I Ate Brunch in a Loo (Whoddathought)

Sunday, 26 July 2015

So, I skipped Saturday because I had work yet again and I didn’t do anything exciting after. But anyways, I woke up with the determination that I was going to be productive! (and also I wanted to sleep in so I woke up at 11am [: ). I also woke up to the sound of rain, rain, and more rain. So the plan I had in my head that involved nice outside markets were obsolete and I had to reconfigure another plan. I decided that I was going to go to a cafe, then the Design Museum, then meet up with Carly to go to the Imperial War Museum.

My first stop was a cafe called the Attendant. It was an old underground loo that has now been turned into a cafe. Surprisingly, it wasn’t crowded and I ordered myself a nice brunch and mocha. They don’t have a kitchen so they have to cook everything in small quarters, i don’t know how they did it but their food was amazing. Their coffee was excellent too; everyone in there that had coffee either got another one or told the baristas that it was the best coffee they’ve ever had.

My next stop was the Design Museum. When I went to purchase a student ticket, I showed the guy my college ID and he looked really confused. He said “this doesn’t have an expiration date on it”. I explained to him that in America, we don’t have expiration dates on our student ID’s because not everyone graduates in 4 years, people have different graduation dates. He didn’t understand and told me that he would do it for me this one time, but I don’t understand how these people don’t get that in different countries, you’re going to have different forms of ID and not everyone is going to have an expiration date -___-. Anyways they really only had two exhibits, the first one was a Camper Exhibit, yenno the shoe (I’m being sarcastic, I had no idea what they were). It was somewhat interesting but I had already seen a shoe exhibit when I went to the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The second exhibit were all nominated designs from around the world. They were designs in technology, fashion, innovation, gaming, architecture, etc. One that really stood out to me was that this guy created a concept to remove all of the plastic trash floating in the ocean but making an 100km inflatable net type thing that would stay in the water for 10 years and collect like 75% of trash in the Atlantic? I don’t really remember the statistics but it was some crazy number like that. You could also vote for the design of the year, the last time they counted was like July 17th and different designs had votes between 100-500. But, this guy’s ocean clean up had over 1100, way above the competition (maybe that’s why they stopped counting because they realized he was going to sweep the competition?) It was an overall cool exhibit, but not really worth they 9.25 pounds I paid to get in, on account of most museums in London are free.

After the Design Museum, I was going to go to the Imperial War Museum but I had to wait until Carly got off. I waited for her at Starbucks and we both go to the museum around 5pm (the museum closes at 6pm). The first floor was all about WWI. We learn about WWI in America, but we don’t really hear it from the perspective of another country (Britain). It was a really interesting exhibit, but the thing that I thought was the most interesting was that Britain was losing a lot of people, so they had to call upon all of their colonies (eyeroll) to fight for them. They called upon people from the Caribbean, South Africa (only the white people could fight while the black people were mules), Australia, New Zealand, India, Hong Kong, and all of their other territories. IT BOTHERS ME SO MUCH STILL. Maybe that’s why I find it so interesting….Anyways by the time me and Carly reached the end of the exhibit, the museum people were kicking us out because it was closing (I guess we spent a whole hour going through WWI) and we had to leave.

The end [:

The Attendent

The "Attendant"

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I’m eating in an old urinal (chuckle)

The Camper Exhibit

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The Designs of 2015

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Airbag jacket for motorcyclist

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Alexander McQueen a.k.a. the best moment of my LIFE

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Today I had the day off! I have to work on Saturday, so they gave me a day off during the week to compensate for it. Me and Carly (who didn’t have to be at work until 1330) decided to get some breakfast. It was cute and quaint but the best part of it was the little doggie that would constantly jump on you, bark, or go under the fence for attention. We also got some nice coffee at Cafe Nero, then tried to renew our sim cards for our phones. Another fucking hard time at the phone shop since we’re American and something was going on with their system, but nevertheless we got it fixed 30 minutes later. After that me and Carly had to go our separate ways and I went off to the Victoria and Albert Museum.

My first stop was the Alexander McQueen Exhibit. I was so excited because Alexander McQueen is by far my FAVORITE designers, and even though I’m into fashion, I don’t really like big designers and conventional runways. My coworker, Charlotte, let me borrow her membership so I got into the exhibit for free! Went I walked into the exhibit, man oh man, something in me changed and I seriously either died and was reincarnated or had an out-of-body experience that I could not explain.

His exhibit showed from his early days designing at design school and his early collections to his last collection before he died. McQueen EMBODIES avant garde and couture, dramatic and dynamic, everything I love about fashion! His collections were romantic, gothic, innovative, native, naturalist, prideful, elegant, rigid…I could go on and on but I honestly cannot describe to you the beauty of all of his runway pieces with this simple blog post. It is too beautiful for words. The exhibit was profound and thought-provoking, each room challenged your thinking of the collection while highlighting the magnificence and beauty of his work. One room, the one with all of the TV’s of his runway shows, with walls covered with his garments, overwhelmed me the most. I was awe-inspired and seriously hypnotized by his work. I sat in that room for a good 45 minutes to an hour taking everything in.

