Sunday, February 22, 2009

Don’t worry about a thing, every little thing is gonna be alright.

I have felt a little bogged down lately with feeling like a ton of things need to be done. Plan lessons, make reservations for upcoming weekend travels, make plans (flights, hostels, etc) for my summer Mediterranean travel-a-thon with my brother, deal with the U of I not correctly sending my transcripts to WSU, dealing with the utility company billing me for January instead of the new residents, and more. “Let’s get this straight Hal: your biggest problem in the world is figuring out where you are going to travel next weekend? Shut up, and enjoy yourself!”

Looking Back, Looking Forward, Looking Out, Looking In:

Looking Back:
This weekend we went to London. Now when I say “we” I mean 9 student teachers. Holy schnikies it was a ridiculous amount of people to try and travel with. We split up each day and kinda did our own things, but I do not know if I will do it again with a group that big. With that being said, it was such an incredible weekend!

We went to London because we had once again procrastinated on planning a weekend trip, so our “fall back” was London. It is such a cool city! There is too much to do. We booked the hostel the night before (again) and I find out where it is located as I am driving the van full of 9 people (7 seat belts) to an outlying tube station. The hostel was located in south east London. There is not much in southeast London. Transit included. We had minimal trouble finding a bus to get to the neighborhood, and after I got instructions from a very drunk british girl- we were on our way. I was the first one to walk into the hostel/bar/restaurant (I took a little bit of a leadership role this weekend, it was kinda fun to be the one who had to figure out which bus, which tube line, directions, opening times, etc for the group!). I walk in and I am the only white person in the bar. I hear some great roots Reggae being played as the entire group of Black individuals eye me and my backpack. I actually notice a couple older fellows give each other the not-so-subtle “Hey check this guy out” elbow bump as I walk by them. I was not uncomfortable with the situation, frankly I was excited that there was a bar below the hostel and that it played great music, but right as I asked the woman behind the bar to check into our rooms, I thought about the group of 8 other students. They are a bunch of white (1 korean, 1 native American) folks from rural Oklahoma. As I am processing the entire situation I look toward the door and all 8 of them are walking into the already crowded bar with looks of “oh sh!+” painted all over their faces. I really wish I had a picture of all of them at that very moment. This is the point when I decided that this weekend was going to be great.

We end up getting our room after some trouble with the calculations of 9 people trying to pay separately. It was a great place! I will take my brother there when he comes to London, you will LOVE it Kale! Good rooms/facilties, great music that goes until about 3 am on weekends, very friendly people, and amazing and authentic Jamaican food. We straight up stumbled into an incredible situation that defined the tone/theme of the weekend. We end up drinking into the wee hours of the night while dancing, eating, mingling, and laughing. It was great.

Yesterday we went to the Tower of London, which is probably one of the biggest tourist attractions in London (I had to do it right?). It was cool. I enjoyed seeing the crown jewels and the largest diamond in the world! It was about the size of my fist. We also saw the royal guards that have to look straight ahead and not say anything. We didn’t mess with him…but I wanted to. I wanted to fart on him, or maybe do a somer sault in front of him. After that we walked around east London for a bit and eventually made our way west to Buckingham palace. I wasn’t that impressed. I think it would be cool to see the changing of the guards, but other than that it just a big building ya know? There were some cool statues and fountains nearby though.

We ate dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant. It was one of the girls’ birthday her father bought us all dinner. I had a glass of house red wine (Merlot, too fruity, not strong, or dry), a spinach frittata appetizer (a quiche like consistency), and Cannellona pasta main dish. Cannellona was a long large noodle filled with spinach and cheese of some sort dressed by a tasty red sauce. The restaurant had a great drink, appetizer, entrée deal and the food was exceptional.

That night we went back to the hostel bar to celebrate the birthday and had another equally as fun night dancing, playing games, talking, drinking, eating (cake this time), and more! They really were warm and welcoming people in the hostel/bar. Can’t wait to go back there.

Today we slept in and strolled to a near-by restaurant and I bought my first traditional English breakfast. I was unimpressed with the fried tomato and mushrooms (and I love both those foods!) but the bacon was some of the best I have had! We then spent about 2 hours in Camden walking around the markets in that area. Some of the best people watching I have ever done! Lots of weirdos, freaks, musicians, travelers, people from all over. It was great. I didn’t buy anything, but maybe next time I will.

Looking forward:
I still do not know what I am doing this weekend. However I did buy my plane ticket to Dublin, Ireland for March 27-29th. I will be going with Colin and his cooperating teacher. Should be a great weekend of history, lush green fields, and beverages. High on my places to go for a weekend list are: Amsterdam, Edinburg, Paris, Stonehenge, Prague.

Looking out:
The weather is getting better everyday. I think we are finally through the cold part of the winter. From here on out the days will get longer and warmer. That should help me get through some of these foggy, dreary days in the English countryside.
I buzzed my hair tonight!

Looking In:
I was on a “life has been really good lately” kick for a couple of weeks…well basically since I first got here in England. I thought this very intense feeling would go away after a bit, but it hasn’t. I have been appreciating how great life is everyday, and thanking my lucky stars that I get to live it. I hope this feeling sticks around for my entire time here. Its a good life.

Rose of the Weekend: Finding a Jamaican/Trinidad and Tabegan Hostel that just happened to be throwing a party the night that we got there full of free drinks and a free Jamaican food appetizer buffet! (Also dancing ALL weekend to reggae!).

Thorn of the weekend: Travel home from central london. There was a section of our tube line that was closed for "Engineering purposes" and the detour that we had to find for ourselves was as follows: Bus from Camden to a Tube stop. Tube to closed point on line. "Over ground" train to another closed stop on tube line. Buse from said closed tube stop to first open tube stop on the other side of the line. Tube back to where the car was parked. jeez, that was a thorn and a half! :)

That’s about all I have to report for now.

Side note: If you have a question or something you would like me to explain further then post a comment, dork!

1 comment:

Susan Iverson said...

Grandma says she likes your short hair. We showed your blog to both of them and they said they hope you don't choose to settle down far from home. Ditto! I am so glad you are able to really enjoy this part of your life. You will always have it to look back on. Love, Mom

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