Somehow I decided a while back that I was going to cram my entire life’s travels into the span of a few months. After traveling back and forth between Philly, NYC, Martha’s Vineyard, and San Diego, I’ve finally ended up in LONDON. So here’s my life in London! I hope you enjoy!
One of the first things I noticed when I moved in to my apartments (aside from how horrible the traffic was from Heathrow to..anywhere) was how absolutely amazing my accommodation was. This is the view that I pass every day when crossing the Waterloo Bridge to go to our Strand campus!
Things at Stamford Street are pretty similar to my housing in Hill. We have a “flat” with about 8 other people and share a kitchen/common room, BUT we get our own tiny bathrooms. It’s actually kind of weird because it’s more like a shower with a toilet and sink in it (there’s no separate section for the shower!), but it’s still really nice not having to awkwardly meet your flatmates for the first time in a towel.
There’s been so much exploring this past week and just walking around London is beyond fantastic. The Thames runs through London so we’re constantly crossing bridges (and of course, taking touristy bridge photos), but it really makes for a beautiful scenery. A few of us went shopping along Oxford Street where there are about 5 H&Ms, a Muji (pen obsession), and every other expensive shop possible. One thing about London (and kind of Europe in general) is that all of the architecture here adds so much. It’s really cool wandering down a random street and knowing there’s so much history behind each building.
KCL’s version of NSO is this thing called “Freshers Week” and let me tell you, their student union ROCKS. KCLSU as they call it, actually has their own building on campus with a student run pub called “The Waterfront” AND a club called “Tutu’s.” Penn could definitely take a page from this playbook. KCLSU has been having events nearly every night and of course my flatmates and I had to go as the Spice Girls for 90’s Night…stereotypical? nahh. I found a random fanny pack that I was going to add to my outfit, and Beccy quickly corrected me (with a LOT of laughter), that I shouldn’t be saying “Fanny Pack” over here, because Fanny is slang for a girl’s privates. They call it a Bum Bag over here! I just about died laughing, and decided to not wear it in case I slipped the word again other people. Just kidding, I didn’t wear it because it looked hideous.
Beccy (Sporty Spice), Me (Baby Spice - I got forced into this one!), Anna (Posh Spice), and Francesca (Scary Spice).
Something that is really interesting is the drinking culture here. As everybody knows, the legal drinking age is 18 over here, so I’ve been able to go out to pubs and bars and what not. I’ve found that I much prefer the way things are over here - I can sit at a pub with everyone and nurse my Kopparberg (AMAZING Swedish fruit cider!) for over 4 hours and still enjoy the atmosphere with everybody else. It’s definitely more social which I find more fun.
Some of us here at the Waterfront. Notice the unfinished bottle in front of me that I started at 8. This picture was taken around midnight hahah
On Friday, I dragged Matt to the Malaysian Food Festival to “embrace my heritage” a little (in other words, eat loads of Malaysian food), and before we even got there, we stumbled upon ANOTHER food festival!! Oh the joy!! There were over 100 tents full of food food food food and in typical Madeline fashion, I took artsy pictures of random slabs of cheese and salami. We got a spinach and mushroom pie and tried samples galore.
We did, eventually make it to the Malaysian food festival haha. This is my joy at finding Roti Canai. We also had some Hokkein Mee yumm
On Saturday we joined a bunch of the American University students to go do all the touristy things all within walking distance of us! We went to Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and the Victoria & Albert Museum!
And what do you know? I stumbled upon a Dale Chihuly piece!! That’s the second time I’ve done that! Or maybe he’s just got installations everywhere.
Later that night I dragged pretty much everyone possible back to the food festival for dinner and finally got the deliciousss churros I had been “sampling for the first time” about 30 times.
Today, Max, Beccy, and I (Fun fact, they are actually British. For some weird reason I’ve met more Internationals and American students than British students!) went back to the food market and found a stand closing up selling everything for 1 pound. How could we resist?
This is the cake that inspired the title of this post. How many innuendos can you make about a rainbow cake?
Another thing I’ve learned since coming here, is that “pudding” just means “dessert!” I tried to explain what “pudding” meant in America and called it “custard” (is that even right?) to which one of them said “We put custard on our pudding” haha.
Beccy and I got these amazing fried risotto balls. Seriously need to learn how to make these…
So yes, this here concludes my first post! Tomorrow classes begin, and I’m hoping I can keep up - wish me luck!
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