I think I mostly related to McQueen because I am so deeply in love with the Victorian period and the juxtaposition between the elegant, romantic Victorian period with the gothic and dark elements. I could go on and on and ramble about it, but I absolutely loved his exhibit. It is probably the best thing I’ve seen in London so far in terms of sites and visits. I even bought a cute sketch of one of his iconic looks that I will frame and put in my room so I can remember how inspired I was in that room!

Mkay, I’m a geek I know, but I cannot get over how amazing it was. I couldn’t take pictures, but I’d probably sit in there forever taking pictures if that were an option (so it’s better that I didn’t).

After that I walked around parts of the V&A museum, but I only really looked at the Fashion and Shoe exhibit. I wanted to get out of there and try something else. The Natural History Museum was right next door so I checked that out, however, it was more for kids and had nothing too exciting so I decided to explore more and check out Portabello road.

While going there, I realized that it was better if I probably went during a weekend and everything was closing, but I sort of got lost in Nottinghill. What a pretty place to get lost in. The buildings were very nice and elegant and the streets were clean and quaint. The street that I ended up on was where all of the nice stores were, however they were all closed. I decided to go into Oxfarm, their version of Buffalo Exchange or Goodwill except with a more humanitarian emphasis. I wanted to get something from there since their clothes were pretty nice (I mean we were in a nice area, common).

After that I left, came home, made dinner, worked out, and went to bed. The End [:

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Weekend 5?*

*The question mark pertains to the fact that all of these days/weekends are blending in together and I cannot keep track anymore. I’m having so much fun and living a completely different lifestyle here in London, everything has been great!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Today was our program trip to Brighton! Everyone was so excited to finally get out of London and experience something other than the city. Our new friend Pally, met Madina, Ignat, and I at our flat and we all walked together to the train station. As a collective GE (Global Experience) group, we mobbed onto the train direct to Brighton. This train was already packed with people, so it was difficult finding seats (luckily I found one). This train was nice, they even had a guy go up and down the isles with a cart. It reminded me of the first Harry Potter movie, where Harry and Ron are sitting in a cabin after meeting each other and the lady comes up and down the isles saying “Anyyyyything from the trolley” (they call carts here trollies and sorry for my random comparison but remember you’re reading my mind right now LOL).

After about a 50 minute trip we got to Brighton, and we naturally formed a little group. It was me, my flatmate Madina, our new friend Pally, Ignat, and his flatmate Cory. After grabbing a map, we walked out of the train station and were amazed at the fact that we could actually see water (this is a very important thing for me, being from the Bay Area and all, where living by and seeing the water is an everyday occurrence). We were also amazed that the air-quality is much better, and the air overall felt crisp, clean and natural (although maybe not completely natural). We walked down to the beach, got ourselves a beer, and just enjoyed the scene. The pier looked very promising, with those big attractive rides and the smell of greasy fish n chips, so we headed there. Everyone but myself went on this massive ride called the Booster (I usually would be down, but for some reason I was just not in the ride mood). Naturally I held all of their bags that were so gracefully hung all over my body. The ride looked really fun, and by the time they came out we were STARVED.

For lunch, we decided to get some fish n chips. I looked up this place called Harry Ramsey’s, who has some famous fish n chips. When it was my time to order, I got some fish n chips and gravy! Pally got the same thing (but with cole slaw) and when we were at the condiment section, we were puzzled that there was salt, vinegar, but no ketchup? We kindly asked the gentleman who was taking orders where the ketchup was. He harshly responded, “they’re 20 pence each. That’s why I ask you ‘anything else’?” (This ‘anything else’ phrase was very vague, one I didn’t know they charge for ketchup and two anything else could have meant anything else on the menu). I nonchalantly responded, “Oh, well in America, ketchup is usually free” (and not just America but many places in London don’t charge you for ketchup, it’s like salt or vinegar for gosh sakes, its a condiment that people put on their food). Finally he rudely responded “Ohhh America, WE’RE IN ENGLAND, THIS IS BRIGHTON”. By this time I was a little pissed and just walked away. People in this country clearly don’t like Americans (not all, but a lot).

After that little interaction, we went to the beach to eat our food. Even though the service sucked, my fish n chips were great! I loved dipping it into the gravy and tasting the freshness of the fish. Yum, I will be dreaming about it for the rest of my life. Ignat and Cory decided to go into the water. The weird thing about these beaches is that there is no sand and instead are rocks. The rocks aren’t at all pleasant to stand on so I kept my shoes on.

