Well they say time flys when you are having fun I definitely can tell you it is true. Friday was an adventure! We had a group excursion and went to an area of London called Southall. Lets just say I was in India for a day! What a great day! I feel like in my life I haven’t had the opportunity to really immerse myself in other cultures. Of course there is the occasional vacation outside of the country but I don’t really think that counts. When we first arrived we got off of the train and walked to a Sikh Temple called the Gurdwara. When we first walked in the temple we had to take out shoes off and cover our hair with our scarves. Then we proceeded up the stairs and walked into this big room where their book of scripture sits and we meditated for a little bit. When we left the big room there was little lady sitting on the floor who handed us a lump of this warm gooey stuff which was made out of butter, flour, and sugar which was just a thank you for coming to worship. I had to try it but after one taste I had to toss it… it was the consistence of soggy bread. Then we headed to the kitchen to try some Indian food. The food is free and is always there for anyone that wishes to come and eat. I thought it was amazing how many similarities there were between out religion and theirs when the cultural differences are so big. We both pay tithing, we both take or shoes off in our temples to show respect, we both focus on a personal conversion to God, both acknowledge the power of mothers and their part in teaching and nurturing children, and many other things. After that we were able to go and sit in 2 more muslim temples. They worship many Gods and they are represented by these big ornate dolls set up all along their temples. They were all about the sparkle and the lights. It almost felt like we were in Disneyland and not a real place of worship. After those temples we had a couple hours of free time to just explore the town. We bought bangles and got henna. We ended our excursion at this Pakistani Restaurant for dinner. It was really great. It was my first time having indian food and I really enjoyed trying everything. Then we rushed back to see Peter Pan in the Park… yes I did go again. I just loved it so much!
On Saturday we wen to Portabello Road and walked along it. It is just a this busy road in Notting Hill (about a five minute walk from our flat) where there are vendors selling everything from antiques, to clothes, to fresh fruits and veggies. We had a crepe, oh how I love them, and decieded we liked the Nutella and coconut the best (we also tried strawberries and powdered sugar, and Nutella and bananas). We got back that afternoon and some girls were going to find some mexican food so I jumped in their group and we headed off down the tube. We got there and it was closed so me and my cute Bunkmate Jackie decided we wanted fish and chips so we found this great pub on the side of the road and walked in. It was another one of my favorite things that I have done. Their pubs aren't like bars in the states. They are more just social drinking and not getting drunk. There was lots of people just sitting around talking and laughing and the food was great. I was so fun.
Sunday we had church again and it was still great! I have to play the piano for the primary program now, it should be pretty interesting.
Monday we had class and then we went to the Globe Theater! We saw “As You Like It” and it was fabulous! I have only seen two other Shakespeare and some times I get a little lost but it was great. It was fun being in the Globe and the show was great.
Tuesday was my first official rainy day! It has sprinkled a couple times… kind of like an Arizona storm… but this was a solid down poor for a good 8 hours. We all went to Primark (this incredible store where everything is under 5 pounds) Then when we got back we all we just cuddled in our room and pulled down the mattresses from our bed and watched a movie. Then we all fell asleep. I got up and was looking out the window and I just wanted to go on a walk so I borrowed some rain boots, but on my rain jacket, put in some instrumental music on my iPod and set out to Kensington Gardens. It was probably one of my favorite things that I have done. I don’t know why but the rain just pouring down while I was walking the the most beautiful park I have ever seen just made me so happy and grateful for my life and my opportunities!
Wednesday a group of girls wanted to go to Buckingham Palace so I went again with them because I could go free. It was still amazing. That night we got tickets to see Momma Mia. It was so fun. We had perfect seats and a fun group of girls and we had a blast.
Today is my long day of classes. Class til 4:30 then dinner and 5. Good times are happening and I’m loving it! We are starting to plan our free week trips… I’m thinking Ireland… so fun. I hope America is doing good! Cheerio!