Monday, April 4, 2011

Please Mind the Gap

Alright so. I'm just going to continue down my list of February trips because I still have A LOT of work to do on this blog.

On the 17th of February, I easyJetted off to London, UK to visit my best friend in the world, Miss Ara Post. I flew into Gatwick where I was promptly questioned the hell out of by the immigration officer. No, sir, I am not coming into your country to bomb it, kill anyone, or steal any national secrets. But at least he stamped my passport, which has been rare in my experience so far. Next, I proceeded to exchange some Swiss Franc into pound sterling. Possibly the single most depressing experience of my life to date. The exchange rate these days is something like 1 British pound = 1.62 USD which means that one of my dollars can only purchase about 62 pence. Absolutely disgusting.

But anyway, I was in London, where I was confused yet happy about all the English language surrounding me. It had been over a month since I had walked around a public place and understood people talking, which is actually a much more disconcerting experience than one would think.

The next leg of my journey was a bit more difficult: getting to Brighton, England by train. I spent several CHF on the phone with Ara trying to figure out the best route, and eventually, after some train platform dancing to Daft Punk, I arrived at Falmer Station.

After not having seen my best friend in well over a month, it was the strangest experience to get off a train in ENGLAND and see her standing there. So crazy! After lots of best friend hugs, we climbed the hill to the Falmer campus of Brighton University, where she is studying until June.

We spent the rest of the night making dinner, catching up, and hanging out with her wonderful housemates. We went out that evening to celebrate the birthday of a girl named Leanne, an English girl who also studies at Brighton. There is nothing better than pub crawling via those (very English) red double-decker buses.

Obviously taken from the top level of a red bus
Somehow I forget what happened on Friday morning/afternoon. I do believe we slept in pretty late, maybe did some shopping (at Primark, what a great store), ate at the delicious Gourmet Burger Kitchen, and I had Lick frozen yogurt for the first time.

Strawberries, Oreos, and honeycomb...mmm

But wait. I think I take that all back. Pretty sure those things happened on Saturday, because on Friday we ventured to London city. We took the train to London and then hopped on the Tube, one of the most iconic London things of all time. After getting quite a bit lost, we found the building where Ara's sister works, acquired some tickets from her for our concert later that evening, and had some food at a sushi place in downtown London. Also we had more frozen yogurt.

You are welcome for this!
After some sustenance, we were ready to meet up with Madison, one of Ara's housemates, to see Maroon 5 and Sara Bareilles at the Brixton Academy in South London. Incredible show, although Sara's newest album had not yet come out in the UK at that point, so people felt the need to talk a lot during her performance. WTF. But she was amazing, and Maroon 5 obviously put on a great show. And during their encore, they sang Sunday Morning, which is perhaps my most favorite Maroon 5 song ever. Made my night, my weekend, my month.

I think we were pretty exhausted after that and went to bed soon after getting back to Brighton. The next day, then, is when all those things happened that I mentioned above. Downtown Brighton is adorable, with its indie shops and restaurants and eccentric people. Besides being in love with our waiter, we spent  the time in GBK people-watching out the window. Interesting, interesting.

Then that night we got really, really sick. We stayed sick all day Sunday which was horrible. My flight out of Gatwick was at 6 a.m. on Monday morning, so I ended up taking the bus then the train to the airport beginning at 2 a.m. I only managed to get everywhere thanks to Leanne and her friend Patrick, who (drunkenly) accompanied me all the way to the airport. I am so thankful for them; I would have been so lost and confused had they not helped me out! We parted with hugs at the airport, and I flew back to Genève to attempt to get better.

Things I learned in England:
1) Oatmeal is delicious with peanut butter and banana.
2) The way they talk is so much more adorable than American English.
3) The English love to make fun of American English.
4) It's just as difficult for them to do an American accent as it is for us to do an English accent.
5) We are spoiled living in Geneva because of how easy it is to get around the entire continent of Europe from there.
6) Caramel chocolate digestives are so, so good.
7) I love my best friend.


  1. So, I accidently stumbled upon your European blog when I was looking for something else totally different. Just caught up on your adventures and photos and am thinking to myself: you got WAY MORE than you bargained for. So what if the Euro-$ tips in their favor; the air you've breathed and places you've walked through are priceless. The classes will be the best ever I bet. Safe journeys back, and be ready for reverse culture shock upon your return. Best, Florine Postell

  2. I'm happy you came upon my blog! And yes, you are right, it has been far beyond anything I had imagined. I've gotten to do so many unbelievable things and been able to go to places I never thought I would. I have so many new thoughts thanks to this trip! It's going to be so strange to be back in the States after four months of Europe...