Thursday, May 1, 2008

i peed in parliament today

also noteworthy: i walked on art.

luke and i have done so many things today that i can't even remember it all. i'm glad we met up with Farah for dinner, because she was able to show us around a bit and give us advice on what's worth checking out. with her cute british accent. afterwards we went pub hopping and discovered different kinds of beer that we liked (and some beers that we didn't like). the pubs were pretty packed, even for a monday night, probably because the chelsea-liverpool "football" "match" was on. we watched too, and figured out which team we were rooting for based on which one was winning (chelsea). it made us feel very british.

the hostel here isn't too bad - it's pretty clean, friendly and secure, compared to the montreal hostel i've been staying at since i was eighteen. communal living is a little strange though - i am not as used to getting nonchalantly naked with strangers as i would have expected. plus my roommates here are all in bed by the time i get in at midnight, and they are all up and out the door by 6AM. what on earth could they be doing so bloody early in the morning?

luke made me get up early this morning so we could have a full day. we decided to hit up all the stereotypical London tourist things today. we took a stroll through Hyde Park over to the Serpentine Lake where we saw two ducks mating. luke thought they were just diving for fish but i knew better.

we also watched the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. they had a cavalry and a marching band. i thought they'd play something traditional like the national anthem, but the band played a jazzy version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", which made me miss the days of being in concert band.

we tried to go to 10 Downing Street to see where Margaret Thatcher led the world with an iron fist into a decade of conservatism, but the security there was too confusing to get in. instead, we went over to the houses of parliament (BIG BEN!) where we sat in on a session of the House of Lords. Luke and i were in search of the crazy ghost of Lord Denning, and his crazy crazy rulings in law cases. yes, i am fully aware that this makes me a nerd, but i thought it was all really cool.

after that, we wandered down the River Thames and saw a million tourist traps that we weren't willing to spend money on. until we found the Tate Modern! which was, to my shock, free. and totally awesome. i had really wanted to go but wasn't sure if luke would be into that sort of stuff, but surprisingly he said it would be cool, so we went. it was mind-blowing to see all these famous works of Pablo Picasse, Diego Riviera, Piet Mondrian, Jackson Pollack, Andy freaking Warhol and probably more guys that i am too excited to remember. Luke called it all a con job and may or may not be considering dropping out of law school to become a similar con job artist. there was a special Marcel DuChamp exhibit going on (complete with the L.H.O.O.Q. installation) but they were charging us money so i didn't want to go. sigh. it would have been so cool. as a little girl from little old ottawa, i have never seen so many famous works of art up close. IT WAS SO COOL. again, i realize what a nerd this makes me, but that's what i like about museums - they make it seem a bit more hip.

we took a long walk back, stopping by another pub for more british beer, and i got to try british-made fish and chips for the first time. we also almost got kidnapped by some scientologists on our walk back, but my quick thinking saved the day. no tom cruise just yet!

other british things i'd like to find:
the spice girls
that park that Mary Poppins goes to.
bangers & mash
Thom Yorke

bedouin soundclash is playing at the hostel cafe right now. canadian music makes me miss home. okay i better go. i don't intent to keep posting long entries like this -i'm just too tired to go out tonight so i'm staying in this time. gotta get ready for tomorrow - luke and i are going to go see King Lear at Shakespeare's Globe!