Last we left, Jac and I had just made new British friends and were off to find the place to get my checks cashed. We wandered down to the Strand--its this street in London that ends at the Savvoy--remember Notting Hill? Yea, that Savvoy. Anywho, we found the place really easily, cashed my checks, then went back to the bank to deposit them. We walked by some nice theaters and a lot of shops. While I was depositing my checks, I ended up talking to the cashier about American politics and how nervous we all are. I'm thrilled to find that most people in Britain are all about Obama. They all kept asking if I had voted, and I told them I had done my absentee weeks ago. After the bank, Jac talked to her friend Hollie who is from Wales, but works at Parliament in London a few days a week, and stays at International Students' House when she needs to stay overnight. We took the Tube to Leicester Square in Central London. This is where a lot of both film and stage theaters are, and where a lot of film premiers take place.
We got off the Tube and met Hollie, who was the sweetest little thing. She is only 19, but already has her own house, job she is passionate about, boyfriend, and cats. The British school system is different--they are all finished university and everything by 18. She also knows everything. She took us from the Square down to Trafalgar square, where the British Art Museum is. Most museums in England are free, so the girls went in to explore a bit--I sat outside and people watched because my feet were killing me and I feel like art museums need the time to be appreciated. From the Square, you can see the London Eye, Big Ben, and the Queen's Gate, leading to Buckingham Palace. I felt like I had finally arrived. There were so many different types of people and so much going on.
After the girls were done with the museum, we walked through the gate and through St. James' Park toward the palace. There were a MILLION different geese and birds there. Hollie had bought us some bread to feed them, and they were the most aggressive animals EVER. This one friggin' goose BIT my ankles twice trying to get bread. They were a lot nicer to Jac.
After the birds, we went up to the palace, but it was hard to see as it was getting dark fast. We walked back down the other side of the park and came out by Big Ben. Since it's attached to Parliament, we passed by this group of protesters who have been living in tents since the British Government sent aid to the US in Iraq. That was in 2004. They have been living in tents on concrete for almost 5 years. Needless to say, I didn't say anything when we passed to protect my American accent from getting our butts kicked. From there, we looped back up to Leicester Square to get dinner. We went to this great Japanese place called Wagamama's that my dear dear friend Chelsie Houser told me about. It was really good food, and we stayed there drinking green tea for an hour talking about cultural differences. After dinner, we walked back to the Tube station, made plans to meet today for shopping (all window for me) then went on our seperate Tubes. It was almost 10 by the time I got back to the hostel, and there was this huge party going on for one of the managers that was leaving. A lot of drunk people. It was like I was back at school.
So now, I slept...a little bit better. I totally crashed until 9am, came down and had breakfast this morning (the milk wasn't luke warm!! WOOHOO!!) and have been updating this. I'm going to head out to Bunac soon to use their facilities to look for a job. I've been pretty good with money, but I'm already paranoid. Especially since I need to find a place to live, and all that. After I do my thing at Bunac, I'm meeting Jac and Hollie for window shopping on Oxford street, so I am still getting out and seeing the sights. I miss you all, but am doing ok now that I have some friends :)
Talk to you tomorrow.