Saturday, March 20, 2010

Farewell Lovely London

My time in London is officially over.  I'm sitting in Nancy Koeppel's (a family friend) guest room in Brussels, Belgium.  I'm surrounded by books and art and fresh flowers about to begin a day of exploring the city.  Anna is in the shower and I will shortly take her place so this post will be brief and then I'll elaborate on my Belgian adventures later this weekend.

My last 24 hours in London were a bit of a blur.  I studied for finals, woke up early to take my finals (grabbed a Krispy Kreme donut for "energy" along the way), took one easy and one insanely difficult final, and headed back to 270 to pack.  It was once again an insanely beautiful day. So I made lunch and sat in my backyard, soaking up the rays and sadly musing that time here was running short.  I read some of my current book, Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential (which I love because I think Anthony Bourdain is insanely funny, a bit of a jerk, but a funny and honest jerk). And then I started to pack.  This became a 2 hour long process and at many moments I sincerely wished mom was here to help me pack up like she did for the original trip to London.  That seems so long ago! Anyway I survived and went to our farewell dinner at the Pembroke, a local pub.  We said our farewells to professors and to each other.  It's kind of weird that we won't see each other for a week, a long time in our acm bubble of togetherness.  Anna got in around 10ish and we hit the sack.

I have loved my time in London.  I love how easy the Tube system is.  I love that I can get anywhere with ease.  I love that British people read books on public transportation.  I love free museums and wondering around them with my headphones on.  I love staring out onto the Thames river at night from a bridge and seeing London lit up.  I love a pub on every corner.  I love the insane amount of history everywhere.  I love perusing the markets and finding the greatest grilled cheese sandwich ever.  I love the British accent.  I love Hyde Park.  I love the immense amount of theater.  I love the grandeur of the churches.  I love that there is always something to do.  I love that London has left me wanting more. 

I have learned so much during my time in London. More than I could have imagined.  I've learned so much about British culture and history.  I've learned so much about myself.  London was my first real experience being abroad (as I don't think Canada counts).  It was my first real experience being entirely on my own. I cooked for myself and figured out that I can walk around London solo and have a wonderful time.  And I think I've taken advantage of it.  So thanks, London.  You've been a real pal, a real eye-opener.  But now it's time to say goodbye.  I'm off to Belgium and France and finally to Florence. I'm certain to have an entirely different experience there. I'm sure it will be amazing, but parting is always such sweet sorrow. 

Off to start my day. Updates to come.

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