When in London . . . one learns Basque? Well yes, if one happens to go to school with a cohort hailing from nine different countries and speaking a total of ten languages. “Hi, my name is Ali!” Since I was really struggling to convey my Americanness using something other than English . . .
No, it’s been amazing thus far — good enough to fail at taking regular photographs [psh, why would I go to tourist attractions when I’m a local??], so just a smattering to share here.
Wait wait, that’s not London! No, it’s been uncharacteristically hot [“don’t get used to it!” I’ve been told over and over again, yet it’s been in the 80’s since I got here – we just had our first few classic rainy London days – so I’m settling in for the long haul with a new pair of jorts and a serious flip flop tan], and we ran away to Brighton on the south coast. The beach is rocky and the water questionably sanitary, but that didn’t stop me from taking a dip.
Also in Brighton, the Royal Pavilion, a strange amalgamation of Indian-inspired architecture and Chinese interior decoration that was the play house of a British prince in the late 1700’s-1800’s. I spy something that does not belong . . .
Class field trip! We spent an afternoon running down motorists and dodging paparazzi all over central London in this beautifully restored 1958 double decker [seriously, tourists took as many photos of the bus as they did the monuments they were posted up in front of]. It boasted such design details as a perfectly putrid yellow ceiling, painted such to mask cigarette smoke, and a handicap-inaccessible entrance to the driver’s seat, which required mountain climbing up the side of the bus using the tire and one tiny toehold.
The Victoria & Albert Museum is right across the street from school and, like all of the major museums, it’s free, making it a sweetly guilt-free lunchtime getaway. The other day we popped in to see the furniture exhibit [I was schooled on my lack of famous designer knowledge] and splurge on some decadent pastries and tea; even the dining room is a spectacle in its own right.
No explanation. Welcome to London!