Brighton Belated, OR What I Did With My Life On Oct. 20th

I have a week off from class right now, and since I suddenly came down with a cold on Monday morning, I’m stuck in my building with aloe tissues, a  bag of honey & menthol cough drops, and plenty of water, while my English seminar classmates are scrambling all over the European continent and having the times of their lives. I was planning on seeing Oxford, Wales, and Scotland. Looks like I’ll be canceling all three.

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A couple weeks ago, my English professor — the one who came over with us from our home university — took us on a day trip (previously mentioned here) to Brighton. For a couple of hours he let us go do our own thing, and with this time, my friends T., E., C., and I popped down to the beach.

The Beach at Brighton.

It was, predictably, cloudy as all hell. I had to strain to see the line where the sky met the sea.

Brighton Pier.

Something about the famous Brighton Pier reminded me of Galveston — the rides, the lights, the arcades, the gift shops, the stands upon stands of donuts and ice cream.

After lunch we took a tour of the Royal Pavilion:

At the Royal Pavilion, Brighton.

…about which I have a lot of thoughts. But they’re long-winded and less-than-favorable (cultural misappropriation, anyone?), so I won’t go into that right now.

Then we met up with some visiting UPenn kids to go to high tea at The Grand — and on the way there, we ran into Brighton residents of all ages doing their annual pre-Halloween zombie walk. Sadly, I missed every photo opportunity during said walk. You’ll just have to take my word for it when I say that people got really, really into it (fake gore everywhere, pointed teeth, scraggly nails, you name it).

The Grand, Brighton.

The tea room at The Grand.

For high tea, we each had a choice between the scones package (1 plain scone, 1 cranberry scone, plus clotted cream, jam, and tea), the cakes package (little desserts with tea), or the deluxe (scones, sandwiches, AND cakes with tea). I had the first, but I also lived vicariously through the people around me who ordered the deluxe set. And I may or may not have snagged a Scottish salmon sandwich off someone as well.

Deluxe high tea offerings at The Grand.

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In other news:

Last night was Guy Fawkes Night, made famous in recent memory outside of England byV for Vendetta (both the graphic novel and film). I sat in my room around midnight listening to fireworks and firecrackers go off somewhere in the distance, thinking about how surreal it is to watch the country actually celebrate a hobby that I’d only ever heard of before in books and movies.

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I’m currently writing a batch of seven or so postcards to send back to friends in the USA. This may be my new hobby/addiction. It’s surprising how often those two things coincide…hobbies and addictions.

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