Reading week has been noticeably lacking in the reading. I have become a terrible student since I got here. They really shouldn’t have told us things were pass/fail. That was just a bad call. Without most classes this week, I’ve done a variety of things while telling myself I’d do my work later. Let’s just say I think I’m becoming a master at procrastination.
FRIDAY, LONDON Well, I’ve made it 50 days out here on my own. I’m not dead, not under arrest, haven’t been kicked out of the country yet, and still have all my limbs. I consider that a successful 50 days. To celebrate I went out to get a haircut. I headed over to the London School of Barbering for a nice FREE cut. It was a pretty good experience. It took longer than any cut I’ve had before, but the results we fantastic. I honestly think it’s one of the better haircuts I’ve had done. I’ll defiantly be going back again while I’m here.
After leaving school, I decided to go on a little adventure out to west London. I was on a mission to find one thing: grape jelly. Apparently, that’s just not a thing here. I don’t know how that’s possible. It’s the best thing for toast, sandwiches, you name it. Well, I find the American food store and search for a good twenty minutes. They didn’t have any today. To say I was unhappy would be putting it mildly. I really wanted my grape jelly (hint, hint if anyone is packing a care package).
THURSDAY, GUY’S CAMPUS After attending possibly my last War in the International Order class ever, I headed over to the medical library at Guy’s Campus to do some essay writing. It’s a nice, modern place with plenty of workstations. I found a nice window overlooking the entrance to the emergency room at Guy’s Hospital and got to work. Well after getting a few hundred words down, I decided that was enough for the day. KCL has ruined the student inside of me.
Well after giving up, I convinced Sydney who was working nearby to also throw in the towel. It was around dinner time so we dashed off to a sketchy part of London to meet up with Arez and Rachel at a hole in the wall pizza place. Hole in the wall places are always the best kind and this one didn’t disappoint. After going almost two months without a good slice, this place hit the spot.
TUESDAY, QUEENS THEATRE Keeping with the mission of becoming a more cultured person, I headed out to the theater district yet again. Tonight, I got the chance to see one of my favorite musicals ever. That’s right, I got to see Les Misérables. Let me tell you it was fantastic. I’m even man enough to admit I cried several times through the performance. There is just something about seeing it live that makes it just so much more impactful. The stagecraft was incredible and it’s just one of those times where words will never be able to do it justice. Also, as I get a little bit older I think I’m beginning to develop a greater appreciation for art. It has more meaning as you go along and experience life. You can relate to it on a deeper level I think. Anyway, hopefully, I’ll hit up a few more shows before the semester is over because I’m loving living in one of the theater capitals of the world.
MONDAY, CHINATOWN You know those nights you find yourself somewhere you never expected to be only a few hours before. Well, yeah tonight was one of those nights. For some reason, Montana and I decided it would be a good idea to head into central London and see what was happening. Well, we took a wrong turn and found ourselves in the middle of Chinatown. Now, this hasn’t happened to me before, I’m usually quite good at directions. But not ones to waste a good opportunity when it presents itself, we grabbed surprisingly expensive Chinese food in the middle of the night. It was a Monday night well spent.
SUNDAY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM I decided on a whim to head out to the Imperial War Museum this afternoon in order just to get out and about. A couple of people in the War Studies Department had suggested it and I figured why not. The museum was surrounded by beautiful gardens that featured a rather interesting centerpiece: two fifteen-inch guns. For some perspective, I am roughly the size of one of the shells these guns fired off during the second world war. I also walked past another section of the Berlin Wall preserved near the entrance of the museum. I love seeing the pieces no matter where I am because they’re always unique but still tell the same story.
The museum itself was smaller and less impressive than I thought it would be. It mainly focused on artifacts from the first and second world wars with only minimal displays from the modern era. The name led me to believe I might get to see some artifacts from the old Imperial days of the British Empire, but alas I was disappointed. Don’t get me wrong though, the things on display were incredible. From V2 rockets to Russian tanks to a captured Nazi Eagle from the Reich Chancellery it was like stepping back in time. I developed a greater appreciation for the hell and complexity of the first world war, something we usually glance over back in the states due to our minimal involvement.
Surprisingly the museum also had a large Holocaust memorial section. It was similar to other Holocaust exhibits I’ve seen before in the past but for some reason, this one moved me more than usual. I can’t explain it really but there was just something different, it was almost like I was fully grasping the atrocity for the first time. All I know is I left the museum feeling slightly uneasy. I have great respect for the power of some of the weapons on display, but I also understand the suffering they cause. Maybe it’s all because now I’m the age of most of the people who fought these wars and I can’t imagine being in their place. Whatever the reason, I’d recommend stopping by if you get the chance.
Well seeing as I have an essay due in about 24 hours I should get on that. It looks like I finally can’t avoid doing my notably minimal amount of work. The coming week looks interesting. There’s another Dook game Sunday morning, my university is shutting down due to a massive nationwide strike, and a Siberian air mass is floating in. Snow, strikes, and basketball; what more could a guy ask for. Well, I should probably get back to writing that essay. I’ll see you next Sunday.