Wednesday, February 16, 2011

And I Really Can Update... Eventually

Well, since I'm rather behind on posting anything I'll try and remember some of the key highlights and all that stuff. No promises on coherence and organization.

As a group, on a Friday, we went to the town of Cambridge which was pretty cool but fairly cold (okay, cold by the standard here. By the standards back home it would have been a windy but warm for a winter day). Anyway, we were taken on a tour of the town that went by different places that were part of Cambridge University, the Eagle, and this really creepy clock that was supposed to be eating down time. Part of the University we got to see was the chapel at King's college which I found pretty awesome, mostly because my mom and I have an obsession with historical-fictions focusing on the Tudors (particularly the wives and other partners of King Henry the VIII).

Anyway, he apparently added the organ cover with Anne Boleyn's initials and other things to symbolize that he put it in for her in the chapel (the organ cover separates the chapel and the ante-chapel (which is mostly used for non religious purposes). There's also really pretty stain glass bible scenes all around on the windows and the carvings in the stone were gorgeous as well.

Another schedules trip we went on was to a restaurant near Brick Lane, also near the Bell Foundry where the Liberty Bell was made, didn't know that was in London did you? Well at least I didn't. Anyway, we had what was generally called Indian food. It was actually really good although I kept thinking of Dave Lister from Red Dwarf who has a huge love for curry. I suppose I have my dad to thank for that. He's the one who introduced me. Indian food here is kind of like Mexican food back in the USA, at least in popularity.

I've also started classes, finally, two at a local university (which has a very DMACC feeling to me although it is a bit more complicated) and three through Central (two of them required.) The none required one is a religion course which I think is going to be pretty interesting since I get to learn about the Anglican church (which the Queen officially heads) as well as get to see a bunch of churches. Last week, we went to Westminster Cathedral which was filled with mosiacs but only half done on the decorating front despite the fact they started over a century ago. There are boxes everywhere you look asking for donations. I have to admit, I found the idea of a holy gift shop a little amusing but I really shouldn't laugh seeing as how so many things I do may seem odd. The idea of so many side chapels devoted to the different saints was strange to me. I guess I really don't know all that much about Catholism in practice (though I know a bit historically).

Another of my classes, one of the ones through London Metropolitan University, is mostly made up of other study abroad students, one of them from Thailand. I'm fairly sure there's at most five people who are actually from the United Kingdom (United Kingdom=Wales, England, Scotland, and North Ireland; Britain= Wales, England, and Scotland; England does NOT = Scotland). London has a very diverse population, much more so than the rest of the country. Heck, it's making Iowa State look pretty bland and that's saying something.

Oh, for anyone wondering, I have seen platform 9 and 3/4 and frankly, it was pathetic. It was a picture of a brick wall against a cement wall with part of a trolly attached. Apparently they're building a new area but part of the problem is that when they filmed the movie, they did so in St. Pancras (which is right next door, same tube stop even) and when she was writing, JKR was picturing Euston, which is yet another train station (there's also Victoria which is really near Vandon house. Trains are a big deal here, including international ones).

As for upcoming events, a couple of other people and have booked the tickets for a weekend trip to Dublin, Paris, and Scotland. The trip from Dublin to Paris was $15. Yay budget airlines.

Anyway, back to watching an elephant get eaten on channel four. It's really quite interesting. This elephant died and they managed to set up cameras to see how it feeds the ecosystem and you really probably don't care a bit. My apologies. Have a lovely day or night or whatever time frame is most appropriate when you read this.

General Statistics:
Times gotten lost: too many to count
Times gotten unlost: same as above so really doing quite well (including getting lost during Chinese New Year event)
Times asked for directions on the tube: 3
Times actually able to help: 1 (and she seemed surprised when I spoke with an American accent so yay for surprising French tourists)

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