It's 12 a.m. here in Paris. I'm sitting in the "Chill Zone" room of our hostel and I can hear people cheering and clinking glasses at the bar outside. I feel sticky and am definitely going to take a shower after writing this. But the view out the window is of romantically lit cobblestone streets, so my situation isn't so bad.
It was a bittersweet ending in London. My friend Madonna and I had just gotten used to the city, succesfully manoeuvering through the tube by ourselves on the last day. We also did streeters on Oxford Street for a class assignment and were surprised that our stone-faced interviewees met us with warmth.
I didn't get to blog everyday like I wanted to, so I'm just going to highlight the most memorable times of our London leg of the exchange below:
We got to visit the London headquarters of the Guardian, where I geeked out just a tiny bit. We were given a tour of the offices (sadly we were prohibited from taking photos), which was open concept with floor to ceilling windows and funky, colourful chairs. I saw a glimpse of proofs for a magazine with Alexander Wang on the cover in the fashion section and empty cubicles in their travel section (it was a Monday). We then got to sit in on a news huddle, listening to journalists discuss pressing issues in Europe and how to translate them into stories. Chris Elliott, the Guardian's readers' editor, explained the publication's history and answered some of our questions.
In grade 12, I told myself that if I ever went to London, I'd go to Camden Market and buy a pair of creepers. Sadly, I did not fulfill that goal eventhough there were so many stalls with plenty of different styles of creepers to choose from. Instead I bought a blue, printed dress with a collar from one of the stalls.* The market was as eclectic as I pictured it to be, where both buildings and people had a lot of character. Maybe next time when I have more room in my suitcase, I'll finally grab a pair of creepers.
*Tip: Do not show your love for an article of clothing in the market. The vendor will see and eventhough he's offered you a lower price, he'll raise it because he knows you really want it. SHOW NO EMOTION.
The British Museum
I wasn't expecting anything unique from The British Museum. History interests me, but it's always laid out in the same way held in the same regal, ancient building. But enter the British Museum and amazing architecture and rare artifacts collaborate to create a jaw dropping combination. Once you enter and move past the foyer, it opens up into an enormous hall with a curving glass ceilling and a winding, stone staircase in the middle. The main attraction is the Rosetta Stone, which is in a room on the left. Just like with Van Gogh's pieces in the National Gallery, it was surreal standing infront of this artifact that I'd only read in history books.
Shopping. Sales. Topshop flagship store with a mini food court inside where I bought bubble tea. Sales. Street fashion that's on point.
It's 2 a.m. now and the temperature is 28C. Thanks for the warm, sweaty welcome, Paris.