, Jordan and myself went the long way to make a pit stop at Gail’s Bakery for the necessary coconut macaroon. We took a different route down to the Thames and I need to remember to do this more often. The roads may not converge in a systematic way (if you miss a turn, you are better off going backwards then trying to take the next one), but the long way is never the wrong way. We stopped by the Millennium Bridge which I am told gets ripped apart in Harry Potter (I haven’t seen them all, I apologize, don’t hurt me). It’s far better looking from a distance than when you’re walking across it. Then there it was, Tower Bridge. Let me just say that at this point, Kaleo and I were on top of the world. I could have cried because the way Tower Bridge lit up against the ever-darkening sky (this is foreshadowing…), I was jubilant. I think I jumped around a bit. Maybe even skipped. Then as I was gazing longingly towards the bridge, a lightning bolt struck down mere meters from the towers. It was quite possibly the best looking lightning bolt I’ve seen. Then I think I squealed because I have an infatuation with thunderstorms and potentially violent weather. There’s something exhilarating about it all. So then we said what any logical person would say in this situation, let’s cross the big metal bridge! The rain came first. Then as we neared the middle of the bridge, the wind off the Thames made itself present by throwing Kaleo into another tourist and me into a concrete wall. I think this is the point in time where I became victim to a small hurricane. The rain turned to a bit of hail and I ducked for cover near a gentlemen attempting to sell roasted, rain drenched nuts for £2. That didn’t stop the rain from reaching my unforgiving denim jeans, nor did the double decker bus who hit a pond in the gutter, throwing water over our heads. Thinking back upon this experience is making my heart pick up pace and causing me to exaggerate the situation slightly, but you get the idea. Kaleo and I did make it back to not-so-dry-land, but only as the rain decided to move onward. The perfectly timed storm with our crossing couldn’t have been a coincidence. We trekked on, two and a half miles in wet socks towards our flat.
I have walked more in these three weeks than ever in my life. So much so that my leather boots are about to give up on me. The nails are protruding from the heel and the stitching is ripped and the waterproofness is virtually non-existent. It’s such a shame I live so close to Oxford Street, quite possibly the capital of shoe stores.
I’ve learned a bit about being here at this point, but obviously not enough to know to always carry an umbrella. I have learned that a till is a cash register. I think. And a queue is what you form when you are waiting for a till, which is a term I quite like. Also, one can purchase alcohol from the till, go outside, open said alcohol and begin consuming it whilst walking on the pavement, entering a park or any other place of public interest. It seems so wrong. Yet the crime is much lower here, imagine that. Every day I check up on the news in Austin, Texas and I see that there’s another homicide, three burglaries, 200 car accidents (apparently y’all got some ice and couldn’t handle it?) and some man in a gubernatorial position making crass decisions. I wonder to myself: why should I come home?
I can’t believe I’ve been in London for three weeks already. I can’t believe that this is home. That thought might be the most common phrase to run through my head as of late.