The rest of our day consisted of going to the Royal Pavillon and walking around North Laine. Cory, being an architect major and real enthusiast, explained that he learned about this building while taking a history of architecture class. It was built in the 18th century (date could be off but it was an estimate) and by this time England had settled in India for quite some time. After building a lot of buildings of English style in India, they wanted to build something in England that reflected the Indian style (although from the pictures that I will post you can see they weren’t really successful, despite it being a little bit pretty). North Laine is also a shopping district that we walked around in to kill the rest of our time, since it seemed like we had seen everything at this point.

When we got back from Brighton, I tried to go to CJ Fly’s show, a rapper apart of Pro Era, who was having his first show in a cafe in Camden Town. The flyer said that it would only cost 5 pounds but when I got there they asked for 16 pounds. I was not going to pay that much money for only an hour left of the show. So Madina, Drea, and I wandered around to different clubs and bars trying to find the best deals on drinks.

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Bright-n lovely day in Brighton (hehe pun intended)

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Girls and our ice cream

Girls and our ice cream

It's called a 99 flake bc it used to be only 99 pence, (mine was 1.95 -__-)

It’s called a 99 flake bc it used to be only 99 pence, (mine was 1.95 -__-)

Royal Pavilion

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Cute little street in Brighton (it's cute cos the buildings are bright-n)

Cute little street in Brighton (it’s cute cos the buildings are bright-n)

Sunday, 19 July 2015

I started the day out by rushing to get ready for my nail appointment that was at 1030 all the way in Zone 3 of town (approx 40 minutes using public transportation). I got there 5 minutes late at a place that I found on Groupon. I wanted shellac nails (manicure) and regular painted toe nails (pedicure). I guess in London they have a different view of the word because my hands weren’t soaked in hot water, nor were my nails trimmed (I have completely different size nails on my left hand), my feet weren’t put in the nice little bath and scrubbed, and I had to pay the same amount that I would at home (well I guess more expensive since the pound is actually a lot stronger than the dollar). She also made me bleed twice and the nail that I told her to be careful with since it had tore, she tore even more. Ughhhhh, missing the spoils of home.

I went to Camden market afterwards to get some delish street food. When I got home I Skyped my lovely brother (who btw is studying abroad in Melbourne for 9 months and the time different is ridiculous). We talked for over an hour! Man I miss my little bro.

I had made a list of all the street wear clothing stores I wanted to hit in Soho, then had to rush out since it’s a Sunday and everything closes early here. I went to Supreme (where I didn’t buy anything), APC (where I did buy something, a nice leather clutch that was way expensive…oops), BBC (no, not British Broadcasting Channel, Billionaire Boys Club, and I got a shirt), and a number of names (I didn’t get anything either). i got some boba at my favorite boba spot and headed back to the apartment.

For dinner, Drea, Pally, Madina, Ignat, and I went to this popular restaurant here called Nando’s. Apparently it’s famous for it’s Perri Perri chicken, which they marinate for 24 hours then grill. When we got there, Pally and I split a plate of boneless chicken with fries (chips), coleslaw, garlic bread, and mash potatoes. The sauce was SOOO GOOD. It had flavor and was spicy and the cool thing was that you could add more. It was one of the most flavorful food I’ve eaten here in London.

Yep, that was my weekend [:

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The Supreme place is right next to this cool ramen spot

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APC store where I took a selfie

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My guilty purchases for the day

Life of a Fashion Intern

This week I finally feel like I’m learning something! While still running around doing chores, they’ve let me accompany them to a fashion shoot to shoot their Autum/Winter 15 collection for their online shop. I also got thorough feedback from my SWOT analysis and some great mentorship from the CEO/Designer, Andrea!

On Tuesday, I assisted in the photoshoot. The area where they shot was a very dingey warehouse, but the inside was completely professional and quite nice. This photo place is apparently where a lot of famous people have shot for great editorials or commercial ads. Kristina, my program director here at Number 35, does almost everything, from helping to designing the clothes, working with me and all of the partners, and I guess modeling! She’s been modeling since the age of 8, which is great because the company doesn’t have to hire any more models. The experience was pretty interesting. I saw the process of getting ready to shoot, to during the shoot, and all the elements that come with it. It was pretty funny because the guy that owns the studio, Adrian, was just there to supervise, but the entire time we were there he was playing a game (similar to Call of Duty and Battlefield) but he was playing online with his headset. So, while they were shooting you can hear him cussing on the mic and saying “He’s behind you he’s behind you!” LOL so funny. Kristina is also a brilliant model and knows how to shoot commercial very well. Andrea is also a great director and knows what she wants to make the clothes look brilliant.

