A Photo Post and Tidbits, OR a Hodgepodge of Things Noted So Far

The British remind me of myself — they apologize incessantly. Coke cans here look slightly different, and I can’t figure out why that is. The UK Border Agency sometimes forgets details that will cause all sorts of complications. Small talk doesn’t happen here.

Soho.

Takeout is called takeaway. Almost nobody sells hairdryers. The average cafe meal here is slightly cheaper than the same thing would be in New York City. Tea kettles are so important that UCL has them on their suggested “to bring” list for new students.

Bloomsbury.

Temperatures are tricky here: it’s bitterly cold most of the time, but if the sun so much as peeks at you from behind a cloud, you’ll be sweltering in no time. The British are a nation of very quiet, orderly commuters. Sink taps come in pairs: boiling on the left, freezing on the right, and there’s no way to mix the two.

University College London, Rockefeller Building, Bloomsbury.

An erotic novel inspired by Jane Eyre is considered mainstream enough to be advertised on giant posters throughout the Tube (imagine this happening in the states, where I can only see rehashed Austen selling to the masses).  There are fire doors everywhere — heavy sets of double doors that are never propped open.

I’m too lazy to keep thinking of things, so I’m just going to throw some more photos in here.

University College London, Chadwick Building, Gower St., Bloomsbury.

Gordon Square, Bloomsbury, where the Bloomsbury Group (and John Maynard Keynes!) used to live.

Trafalgar Square, across from the National Gallery in the City of Westminster.

My most striking view of London so far, in my opinion: looking down Whitehall towards the Palace of Westminster.

Obligatory.

– – – – –

Foraging: 

My English seminar classmates insisted upon trying the overpriced, boring Pizza Express on Belvedere Road in Waterloo, which I thought was an odd choice — so we’ve come all this way to London just to eat something we could get in any American neighborhood?

Tried Eat on Tottenham Court Road and Howland Street, where they serve all sorts of very British-tasting (a little dry, rather buttery, full of mushrooms) savory pies paired with mash and gravy. This place smells better than its stuff tastes.

Also tried Wasabi farther up Tottenham Court Road near the Warren Street station, which does a very dry, crunchy version of yakisoba. In my experience so far, the British aren’t the best at executing Japanese recipes.

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