Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Studying Abroad in London: Cemeteries & Even More Shows

Hello all! Another week has passed and I can't wait to recap it! I did so much this week and I feel like I say this at the beginning of every post, but this semester is flying by. I can't believe I've already been here almost a month and a half and that I'll be home in two months. I never want this semester to end.

But anyway, onto this past week. I had classes and excursions and I even got a bit sick. I can't believe I'm sick again on the busiest semester I've ever had. Luckily it doesn't seem to be as bad as when I get sick every semester but I'd still prefer if I was at 100% instead of slightly under the weather.

Anyway, this was a pretty busy week so let's go ahead and just jump in! 

October 14, 2019

This was another lazy Monday. I slept in a bit before going to lunch with Isaac. Then I just had my lecture which was pretty boring this week. After that, we just made dinner and watched Netflix before going to bed. 

October 15, 2019

Tuesday was another day in to be productive. Nothing much happened other than working on blog and school stuff. 

October 16, 2019

This was the start of the exciting week's events. I woke up pretty early to catch transport to Highgate across London for a class excursion. It was an interesting excursion, though I have to say that I was definitely exhausted afterwards. We had to walk up a super steep hill to get to the cemetery before we could even go in. We saw a bunch of cool graves and notable persons, but I think my favorite was this random dude who was an artist and his headstone literally just read "Dead."

After we left the cemetery, we walked up even more of a steep hill and I honestly wasn't sure I'd make it to the top. We didn't even really do much at the top of the hill--we just walked to this dead guy's house and then back down the hill. The view walking down was really great, though, because we were on a really cute street and in between the buildings as we were walking down was a view of central London.

I headed back towards campus but made a stop in Putney first to get some shopping done. I got some groceries and other toiletries and it was an experience. I had the worst time trying to check out because my American card requires a signature with every purchase and at the store I was at you couldn't do that at self-checkout unlike others I've been to. I had to queue up in a long line for another cashier and I didn't bring enough totes so I was trying to carry some of it on the bus which was interesting.

I got back to campus around 3 pm and finally got to eat lunch after having nothing but a granola bar for breakfast. Up until I sat down to eat I'd had a lot of energy but the moment I hit the kitchen bench I was exhausted. I ate for like 20 minutes before joining Isaac on a trip to Westfield (and I maybe fell asleep on the bus).

We met up with his mom and sister--something I was super nervous for--but it was a really relaxed and fun time. Then we went shopping for a thicker coat for me and some things I needed for my Halloween costume. We found the coat (after a couple hours of searching) and got some other stuff I probably didn't need but am excited for anyway. It was late by the time we left the centre and we were both exhausted (I think I'd walked at least 8.5 miles at that point).

On the way back, we missed not one but three bus stops because our driver was an asshole. The first time, one of our things got stuck in the seat and even though we were walking towards the doors out, the driver just left. Then we hit the button to stop at the next one and he just kept driving--and he did that for two stops. By the time we finally got off we were about a mile away from campus and had to walk back.

We got back just in time to order pizza and garlic bread from the campus pub grub and took that back to the flat where we proceeded to watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Friends before going to bed. I was so exhausted by that point and when I checked the next day, I had walked over 10 miles and done the equivalent of climbing 60+ stairs throughout the day. 

October 17, 2019

I woke up at a reasonable time and made breakfast before going back to start on laundry. I do laundry a lot more here than I used to back home--mostly because I have a lot less clothes here. As that was going, I did some light cleaning of my room before going to a little fair that was being hosted in the library.

There were a bunch of people from the college with different booths set up. We went to one where I got to try jenga while wearing drunk simulation goggles--it was pretty fun. We got free portable chargers from that booth, free mugs with slap bracelets and flashlights from another, tote bags and candy from the next, and then free sandwiches from yet another. It was pretty great.

After we unloaded all our new gear and ate lunch, we went to ASDA for groceries. I spent too much money but it was on food and things we needed, so I'm trying not to stress too hard about it. One of my flatmates bought table tennis for our kitchen and it was pretty funny to see everyone try to play it when that got set up.