Another good thing about this week is that they were able to go over my SWOT with me in person. Kristina said that since I put a lot of thought and energy into it, that she wanted to give me back the same feedback. The feedback was great because it did seem like I was learning from it, and I learned a lot more about the business. Kristina said that it was the best SWOT she’s ever had from an intern there, which was nice to hear.

The coolest thing that happened was that Andrea, the CEO and boss, expressed so pleasantly to me that I was the brightest intern they’ve ever had, which was soooo nice to hear. I asked her if it was because I’m a business intern, but she said no because they’ve had loads of business interns before, but that it was because I know my stuff and that she can tell that I work hard. She said that she see’s a lot of potential in me. All of this coming from a really inspiring woman was a completely amazing feeling. Let me tell you, having something so nice come from a boss that I actually look up to and respect (for once) motivates me to be even better and gives me the courage and recognition to realize that this is the path that I want to pursue and that I have the potential to do it.

Ahhh, some great feelings from this internship (finally).

 

Kiera Knightly was here!

 

Kristina, the brilliant model and my supervisor!

 

My boss, CEO, and Designer, Andrea, sitting on the stool

 

Weekend #4

I should just name the title “Sunday”, since my weekend was really only Sunday since I had work on Saturday (groan).

Saturday, July 11

Today I had work all day. After that I went back to my flat and hung out with my flatmates for the first time in forever (since I had been with my mom the whole week prior). I made some dinner (more like heated up dinner) and drank some booze since me and some of my flatmates were going out. They had tickets to the Ministry of Sound, I didn’t have a ticket because I didn’t want to buy the boat cruise that was going on during the day since I had work. When we got there it was 28 quid (that’s slang for pounds) just to get in! Ridiculous! But luckily the girl in front of me told me that if you have a student ID, you can get a discount to get in for 21 pounds (ugh I don’t have the pound sign on this keyboard). I realized I didn’t have my student ID, but I begged the lady in the front and she believed me and gave it to me for 21lbs (lol, lbs). The club was pretty cool, and I was trying really hard to get into the music, but the music here is so different, it’s a little hard. I fake danced the night away (since i don’t know how to dance to techno with no words or singing to it) and went home with these other 2 girls from my program [:

Sunday, July 12

A day off yay! First off, I slept until 12pm since I went to bed at 4am. Then, me, Carly, Drea, Madina, and her friend from Germany went to Camden Town to shop and walk around. Camden Town was packed to the brim with tourists! I can see why, this place is very interesting and has a lot of character to it. This place seemed like the birth of grunge and goth with it’s eclectic shops and unique storefronts. I wanted to take pictures of the shops but there are a lot of “no picture” signs in them (sucks). There were shops that had steampunk-esque clothes, old Victorian goth, cutesy Victorian tea party lacey vintage clothes, and more. I got a cute black lace dress from the cutesy Victorian-esque tea party store (I had to buy something, it was just…too cute).

We walked around more and ended up at the Camden Market. They had a great outdoor area with street food from every country in the world (literally) and the food was super authentic because the people running these stalls were native to their country. I ended up getting Italian street food, but that was only because it was so crowded and I didn’t want to go all the way back through the bodies of people to look all over again. After that we roamed around the markets. I got this cool witch pendant from witches and a hand-carved tribal face from a sculpturist from India, who learned how to make sculptures by learning from the people who would carve Hindu statues for the temples (SOOO COOL). We walked around more and found more interesting stuff, this place is crawling with unique items, but it started to rain so we waited for the tube to open back up and went home!

El Fotos

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Hand-made pasta (I was so tempted to get this but I kept walking…regrets)

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My home-made smoothie next to my home-made Italian Street food wrap with prosciutto, arugula, mozzarella, y tomato (they also had dough the size of a fat man’s belly sitting on the table where they made the wrap from)

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The view from where I was sitting to eat (you can see half of the food market on the left).

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This market is the Horse Stable Market, where this old stable was converted into a market back in 18-something.

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Each stall is a different store! I always try to imagine old stuff back in it’s hay-day (LOL PUN). Imagine this place filled with horses, that is just so cool to me.

My Week With My Mom! (Week #3)

This week I was definitely spoiled! My amazing mama came to visit me in London, and I got to stay in her luxurious hotel. Definitely a step up from my flat, I mean this room has air conditioning, a comfy bed, room maintenance, and best yet, a TV! I haven’t watched British television since I’ve lived here and watching it for the first time was very interesting (and boring, they have shitty entertainment here). So let’s see, I will break it down again by day to give you my week!

Monday, June 8

I had my internship today, I’m learning a lot and just happy to be in the fashion industry! Mom went to Wimbledon today, she was fortunate enough to buy a ticket and sat at Court 1. We were supposed to go get Ramen today after work, but she said that she was going to watch 3 matches instead of 2, so me and Carly went out instead since we love our 2 for 1 Bun Monday’s at Shoryu ramen. After that mom came home exhausted.

