i’m studying abroad in england and here’s some snippets of what i’ve been doing over the past few weeks.
part 1: london
i went to a cool neighborhood in the east end called shoreditch to see one of my favorite bands, joanna gruesome, play a free show. because i am inept at using public transportation, my friends and i got there late and we weren’t allowed in. so we walked around for a while, found a weird ukulele bar and ate shawarma.
part 2: paris
my roommate mary’s dad lives in paris and (because we are all poor) said we could stay in his apartment for the weekend. i took the chunnel alone and would meet up with the rest of my london roommates. when i walked out of the train station, a man approached me and asked if i wanted a taxi. i am an ignorant american and don’t speak french so i just nodded my head. he led me to a motorcycle, put a helmet on me, and put my backpack underneath his seat. EXCUSE ME I WANTED A TAXI CAB NOT A SCREEN TEST IN WILD HOGS 2. i sucked it up because i was running late and then we were off. the guy started whizzing in between cars and would stop short out of nowhere, making me look like i was performing the heimlich on him. my helmet was too big and covered my eyes, which was sort of helpful since had i been able to see, i would have had a panic attack. when we arrived, i overpaid him and ran away. mon dieu.
mary’s dad’s apartment was in the 7th arrondissement, and overlooked the eiffel tower. because i had been stealing toilet paper for three weeks and had only eaten egg salad sandwiches for every lunch and dinner, i felt like annie when she arrives at daddy warbucks’ house.
we bought a lot of cheese and wine and drank it under the eiffel tower at midnight. i was approached by a man who said he was from yemen and he asked to smell my hair.
i bought a package of 10 macarons and when i opened them a little too excitedly, the bag ripped open and they all fell on the floor. i crouched, recovered them, and started eating them all. my roommates laughed at me and called me “gross” but, hello, they are French macarons and i am not an idiot.
my roommate mary downloaded tinder and we met up with some randoms at a Canadian bar called “The Moose.” i made sure to drink enough smirnoff ices because i am just really bad at meeting new people and talking and being a real person in general. the tinder boys took us to an underground club that looked like an igloo and bought us way too much alcohol and Blurred Lines started playing and i am not going to extrapolate on the rest of this evening because HEYYYY MOM I’LL CALL YOU LATER I PROMISE.
part 3: belgium
i went to belgium with the other 100-or so people in my program. we took a train to ypres and stayed there for two days. ypres was a hellhole, it rained the entire time, and it’s only known for the world war I battles that occurred there. the hostel wasn’t traumatizing at all, there was hot water and clean sheets. i wasn’t attacked with a chainsaw during my stay, so that’s nice. the highlight of my trip was watching everyone (including my art history professor) get shitfaced on our last night there. then i walked in on a cute naked boy pooping while he was playing flappy bird. i think that says a lot about ypres if that was my highlight.
part 4: the white cliffs of dover
on the edge of england facing france are the white cliffs of dover. the series of cliffs are historically significant as it was a battle site between German and British forces during the Battle of Britain. But The Cliffs’ personal significance to me is that it’s where I shattered my iPhone screen as I tripped down a steep flight of brick steps. luckily, the cracks in my screen didn’t affect the front-facing camera so my selfie game remains as strong as ever.
part 5: the BAFTA’s
i woke up at 6 A.M. to stand in line for red carpet tickets to the BAFTA’s (the British equivalent of the Oscars). I stood for a total of 8 hours that day, but I got to breathe the same air as Christoph Waltz, Steve McQueen, Judi Dench (turns out she’s a huge bitch), Brangelina, the American Hustle cast, Dana Scully, and Leo. I screamed at Oprah and she ignored me. All in all a beautiful day.
part 6: fashion week
i snuck into fashion week and got to see the meadham kirchhoff show. i got free champagne and food and nobody even noticed i was wearing leggings from Forever 21.
part 7: brighton
my roommates and i took a train to brighton, a small beach town about an hour outside of london. the highlight of this trip was that I got separated from my friends in the crowd and took the opportunity to walk around by myself. i haven’t had that moment yet, where i can freely walk around and get properly lost. not in a “taken 2” kind of way, but in a “i am experiencing something by myself which is the best way to experience anything” kind of way. i sat on the end of the pier and people watched for half an hour. then, unfortunately, they found me.
part 8: st paul’s cathedral
i vomited there!