Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Northern Line Is The Loudest

Okay finally. After a brutal quarter and horrendous finals weeks (1 quiz, 2 final papers, 3 final exams), I somehow managed to get to London. Last Tuesday marked the official start of Nichole and Jenny's competition to find out Who Can Be The Most Awkward Foreigner.

And they're off!!

Jenny surges ahead with an impressive start when she asks her homestay's mother: "May I call you Lily?" Silence in the car. "Well, my name is Jill..."

Nichole makes up for it the next morning, showing up for family breakfast completely exhausted and the only one at the table in her pajamas.

Jenny currently holds the lead by dressing like a sunflower, while everyone else (including myself) was dressed in black:

And then atm card was hacked. Last night I received a desperate email from my mom who had received notification that my atm card had become "compromised". What proceeded was a lot of stressful listing of numbers, crying, trying to hold back my screeching/screaming
voice I usually preserve especially for over-the-phone customer service agents so as to not wake my host family, and more crying. When I went to bed last night, I kept rolling in my sleep, thinking, "I am in a foreign country and I have no money."

I woke up early (my first morning to do so, and this made me feel better), and went downstairs to prepare myself breakfast and yerba mate. I sat there, feeling sorry for myself, trying to figure out how much my hair would go for, thinking how people probably don't buy hair anymore, when my homestay's father came downstairs for breakfast as well. He was wearing his pajamas. He was entirely sympathetic and said the same thing happened to him while he and his crew were in Malaysia shooting a documentary for the BBC. Later he presented me with 20 pounds.

Today was our first day of class. After taking the northern line and a bus and walking up and down and up and down and updown we found the classroom in a lovely old building. After 2 hours of preliminary stuff, we headed out into London. And we walked. We walked a lot. We walked for five hours. Our guide was the professor of Art, Architecture and History Professor Brucknoyd. He pointed out various famous spots while enlightening the group on various architectural traits.

For example, the Hotel Russel was constructed during the Victorian era:

The mindset during the Victorian era was: "IlikeitI'lltake20giveittomeit'smine!!!!"

We also walked through the British Museum. At one point, this entire room was filled with books:

Can you imagine?!

And Westminster Abbey is an "architectural supermarket":

The two spires have several subtle differences between them. The picture probably isn't good enough, but can you spot them?

I'll leave you with this gorgeous view. Latersoon I will update about my homestay.


Captain Julie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
miss brix said...

Oh my goodness! I don't even know what to say. Terrible! Fun! Fascinating! Awkward! Yes..that will do.

DLax916 said...

"May I call you Lily?" I laughed out loud on that one. She may have won the first round. Karma is a B-word and will sling around on the wrongdoer! You bounced back though, no problem, and hey, more photos...more..I'm loving the photos...

Keep your head UP! Cause we all see the same stars.

Captain Julie said...

New comment. I deleted the last one because I don't know.

This is amazing.


kelly the great said...

Might I say that awkwardness is probably one of the most entertaining of uncomfortable feelings.

The "may I call you Lily" anecdote...Omg, I loved it, probably because it reminds me of something I would do. I can so empathize.

I hope your financial situation works itself out! That was really sweet of the husband/host father...whatever he's called.