Tuesday, June 9

For work, I am constantly traveling around London to different manufacturers. Today I ended up in Stratford. I always end up in Stratford, since that’s where one of their manufactures are based, so I told mom to meet me at Westfield. We first went to a bar called Cafe Football, where we watched Wimbledon on TV and drank San Miguel (beer from the Philippines yeeeey). After that we tried to shop, but the shops were so crowded and it was hard to look around like that, since I am her child after all and we tend to hate the same things like being around crazy people in malls that are crowded. So we opted to get dinner at this Brazilian place that served us some good food. We had tickets to a rooftop movie across the street, so we got our blankets and set up in our little chairs and headsets. The movie we were watching was “10 Things I Hate About You” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Heath Ledger. Surprisingly that was my first time watching that movie, and I loved it. It was a teenager click flick and I dug it! Plus, it is so cool to watch it on a rooftop outside in great weather.

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Wednesday, June 10

Work was work, I had a lot of traveling to do today. They made me go from their store in Highgate, back to Clerkenwell, then back to Highgate, then to Stratford, then back to Clerkenwell. Awesome stuff right? Anyways, the Tube was going on strike today so we got to leave a little early from work, since the Tube would be closing at 6:30. I met mom at the hotel and we went to dinner at this really cool Japanese place that was AMAZING. It was the best food I have eaten in London so far. The atmosphere was really cool too since it was like rock-n-roll theme-ish? They restaurant also had a ramen spot called Bone Daddy’s that we will try out next time. We went to this play after called “The Mentalist”, a comedy show about two guys. I wanted to try it out since it was British and comedy and I wanted to see how it was. Well it was terrible. Like horrible, actually. I thought it would have some substance or being interesting at all. Well it wasn’t and I actually fell asleep during it…Never doing that again. Mom and I got boba after and walked home since the trains weren’t working.

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Thursday, June 11

Today I didn’t have work! Yay! It was also good I didn’t have work because it was a Tube strike, which meant havoc on the streets. Literally the streets were bumper to bumper traffic and the sidewalks were filled to the brim with people. We couldn’t get anywhere on the bus so we had to walk. We first got breakfast, then walked about 1.5 miles to the London Museum, which was very interesting because I love history. Then again they also don’t mention in their museum or history about their cruel pasts as a colonizing country or the fact that they had slaves, but of course why would they mention and make their perfect country look bad.

After that we walked to Shoreditch to the Box Park where I bought me and JM shoes from Filling Pieces, an Amsterdam designer sneaker that isn’t available in the states. We wanted to go home after and tried the bus, which was a bust since we went NO WHERE so we got off and walked the rest of the way home, which was around 1.7 miles. At home, we wanted to watch the women’s semi-finals (Serena against Maria Sharapova) so we went to this American Sports Bar (lol) and ordered 2 beers each. After that we walked all the way to Knightsbridge to go shopping at Harvey Nichols and Harrods. Such great luxury apartments. After that again we walked all the way to this gourmet Dim Sum place that was really good and then walked home exhausted from the day since we basically walked like over 6 miles.

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Filling Pieces was even playing Little Simz (my favorite British rapper) when I came in

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Vertical garden on a hotel

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Crazy amount of people on bikes and on foot during this Tube strike.

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The cute tribute to Princess Diana and her boyfriend in Harrods

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My mom and her adorable self.

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Harrods, the department store that looks like a palace

Friday, June 12

I had work yet again, and I turned in my SWOT analysis. My manager said it was the best first project that she has read by an intern ever, that’s good news. Anyways, after work I met mom and we went to the Bone Daddy’s ramen place that was pretty good. I had to leave her because I wanted to go out that night (which I shouldn’t have done at all and instead have stayed the last night with her, but I went out instead). I got ready and everything but by the time we got going it was already 1am and I had to leave because I had work in the morning (yes I’m like one of the only people in my whole program that has to work on weekends).

Overall it was a great week with my mom. She spoiled me rotten and after living the life, coming back to the flat without her is making me miss home even more. But I’m glad she came and I had such a good time! LOVE YOU MAMA ❤

The Pro’s and Con’s of London (written from the POV of a Bay Area native)

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So, I’ve been slacking on writing things of substance since my time here in London. Most of it has been my every day occurrences and adventures, but I haven’t had enough time to really sit down and digest something of interest. After spending some time in London (18 days or 2.5 weeks), I’ve spent a good amount of time taking in my surroundings.

When I first arrived in London, I was in heaven. This new environment, new culture, new everything had me in awe of this wondrous country and all that it has to offer. Smitten by a brand new lifestyle, I believed that there was little to nothing bad about this country and that it was basically perfect. After sometime, this premature notion was soon brought to light with the realities of this country and the dark side that is very discreetly covered up. Like every country, London and Great Britain (or England or the UK or whatever you want to call it) has its flaws.