Then I went and took a nap before putting my laundry away and then making dinner. Isaac and I made homemade tacos--this dude had never had a taco before!--and cheesy potatoes. I was properly stuffed afterwards but it was so yummy. Clean up was a bitch, though, since we somehow seemed to use almost every piece of dish ware we each owned.

After dinner, I just worked on blog stuff and other secretarial stuff before heading to bed early. 

October 18, 2019

I had a lecture early in the morning and then spent the afternoon catching up on things on my to-do list that I hadn't done yet. I wasn't as productive as I would have liked, but I did get a few things done which was good.

I took an accidental nap then before heading with three of my flatmates to see a Greek burlesque cabaret drag show thing called Zeus on the Loose. It was located in somewhat of a hidden location but we were able to get our tickets and then go to one of the street food vendors for a quick bite before the show started seating people. I had some custom stir fry and it was pretty good, though I would have liked it to have been a bit more flavorful. After that, we went in to get our seats. We were able to get super cheap tickets to the show and it was definitely worth the price. It was a bit raunchy, a bit sexy, a bit hilarious, and all around fun. 

October 19, 2019

Mine is in the middle
I just worked on homework and other productive things throughout the day before a bunch of us met up in the kitchen to carve pumpkins. For some reason British pumpkins feel different than American? They were a lot less slimy which made digging the guts out a bit less fun but it's okay because it was cleaner.

I tried doing a cool design of a black cat in the grass on my pumpkin and it was going pretty well until the moment I had to pop out the excess pumpkin to create the silhouette. I accidentally popped out the cat too and ended up with just a giant hole on the back of my pumpkin. After at least 20 minutes of carving. It was not fine. I ended up just turning it around and carving the stupidest smiley face into it and calling it a day.
Flat's Pumpkin Family
We saved all of our pumpkin seeds to then roast them for a snack. We had so many and I still have most of them just sitting in a bag waiting to be eaten. They turned out pretty alright for my first time making them on my own, though I still think my dad's taste better.

Afterwards, we made dinner and I then introduced Isaac to the wonderfulness that is Psych before then going to bed. 

October 20, 2019

Sunday was a bit busier. I slept in a bit and then had breakfast which consisted of apples and peanut butter with bacon on the side. I personally love that, but I'm not a conventional breakfast type of person so.

After that, I headed to the library to crank out my first assignment of the semester. The weird thing about UK uni is that your final grade is based off of only one or two big assignments or exams. Any class work, participation, attendance, etc has no real impact on your grade. This is both great and a bit daunting because you don't have an extra cushion if you don't do as well on your assignment.

Then I went and took a nap before having dinner. Isaac made curry and it was my first experience with it--I have to say, it was really good and I definitely want to try more of it. After dinner, Isaac and I left with another of our flatmates, Jess, to go see another show.

This show was located in Piccadilly Circus and was A Comedy About a Bank Robbery. It was so freaking hilarious and I highly recommend seeing it if you're in London and have a chance. I was laughing so much throughout the entire thing and even with the cliche humor and moments, there were moments where I was completely shocked.

After the show, we went across Piccadilly to Five Guys. I swear I've eaten at Five Guys more times since coming to London than in my entire life before this semester. I introduced Isaac and Jess to the magic that is dipping french fries in milkshakes.

Then we went to a candy store next door which was both a great idea and a terrible idea. It was great in that I found a bunch of American import candy and snacks I'd been missing and terrible in the fact that I spent way too much money on candy. I'll definitely be rationing the candy, though.

Upon returning, Isaac and I just finished up washing our dishes that we hadn't been able to do before dinner before we then watched an episode of Psych. 

Overall, this was a great week. I was feeling a bit sick sometimes but the great times definitely made up for it. I'm very excited for what the next week will bring as I have a lot of stuff planned!

For past weekly diaries, check out my study abroad page here.

Thanks for reading!

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