*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.
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 [:
The Supreme place is right next to this cool ramen spot
APC store where I took a selfie