In this post, I will be writing the positive and the negative aspects of London and Londoners. Some discretion, this stuff is based off of my opinion and observations of my short time in London. It can change as time goes on or my views can be completely opposite of others.

1. “Fast Food”

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Positive – Their fast food isn’t what we think of fast food in America. Most of it is healthy and quick. There are food chains like Pret a Manger and Eat that mostly specialize in “takeaway” (their version of to-go) sandwiches and soups that you can either take home or eat there. The food is usually healthy and affordable (under 5 pounds). Other fast food chains are Euro-ethnic (not sure what this is called b/c in America we call it Asian American or Americanized) like Wasabi or Abokado that are pretty terrible interpretations of ethnic food. But nevertheless it is pretty cheap and somewhat satisfying.

Negative – These fast food chains create a lot of waste in the environment. Brits here aren’t very environmentally conscious (which by the way is soooo frustrating) and most people get takeaway for their breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This amounts to loads of trash which are put out on the sidewalk every day. They do not have many trashcans places, and people do not usually get trash cans for their home or business, so they leave their trash in bags on the sidewalk every night. This takeaway fast food option is very convenient and quick, but at the expense of excess waste and contribution to our never-ending landfills that are continuing to be a problem.

2. Public Transportation

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Positive – London’s transportation is the creme de la creme, the cream of the crop, the best of the best. Their public transportation comprises of “the tube/underground” which is their subway, “the bus” which is their quintessential double-decker red bus, the “national rail services/overground” which is their trains that are overground. Like I mentioned in a previous post, their public transportation runs so efficiently, frequently, and with appropriate signage and help. You can get basically anywhere in the city with their underground tubes, and it’s pretty affordable!

Negative – With such good transportation, there has to be some faults. Like in the summer, the underground tubes get ridiculously hot. There is no air conditioning in most of their trains, and in the middle of rush hour you are practically dying of heat exhaustion from the stuffiness of the cabins. Also, since most people use the tubes, during rush hour some lines are packed to the brim with people when trains come by so sometimes you have to wait for the 3rd or 4th train to get on. And, with the trains being so vital for the productivity of London, the head of these public transportation companies know that they can get away with getting more money. So this company LOVES to go on strike. Like today, they went on strike for 24 hours, which means CHAOS for the streets. The streets are filled with bumper to bumper traffic and the sidewalks are crawling with pedestrians. Today I saw at least 2 ambulances not able to get anywhere because they were stuck in traffic (the streets here are so narrow so it’s hard for cars to get out of the way). By the way, these tube strikes happen at least TWICE OR THREE TIMES A YEAR. I read the newspaper saying that this has happened 20 times since the mayor or governor or whoever has been in office. That is a ridiculous amount of time and it costs the city of London millions of pounds lost in productivity and a bloody mess on the streets.

3. “Informed” Brits – Free newspaper twice a day

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Positive – Every day you can get a two free copies of the Evening Standard, one in the morning and one in the evening. This is a free newspaper that they print out thousands of copies to give to people usually riding the tube. This is a good way to get people informed about what’s going on in the country and to prompt people to read about news. The best part is that it’s free and that they never run out of copies. If you don’t get one in the front of the tube station, there are always one or two copies laying on the chairs of the tube that you can pick up and read.

Negative – Thousands of copies of newspapers twice a day also lead to more pounds of waste that usually aren’t recycled and thrown into landfills. It’s also a frustrating thing to look at because they give out so many of these papers, but there are also so many that aren’t picked up and also thrown into waste. Also, the content of these newspapers are very questionable. It must be hard to find so many stories twice a day every day to get people to read, so most of the content is either useless gossip and smut or elaborated dramatic stories that are very uneventful. Most of it are also repeat stories like the Greece meltdown or the Tunisia attacks. Some people read it thoroughly but I know most take a glance at it for the little while they’re riding on the train and then dump it once they get to their location.

4. Britons

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Positive – The people of London: melting pot, metropolitan, International city filled with all kinds of different people from different backgrounds and cultures. It is very hard to categorize them in one description or one phrase so this will be about the country as a whole and their view on the world as observed through their different practices and what I’ve observed in the media. Right now I will speak upon the native Briton population, the ones that are caucasian and what we know as Briton (not the immigrant Britons, for a special post that I will write about the immigrants here in London). For the most part, the Britons that I’ve come into contact with are very nice and polite people. They do not have any rage or attitude, like they do in the States. Even the beggars are polite and kind, which is a complete and stark difference from the homeless in San Francisco, who are normally aggressive, rude and ignorant (some). I love that people here mind their manners and (usually) say please or thank you. The guys are usually chivalrous and dress in GQ suits and actually look nice and clean cut. The women are very conservative (which I was sort of scorn for wearing short shorts and a crop top o their hottest day on record in July ever) and also polite and kind. I enjoy people with manners and class, and I sometimes find myself having to match their standard (which is definitely a good thing).

