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Katie: Living like a Londoner

June 8, 2011
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After last week’s funk it seems like I have gotten over the hump and am sailing smoothly for now. I still miss my family and home like crazy but I am enjoying my time here in London and it is starting to feel more comfortable and more like home. I was also reminded by a close friend that even though everything is different here and there may be some stumbles along the way, God is always constant and He is always there. This week has been the week of living like a Londoner. I am pretty much through seeing all of the tourist attractions and have been exploring the city more comfortably, like I belong here. I have realized that I enjoy experiencing everyday London activities more than some of the famous tourist sites.

Lblog_1This week I went to Speaker’s corner in Hyde Park and saw people stand on raised platforms ranting about whatever they were passionate about. It wasn’t as great as I thought it would be. I think I would enjoy it more if it included lighter, less serious, topics and didn’t include your usual condemning/political nonsense. A lot of people were gathered around and listening to the speakers, but it was not my cup of tea (haha my first London pun). Though I have to admit it was fun observing the event and how it drew people’s attention. 

I also had the opportunity to go to a legit Polo Match after being one of the first to respond for free tickets. It was very interesting to see how the upper class enjoy sporting events in London. It was also fun to see the game being played and how proper it is compared to the rough game of rugby. We received general admission tickets so we didn’t get grandstand seats but we were able to stand right up along the side of the field and experience all of the action. The entire event could be described as a high class carnival. There were tents set up for casual shopping and Harrods (one of, if not, the most expensive department stores in London) catered the event. A hot dog was 9 pounds which would be around $15. Let’s just say we ate when we got home.
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Lblog_9One of the tourist attractions we did go see this week was Westminster Abbey. This is near the top of my list of favorite things that I have seen/done in London. We paid the extra 3 pounds for the guided tour and it was worth every pence. We got to hear the background and history of the beautiful abbey and we even got to go in areas that the general public wasn’t allowed. We got to sit in the area that the little choir boys sat while singing at the royal wedding (of course the wedding was all I could think about while at Westminster). We also got to go in the area behind the main alter where the new Duke and Duchess went to sign their wedding license during the ceremony. 

When we walked out of the tube station there was a race going on right in front of Westminster. It made me want to run again so badly. Later that day I looked up races in London and am planning on doing the Victoria Park 10k later this June. I am excited to run again.

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A store that I discovered while wandering around the city this week was Paperchase. Oh how I wish we had one in Minneapolis. Myself along with every designer would spend days in one if we had time. It is filled with different weights and textures of paper, tons of cards and postcards, lots of objects with neat graphic designs printed on them such as boxes, bags, folders, notebooks, and laptop cases. They have it all! I managed to control myself and only bought 5 postcards, but I am planning a trip back very soon to look around some more! 

After waiting 7 years I got to see Wicked. I remember in 9th grade when the drama club went to Chicago to see the amazing musical and my mom wouldn’t let me go because I had already signed up to volunteer at a camp that week. Least to say I was very disappointed and have wanted to see it ever since. After looking for every opportunity to see it (without paying through the nose for tickets) I got to go Thursday night and it was utterly amazing. I was very impressed and look forward to seeing it again someday.

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Finally, the highlight of my week. This morning I went to Hillsong Church in London with my friend Sarah. It takes place in the same theater that the “We Will Rock You” Musical is housed in (the Dominion theater). Which is huge! There were definitely a couple thousand people there. The whole time I kept thinking that it is so cool that I am thousands of miles away from home and immersed in a new culture and surrounded by people that live in a different way than I, but our God is 100% the same. It was so cool to be able to see so many people on fire, worshiping the Lord this morning.

Now for some random things that Katie learned/did while in London this week, whoo!

  • this week was national ice cream week and I got ice cream from an ice cream truck for the first time in my life. it was great.
  • zip code is called a postal code
  • When a Queen is queen by birth right then there will not be a King appointed. [example: Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip]. When a King is appointed King because of birthright [i.e. Prince Charles and Prince William someday] they have the power to make their wife [i.e. Camilla and Kate] a Queen. This is because the title of King has more power than the title of Queen. That is why Prince Philip is only a Prince and not King – because Elizabeth was the heir to the thrown and she must have the higher power. So this means that Kate can/will most likely be given the title of Queen one day.
  • At the brand and packaging museum I learned that postcards used to cost only half of a penny to send and a postcard could be posted in the morning and arrive in the afternoon of the same day. That’s one fast snail to deliver the mail.
  • My teacher calls himself an “old fuddy duddy” I think this is humorous
  • The English say that they speak English and we speak American. Interesting.
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