Friday, July 19, 2013

tower of terror

Our day started with this sign, which is a little spooky and which I feared would be the nature of how the rest of the day would go. Luckily, it was not. All the same, it's nice to know what's holding the tube up, right?

The Tower of London is a fun place to visit, and it’s especially fun when the weather is nice and the crowds are thin. I wish I could say the crowds were thin today, but at least we had great weather. There are a few destination spots at the Tower; if you see them, you can safely say you’ve done it. And then there are a little hidden and out of the way places that few people know about. But they are usually just rooms filled with a bunch of tapestries and some goblets. We latched on to a Beefeater fairly early on, and made it our mission to stick to him like glue, no matter how many people were on his guided tour. As he moved from place to place along the grounds, we held each other by the shoulders so we wouldn’t be separated, following him like a dragon’s tail.

I’m not sure I learned anything new about the Tower today, but I always like to see the portcullis and hear about beheadings. When we got inside the little tower chapel and sat down I felt a little sleepy and thought I might take a nap during that part. I put on my sunglasses so I might appear to be awake and listening, because that would fool everyone! Turns out it fooled nobody, and my students teased me about it for the rest of the day. Anytime anyone felt a little sleepy or yawned they would put on imaginary “sunglasses” and then laugh at my pathetic attempt to get a surreptitious nap.

The only other story of note from the Tower was when I distractedly walked into the ladies bathroom. An Asian lady grabbed my arm to prevent me from going in. “A woman?” she asked, incredulously.

A group of us went to Primark, because some of the fellas wanted to buy swimsuits (more on that later) and the ladies wanted to look at some sweaters with cats on them. While in the checkout line, Josh decided that he wanted to grab a last minute shirt, so he left his place for a moment. We convinced a French lady to refuse him reentry into the line. When he returned she slid her beg in front of him and said “No. no-no-no-no.” Josh sheepishly slunk behind her in line until we started to laugh and he realized the joke. That French lady was awesome! Also, Jason had some trouble with his credit card until it was solved, and the Indian cashier gave him her number.


Tonight we saw a new play called The Night Alive, written by Conor McPherson. I liked it a lot. I love just about anything we see at the Donmar Warehouse, because it’s always so intimate and the acting is always so fascinating. The lead actor was Ciaran Hinds, who is in There Will Be Blood and Persuasion and Harry Potter and a million other things you would recognized him from. He’s put on weight and he’s got an impressive mullet in this show. He’s also very heartbreaking and hilarious. I loved watching him. True to just about all Irish literature, the play is darkly funny and surprisingly violent. One moment the characters are dancing around to Marvin Gaye, and the next moment someone gets a hammer to the head. I don’t know what this says about the Irish as people, but it sure produces some fantastic literature.

After the show we walked down through Piccadilly Circus and Emily led us all to a delicious Gelato spot. A group of us climbed aboard a double decker bus, just to ride the double decker bus. We wound through the city, which is always so beautiful at night, walked around Victoria for a bit, and then ended at the Fish and Chips shop near our flats for a late night dinner. Everyone had the fish and chips except for me. I had chicken curry, and they all seemed so positive that I would be up all night with diarrhea. Well, jokes on them! I slept like a rock and woke up fatter than ever.