Negative – Now this section will not be a negative on the British people, rather it will be a commentary of the British medias and idealistic society that those of authority wish to have as a perfect England. First off, the British love their nation. But, their island was too tiny so they tried to conquer the whole world and impose their British rule on every society they came in contact with. That is something that will bother me until the day I die, this colonialistic attitude that the British have over societies that they believe are inferior. While those days of colonizing are over, their superiority pride still lingers over their views of the world and themselves. By this, I mean, the British media only seem to care about Britain or the things that effect their country. Their newspapers only report news that is beneficial to their country – for example they made a big deal out of the London bombings as “the biggest terror attack on British soil” that killed 52 people back in 2005. Another attack in Tunisia a few weeks back killed 38 people in total, but they only decided to give memorial and attention to the 30 that were Britons. While I don’t want to criticize what they believe is important, I do want to add that there are bigger things going on in the world that these media outlets can be writing about, and the terror attack in the US killed 3000 people. They can be talking about the bombing of a Nigerian church by Boko Haram or something, but their media is somewhat prideful and patronizing. They only seem to care about things that affect their country and let me tell you not a lot happens here, but they somehow dramatize it to be a big deal. I will go more in-depth about this issue when I write a blog post about the immigrants in this country, and what people have personally told me about their struggle as an immigrant.

5. The Food

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Positive – Since London the melting pot mecca of the world in terms of the difference of cultures (maybe not mecca since I think that’s San Francisco or NY), they have a lot of different ethnic food that I’ve never tried. There are a lot more people from the Middle East and Africa here then there are where I live (since SF is on the West Coast and have more people from Asia) so I’ve been trying their food. There is also a lot of ethnic food from around the world and even their French and Italian chains seem to be better than any European food I’ve tasted (but that’s because in SF I mostly eat Asian food since it’s the best and we don’t tend to have that many European restaurants where I live).

Negative – British food, or Euro-ethnic food is very very very BLAND. I have no idea why nothing tastes that good here but it is rare to find a restaurant that serves good food. Maybe it’s because I’m a snob who comes from one of the best food areas around and I have a developed pallet, or it’s because British food really isn’t at all good. I mean, what British food is known here other than their bangers and mash or fish n chips or shepherd’s pies, and even then it sucks. I mean even the McDonald’s here is gross and I don’t even like McDonald’s but the fries are terrible. Someone told me it’s because of all the oils they drench their food in, which makes a lot of sense. If I eat here, I eat ethnic and by ethnic I mean the really really ethnic food from different countries. But it is safe to say the food sucks!

6. The Water

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Positive: The tap water here is actually clean!

Negative: No one here actually seems to use the tap water, and most people buy bottles and bottles of water, which contributes to more waste. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone carry a reusable water bottle, and there are barely any water fountains to fill up water here.

There are a lot more things that I can post about but I’ve already spent 2 hours writing this post so I think this is enough for now[: Remember this is my thoughts and opinions of British that may or may not change over time. This is just now how I feel about it and it is just to give you a look of what is happening in my mind as a part-time Brit! Enjoyy

Btw these pictures are all picture I’ve found from Google, I do not own any of these images.

Weekend #3 – MOM’S HERE

Look who came to visit me [:

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My mommmmmmyyyyyy.

Saturday – July 4

I knew I had to wake up early, since my mom’s flight would be landing around 7am. I was so tired from the night before but I had to get up. I met my mom at her hotel, The Cavendish. Poor mama was tired from the 10 hour flight, 8 hour time differences, and 1 hour of sleep. But she was a trooper and spent time with me as we went to a quintessential pub. We then went to the Shoreditch district to walk around Bricklane and Spitafields market. It wasn’t such a good idea since all the markets are open and better to go to on Sundays. So we went back to the hotel, ate at our hotel, and then decided to do the tourist walk around Buckingham Palace and Westminster. Mom wanted to find a good running route so I showed her all of the pretty historical buildings. She was so tired so we went back to the hotel and went to sleeeep.

Sunday – July 5

Mom haaaad to wake me up today because we haaad to go to church. It was okay though because I wanted to show her the magnificence that is the Westminster Cathedral. This beautiful church is Catholic and very understated when compared to its neighbor the Westminster Abbey. Just down the street from Parliament, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey, this Cathedral is not only passed by, but it lets you in FOR FREE (compared to the Westminster Abbey that makes you pay a ridiculous 20 pounds to get in). After 9am mass we got a nice breakfast that wasn’t ridiculously expensive, since most of the food here is so over priced. After that we wanted to go shopping again so we went to Bricklane again. We stopped at some vintage stores, some British stores and just had a good look at everything. Although we didn’t buy anything we had some awesome food at the Sunday Market. After we wanted to walk around Southbank and finished the night with a beer and a good view. Also, we watched the Women’s World Cup in our hotel room since it aired at 12am. Mom woke up in time to see all of the goals. [[:

Here are some pictures from the weekend-

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I’m in London with my mom! Isn’t she cute? 

