You never realize how big a difference five hours makes. That is until you decide to watch U.S. sporting events five time zones away. Was it worth it? Completely. For the first time, I picked a Super Bowl winner and UNC unexpectedly beat Dook. So, it’s been a good week here even though my sleep schedule has been completely thrown out of wack.
SATURDAY, TRAFALGAR SQUARE Today I set out on a journey of self-discovery. Yes, that’s right, I headed out to a museum alone. Having never done it before, I figured why not. I have to say it was great. I strolled through the gallery at my own pace. I skipped over eras and pieces I didn’t care for and got to marvel at the works I did. The National Gallery is rather impressive and I viewed paintings from artists such as Da Vinci, Van Gogh, and Rembrandt. After spending an hour or two strolling around, I headed to a nearby pub and finally order the classic fish and chips I somehow have managed to avoid so far. It was a truly great rainy Saturday.
FRIDAY, STRAND CAMPUS Going to class four hours after a Dook game is not the most advisable decision. It was rough, it was rough. When I got back home, I took a six-hour nap.
THURSDAY, JUBILEE LINE #BeatDook day started kind of rough. My commute this morning was less than ideal. It started out like most commutes, fighting people to get a seat on the tube. Well after getting one of those, the conductor informed us that the train would not be leaving the station and we should move to the adjacent platform and get on that train. After running with the crowd to fit on the other train, we finally got on our way. About ten minutes into the trip, we were stopped at a station out in the old dockyards. We sat there for 40 minutes due to a signaling issue on the opposite end of the line. Of course, this would happen on the day I have a presentation in class. Luckily for me, my professor was on the train behind me.
THURSDAY, STRATFORD The best-laid plans usually get complicated and it’s exactly what happened tonight. While the plan had been to gather in a Casino and watch the game, last-minute decisions and defections left us in Angel Lane crowded around one of the flat screens in the common room. After frantically trying to set up a watch ESPN account, I managed to stream the game just in time for tip-off. It was a rollercoaster of emotion and I think the dozen or so of us gathered around the TV probably ticked off more than one person with our screams at two in the morning. Although I missed rushing after the big win, three mornings I was happy just to go to sleep.
WEDNESDAY, STRATFORD Alright this is going to sound a wee bit lame, but I don’t really care. Ok, here goes. I found a new grocery store and I am in love. There I said it. Yes, I do feel old now. Judge me.
MONDAY, STRAND CAMPUS Well it was bound to happen eventually. I would eventually be forced to accept the fact I am still in school. Today was that day. I met with my presentation group for War the International Order for the first time. After three hours of hard labor, absolutely nothing was accomplished.
SUNDAY, STRAND CAMPUS After practically doing nothing for the majority of the day, it was finally time for the big game. Montana and I set out on one of the last trains of the night to the Waterfront Bar on campus to catch the game. We met up with a few other Americans along with some British and Australian friends and grabbed some prime front row seats.
Now I knew immediately I was in a bit of danger as I was surrounded by a surprising number of British Patriots fans. Now, I’m not going to say bandwagon, but bandwagon fans they were. There were only a sprinkling of Eagles supporters, all of them Americans, all from every part of the country not called New England. To say the air was tense would be an understatement.
When the game finally came on, the bar couldn’t turn up the volume enough to hear the national anthem over everyone talking. So, in a moment of American ingenuity, every American gathered in the place rose up and began to belt out the anthem. Singing the anthem while looking out on the Thames with football on has to be one of the most patriotically heartwarming things I’ve experienced.
Around half time, we decided to call it a day. It was about two or three in the morning by this point and we all had a class in the morning. The tube was shut down by this point forcing us onto the night bus. Now, the night bus is even more of an adventure than the night tube. We encountered some interesting characters on our hour-long journey back home. By the time we got back in, the game was wrapping up and after seeing the Eagles clinch it, I finally fell asleep a happy guy.
Explaining why I was half asleep was fun. Most people here were amazed; one that college sports are a big deal and second that I would stay up to catch them live. But it was worth it. I’m glad I was able to get a taste of home while still living and learning here in London. School is finally starting to pick up with papers beginning to be due in a few weeks so life may get slightly less fun. This week promises to be interesting with Shrove Tuesday and the last week of class before reading week. I’m going to make some lunch now, but I’ll see you next Sunday.