Things I Learned in London: Days 2 and 3



  • The coffee shop/bakery across the street from me sells the best latte I've ever had. No, seriously. It is that good. Here is it. Apparently it's part of a small chain, but if it serves coffee this good, I don't care. Also, their regular coffee is quite nice as well. The only thing I don't care for is their insistence that everything should be served on a small plank. A plank is not a plate. Even trenchers had a carved indention. It's not that hard, people.

  • If they tell you that they have crispy bacon, they're lying. Or else "crispy bacon" is code for "not-crispy-at-all bacon, but it has grill marks. See?" On the other hand, ham hereabouts is amazing, and I don't even really like ham all that much.

  • Public restrooms are hard to come by. Some places don't have them at all, some places hide them unless you ask.
- Traveling and being an introvert is hard. I'd been pushing myself because, after all, I don't have that long here, and I'd intended to do another day of that, but I just... couldn't. So I didn't. And I feel better for it. I wish I were young and able to keep going endlessly on four hours of sleep (or even seven) but there's no denying that this just isn't me anymore, if it ever was. I found the TV lounge in my dorm today. I've never been so excited to sit in a quiet room with exquisite windows and watch Wreck-It Ralph. Oh, and part of something on either the BBC or ITV about Victoria. Whatever. My ankles are thanking me. 
  • Transit here is amazing. Now, I have a thing about buses and trains. I didn't even remotely get to use them until I was an adult, and there was always a bit of a stigma about them, and trying to figure out how to use them makes me all kinds of nervous. I got over it in Chicago enough to use the L with decent competence., but I still haven't mastered the RTA in Cleveland. The Tube and the buses though? No problem! I'm sold. Whatever it takes to keep the trains running, we should pay for it.
  • This gentleman in marble behind me is George III. Yes, the one we fought the Revolutionary war against. This bust has him in a (in my opinion) ill-advised Roman get-up. Behind us both is the King's Library. He decided it was a shame that the British king didn't have a good library to speak of, and so he set about correcting that. 
As you can see from the picture to the left, boy did he ever. There is a square room many stories high (6,7?) in books all all the way around it, all in glass, in the center of the British Library. That is the royal library he created, that was bequeathed to the British Library by George V. Needless to say, that was one of the more awesome things I've been able to see thus far. 

- I shopped at a green grocer today. The differences between food stores hasn't stopped tripping me up yet. I have some semi-healthy plant material for my room, however, along with some cheese and juice. It's enough for snacking at any rate, without falling back into junk food. 

- "Veg" as such foods as "vegetables" are commonly called here, are strangely handled. It's as though despite years in the EU, they don't entirely know what to do with them hereabouts. I ordered a bacon quiche at the BL only to discover they'd hidden enough corn in it to call it a corn and bacon quiche, but they didn't. I ordered pasta last night with chicken, mushrooms, and roasted tomatoes, and got three halves of cherry tomatoes for the whole plate. I ordered a salad the other day and got a few greens, but way more Caesar dressing, rendering a lot of it only vaguely edible (again, see faux "crispy bacon"). Also, while I know courgettes and aubergine, what the heck is rocket? Greens of some sort, it seems? *shrug*

Tonight I think I'll finally try fish and chips, unless I decide to order in, as I've learned I can get apparently good fried chicken delivered -- the decadence! Stay tuned and see! 





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