Buckle up for a long series of posts! Updating this blog keeps on getting pushed down my to-do list. I’ve started teaching my classes (which are going SUPER well), so lesson planning has been taking up the bulk of my time. And Kyle Hanagmi videos. And the Adam Rippon Riffs On Cosmopolitan series… I just discovered he is also a scorpio, and my life makes SO much more sense now.
It feels like forever ago (I’ve been in Romania for 2.5 weeks!), but before arriving here, I stayed in London for a few days to visit friends. WizzAir has flights from London to Constanta for as cheap as $31 (pro tip for those who want to come visit!), so I decided this was the best route to take.
I had been to London twice before– once with a global honors theatre seminar I had taken at NYU, and the second time with a close friend during our spring break study abroad trip. I loved London both times I visited, but my schedule during those trips was jam packed and felt very rushed. This time around the absence of a rigid itinerary made things much more lax.
Even still, no time was wasted checking my first embarrassing oblivious tourist moment off the list! I discovered that I’d been mispronouncing “Thames” my entire life, thanks to a cross-eyed look from a guide at the train ticket booth… For my fellow linguists, in IPA it is tɛmz. I had stupidly been doing a voiceless interdental fricative instead of an alveolar stop… (For non linguist plebs– a “th” sound instead of a “t.”)
Shortly after this brilliant moment, I hopped onto tɛmzlɪŋk with my 32kg bag to meet my friend at platform 9 3/4. There are no trains that go directly to King’s Cross from Gatwick on Sundays, so I had to transfer to the tube… with my 32kg bag. 🙂 Thankfully some very kind souls helped me whenever I had to lug it down staircases, when lifts (LIFTS!) weren’t available.
About 90 minutes later, I finally made it to the Wizarding World checkpoint. My friend Shraddha and I headed over to Urbanest, one of NYU London’s dorms… with my 32kg bag. (Several breaks were taken.) We made a Waitrose run to get fixings for their £2,50 stir fry deal, and had a relaxing night in– talked lots, danced lots, caught up with our teammates from Khalbali. It made me miss college… Introducing myself to their roommates and saying I WENT to NYU felt very weird. It still does…
The next day we hit up Camden Market and indulged in lots of comfort food: mac and cheese from The Mac Factory, cinnamon roll donuts and coffee, and dutch pancakes with nutella and strawberries. I didn’t have my phone out much, so I didn’t take photos of all of this wonderful food. However, I did film a Mac Factory cook dumping a third of a bag of cheese into a large sauce pan, which I have screenshoted below. (I unfortunately cannot upload videos here… But if you watch my instagram story highlights, you can see the action in full!) She gradually dumped the rest of cheese from the bag into the pan, and added three more types of cheese after that. You can surely never have too much cheese. Never ever! It was… heavenly.
Later that day, we walked along Regent’s Canal and checked out Word on the Water, London’s only floating bookshop! (Recommended to me by my Uncle Sterling– wow, look at you! Shoutouts two posts in a row! Even my mom can’t claim such fame yet.) The sailor owner sits outside the docked barged in a lawn chair, with his friendly, loyal pup at his side. As you step onto the boat, he says, “Welcome aboard!” and your voyage of perusing their library begins. Despite not having room in my suitcase for another book, I caved and walked out with an anthology of quotes about language and linguistics (Words on Words by David and Hilary Crystal). It was only £3! How could I resist?!
Samika and I then strolled along the Canal some more, and snapped a shot of my signature travel pose. (To be honest… more like 30 shots until I was satisfied.)
I spent my last full day in London with one of my littles from APO, Kish (pronounced like “quiche,” though his real name is Kishan), who’s studying abroad there now. We got brunch at the Patisserie Valerie in Piccadilly Circus, where he tried quiche for the first time! I think it is safe to say that his life has been changed forever.
We spent the rest of the day walking along the Thames, where we saw a magician unimpressively wiggle his way out of a straightjacket and then passive aggressively ask for donations… Kish hadn’t made it out to Camden Market yet, which meant that it was absolutely necessary go back for a second round of mac and cheese. By that point we had walked about 9 miles, so we sat and relaxed for quite some time before heading back to Urbanest.
The next morning, I hopped on a plane to Constanta– and now I am here, and am loving it!
Scrambling to catch up on documenting everything that’s happened these first few weeks! ‘Til soon!