Sunday, 15 August 2010

Time For Swotting!

Now, I'm not sure if this week takes the biscuit as they would say here, but it was definitely enjoyable. I know I say this a lot on here, but the week that goes by always ends up feeling like I've lived only three days here. I'm not sure if it's because I only have class twice a week or if it's because I'm truly swimming in a pool of bliss, but I hate that I am leaving on Saturday.

I love being away from everything and everyone. I can do whatever I want here. If I don't feel like talking to anyone, I can go out for a stroll and get some peace and quiet. If I want to do something with someone, there's always someone here who would be willing to spend quality time with me and I enjoy that for once. It's not like at home where people are so used to you and take you for granted. Everyone needs each other here and they are all so kind. My friend Henry, for example, sometimes makes me breakfast or dinner which you can see above. (They're always delicious, too!)
It's always nice to have friends that call you up for a change, too. Another friend of mine, Geraldo, called me to catch up on things even though we don't have class this session together. It was really sweet having a baguette and latte before his class together. Those small meetings can mean so much to me. It leaves me feeling refreshed and happy and then I end up working faster and harder.

On Thursday, Henry and I worked out for a bit as usual. We've been good about going every day :) Then we went into Brighton to browse some stores, but instead we wound up having tea! Chamomile tea, baklava, and scones (for me). It was so peaceful and I loved soaking every bit of my surroundings in quietly. I could imagine myself working in a tea shop... wearing an apron and happily serving tea, coffee, scones, and cake to customers to twinkle music rain or shine. I told Henry working in a tea shop could help me become a little more domestic. Not that I like the idea of filling in that womanly-domestic role, but it is good to dip my feet into everything in moderation. I mean, my roomies in Davis are more domestic than I am for goodness sakes!
Afterwards, we quickly went to Sainsbury (a place to buy groceries) and I stocked up on tons of lemons, apples, grapes, salad, and yogurt. I'm pretty sure I saw Henry's eyes bulge when he saw my basket. I've been on a health-craze for the last 3 weeks, which I'm sure he can attest to :P He, on the other hand, eats what he wants when he wants without shame and that makes me jealous. For example, eating huge chunks of meat, and I mean huge. Almost barbarically huge; it's amusing to watch.

We fittingly brought his huge chunk of meat to the pub on campus while I nibbled on some organic banana chips. We were waiting for a pub quiz later that night. I made my way to the bar to see if I could order a latte or hot chocolate. Henry, completely amused at my naivete gawked at me...I guess he was in disbelief that I ever thought a pub would serve me such kiddy-like things. So he urged me to order a hot chocolate to see if they would actually serve me and sure enough they did! I was a happy little child and he was completely bewildered. :)

Anyway, the pub quiz took place and we tied for second place. (We won cookies!) Yesterday, Henry and I went to London for the last time to see the English National Ballet's Cinderella for their 60th birthday. We first went to a tea place called Whittard of Chelsea because I loved the tea there and wanted to buy more to bring home. We definitely bought more tea (and hot chocolate). There's a picture below depicting how much and what kinds we brought back.

Then we made out way to a pub called Bag of Nails and I ordered an Open Seafood Sandwich which was delicious! Henry ordered a Pie of the Day which was steak pie. It definitely looked like something I wanted to eat, but I was trying so hard to hold back. Still on that health streak.
We then wandered around Leicester Square where Chinatown was. I had visited Chinatown once when my parents were with me during our week in London, but it was nice to come back. My inner asian came out as I saw egg custards and other pastries in the windows. I could smell dim sum from every corner of the streets and it was torturing me! We decided we would come back after the ballet to eat at one of those places.

As for the ballet, walking into it, I was definitely having high expectations because well, it's the English National Ballet. They are supposed to be good. I was unfortunately a little disappointed. It wasn't terrible, but it didn't meet or beat my expectations like the Bolshoi Ballet did. The choreography for the stepsisters were wonderful, and I feel as though Nancy Osbaldeston and Laura Bruna (the dancers for those parts) were the only ones who truly became those characters. Cinderella, Elena Glurdjidze, didn't seem to have enough emotion, and she looked as though she was going through her steps in her head like all the other company dancers. I'm also not sure if it was the director's wish, but her developes were always at 90 or 110 degree angles. I kept in mind that it's true audiences expect height over technique like turnout nowadays (not a good thing), which is what made me wonder if that was just part of the director's request or if it was a distinct characteristic meant for the part of Cinderella... but it also made me wonder if Elena was capable of doing it at all? Hmm, some things to ponder.

The Prince's companions Junor Souza and Max Westwall were wonderful, but there were times when Junor Souza's detournes were shaky. Max Westwall did everything as though he was the prince. All in all, I felt that Cinderella and the Prince were out-shined by far and that the stepsisters made the ballet. Not a good feeling to go out with. It makes me wonder what I would have felt like if I saw the evening performance with Erina Takahashi, the senior principal dancer that I wanted to see so badly.
Henry and I left feeling indifferent about the ballet with our stomachs still full. So we wandered for about a half hour looking at places that we wanted to eat at. Eventually, we came to a Szechuan restaurant which turned out to be completely satisfying to my Chinese food craving taste buds. Although, I think I stuffed myself silly and my health streak went down the hole. Especially after we after some Japanese crepes for dessert! I had a green tea gelato with mixed fruits (banana, kiwifruit, and strawberries).
We safely made it back from London and all along the way, I took pictures of the London Victoria station, train, and Brighton station as it was our last trip back.

It makes me sad that I won't be going to London again because I absolutely love it there, but I was happy to be back home in my warm snuggle bed in Brighton. I love just as well, though Brighton because it reminds me many times of Oahu, my second home. And it makes me think of my grandparents every morning. So I will surely be sad when I leave this place... which is why I'll be working hard for the next two to three days to finish my final essay very early! I want to play and make amazing memories while everyone is working as I enjoy a blissful and dreamlike time in England...

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