Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Oooh that smell.

It's only day two but I'm starting to become familiar with some things here, like looking right at crosswalks (the signs on the road help), and where to find the street signs. Even the accents are delighting again, and I'm staying to pick up on a few British-isms, and the peculiarity of their syntax. Just hearing a mom say something similar like at the comic shop where one asked her pleading son "you don't NEED that. What are you going to do with it, Really?, " made me smile, as did the little girl in a blue onsey covered in stars saying "excuuuse me!  May I please have a box?"

I spent over 12 hours traversing the crowded streets of Central London, today, and visited two museums, ate at 3 establishments and drank at one,  and saw an old friend from college. 

I woke up in a sweat, but definitely well rested from the jet lag. While watching scenery pass by on a double-decker bus two hours later, I was already tired from all the sensory information my brain had processed. 
The kitchen  in the house I'm staying at smelled like Germany, the only other place in Europe that I've been. I'm not sure how to explain it: Tea, spices, bread? And Ikea.

I rode down to Covent garden market and followed another walking tour from my guidebook. The first stop was a street of bookstores which unfortunately (but luckily for my back) were all closed. 
I tried to trust my gut on the best place for breakfast... there are many options. This caught my eye though, and I was rewarded by my favorite breakfast of avocado toast with an egg and lots of olive oil. 
I shopped around a bit at Covent garden and enjoyed the street performers. 

I continued my tour to Neal's yard, where I treated myself to a raw vegan snack before meeting you with my college friend Jodi.
 She walked me to the cartoon museum, which was fairly interesting, then I wandered down to the British Library through Russel park. 

A cute Marie Curie comic. 
The British Library had wonderful displays! None of which I was allowed to take photos of. 
Here's king George's collection. 
They had an extensive layout of all things Alice in Wonderland over the 150 years since it was written. I didn't realize Lewis Caroll was a mathematician who dabbled in photography and took a photo of a girl named Alice Liddell. He told her a story to keep her entertained during the sitting of the photo, and eventually expanded it and partnered with an artist from Punch magazine to illustrate it. He even continued to the hype of the culture surrounding Alice by encouraging the books translation into dozens of languages and promoting  Alice - items. Also, his name is a play of his actual name being converted into Latin them back into English. 

In the collection of treasures they had some real interesting items. Hard days night by the Beatles written on the back of John Lennon's sins birthday card. The first sheet music ever printed. A giant globe of celestial bodies from the 1800s. Oh! Galileo's letter stating his apology to the church (and the lies behind it)... a letter from Karl Marx under a fake identity. Oi. So many. 

After that I grabbed dinner at Byron, the burger place cause they had a veggie burger, then struggled with the transit system for a 2 hour journey home. Come to think of it, I could have walked back faster. Oi.

Overhearing brilliant British phrases is making me happy again. I'm glad I can distract my inner dialogue occasionally by eavesdropping on others. I suppose traveling alone is cheaper at least, than bringing along someone to nod at my mundane observations. 

Travel scorecard for today:

WINNING: discovery on foot; food portions
ON PAR: not looking like a tourist; translating Britishisms, spending, museums, finding WiFi
FAILING: clothing for long days of walking, flushing toilets, using the oyster card correctly.

My bowels are still on American time. :/

vegan Raw desserts from Wild Food cafe. 

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