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Street food, literally on the street

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I still dream about this magnificent Japanese pancake that I enjoyed so joyously.

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Blitz, a cute vintage shop

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I went to church in my business clothes

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The Honeymoon Stage is Over (Week 2-3)

WOOOOW sorry for being MIA, I guess I’ve been slacking to write since nothing important or exciting has been happening. But, thank you to those who still actually read my blog, I hope you find it somewhat entertaining and interesting. Letsee, I will try to recall the things that I’ve done this week but it might be boring so I will try not to bore my advocate readers (I’m just happy that people read my thoughts).

Monday – June 29

I had work today, nothing was interesting happened. After work me and Carly were going to go to this cool cafe that’s in an old toilet station, but it closes at 6 (which unfortunately a lot of places do around here), so we went exploring. We had some yummy milkshakes at a chocolate place and ate some ramen at a ramen shop. Let me tell you this ramen has been the best food that I’ve eaten here, because English food is complete shit (I will elaborate more on this when I write a Pro’s and Con’s of London blog post that I hopefully will get to tonight). They have these 2 for the price of 1 bun Monday’s so we established that we would come here on Mondays! After dinner we had a walk around the Buckingham Palace ponds (I say “have a walk” because the British like to put “a” in front of singular verbs like my work tells me to “have a clean” or “have a look” and I’m trying to blend in LOL).

Something very sad happened over the weekend. In Tunisia, 38 tourist were killed while they sunbathed by ISIS extremist. This comes in the wake of the 10th year anniversary of the 7/7 bombings of the Underground and buses back in 2005. The country has been in high alert, posting signs to watch our surroundings and to report any suspicious behavior. Flags are flown at half mast.

Here’s some pictures from today:

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Tuesday – June 30

Nothing exciting happened today. I think I went to the huge Westfield new mall that they built for the 2012 Summer Olympics. It had all these nice British shops (and some American) but all I could buy was boba. This mall even had a casino in it open 24 hours. Plus, going in this mall was nice because it was hot as shit outside. London never has summers like this so finding a place that actually has AC is rare (which this mall conveniently had). A lot of people had the same idea I did because this place was packed. Yep. that’s all that happened today.

Wednesday – July 1

Today I finally worked at the Clerkenwell showroom for work. It was supposed to be the hottest day on record in July EVER. I came during such a great time, even though its bloody hell because for work I’m constantly taking the tube, bus, or walking to get to different tailors which, in this heat, has been HELL. The tube never has AC and is actually like at least 10 degrees fahrenhiet then actually outside, the bus has windows that barely open, and its hot and humid outside. AND I’M IN WORK CLOTHES. Ugh, ok I’m complaining, but it hasn’t been the nicest time to commute. Today at work I actually did things that I would do at school or for a real job (before this I’ve been the mule between the showrooms and their manufactures and tailors). I had to research competitors to eventually assemble a SWOT, which is awesome. When my boss explained the assignment to me, I thought, “Wow, easy peasy” because I’ve done at least 3 or 4 in school, but she said that all the interns previously didn’t know what it was and that it’s MBA level. She was shocked when I perfectly explained it to her. So that was a bit of fun (finally). After that I tried not to die so I just hung out in the common room with my flatmates.

Thursday, July 2

Today wasn’t as hot as yesterday, because it actually rained. But nothing important happened at work so lets not talk about it. Later, me and my flatmates and some friends went to a Hookah Bar in Camden Town, and then went to a bar to get a pint. yep

Friday – July 3

Work was blehhhh, I don’t really know what to talk about. Today I was supposed to go to the Wireless festival but no one wanted to go with me this day so I ended up working. I had to go to a competitor to spy to add it to my competitive analysis so I did that and went to 2 manufactures today. After work me and my flatmates went out to dinner (a terrible pan-asian restaurant chain that sucks butt) and got some alcohol to pregame for tonight. Our first plan was to go to this club but the bouncers were terribly mean and they were asking for 15 pounds to get in, so we went to the bar across the street to get drinks and listen to music (and it was free). We were looking for a plan B and we saw this club called XOYO. They were also asking for 15 pounds but we went in anyways. The music was some electronic, crazy sound that was hard to get into so me and Carly were a bit miserable. We didn’t have a good time and ended up going home around 2:30ish.

End of week 2