Seize the day.
The enjoyment of the pleasures of the moment without concern for the future.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
My first day at the uni was pretty cool. I’m enrolled in International Criminal Law (“ICL”) and Comparative Constitutional Law (“CCL”). ICL appears to be very easy. There is no final exam in this class. I am only require to complete two group presentations and two 3-page papers on a subject related to ICL. CCL, on the other hand, appears to be a bit more challenging. Although we do not have any busy work, aside from assigned readings and briefs, we do have a final exam at the end of the study abroad program. The first day consisted of the typical explanation of the syllabi and the schedule going forward. We were even let out of class early.
My first adventure started off with taking a picture with the sexy, young chap posted who happened to be on my campus. I think we look good together, don’t ya think? Thereafter, we went to Ryman’s bookstore to pick up a book for my classmate. The cashier helped a man in front of us. The cashier gave the man a card to receive stamps for the purchases he made. The man turned around and gave it to us. He said he was visiting the city from London and did not need it because he was returning to Namibia. We thanked him for his generosity. My classmate proceeded to pay for her purchase. The cashier was so interested in us being from America. He praised our dear country and even gave us an extra stamp in order to redeem a £10 gift card. We thanked him for his kindness as well. He mimicked my accent and said, “Bye Y’ALL!!” I laughed for 10 minutes straight and departed from the bookstore. Subsequently, we headed to a West African and West Indian restaurant nearby.
Comida y Política.
We sat down and ordered. The food was delicious. I was shocked to know that in Africa, they refer to peas as beans. The taste was slightly different, but it was still good. The restaurant owner started talking to us about America. He was fairly informed. It made me feel a bit inadequate to know that individuals from other parts of the world are so educated about the current American politics, yet, I know nothing about their current events. The restaurant owner said he loves President Obama, but Bush and Reagan are “fucking idiots.” He also expressed his dissatisfaction with the health insurance issue. He wishes that America had access to free healthcare like the UK. This entire conversation inspired me to do better to become better informed about international politics, but I digress. After the meal and wonderful conversation, we paid for our food. The restaurant owner gave us this dessert for free (#winning). It was coconut mixed with tangerine and other stuff rolled into a ball. You dip the ball in cocoa dust. It was good, but it triggered a mini allergic reaction. I encouraged JA to eat the remaining desserts and we left. We headed to the room and took a nap. When we woke up, I really wanted to go see the Queen and the guards, so we headed to Trafalgar Square by the tube.
Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square
The Queen’s Guard for TPK.
The Queen’s Guard — I’m not touching you!!!
When we got of the tube, we faced the area called Trafalgar Square. I started taking pictures of everything! I saw that many people were taking advantage of photo ops in front one of the four gigantic lions. You had to climb this high monument in order to take a picture on it. I tried to get on top of it three times, but failed miserably. The reason for the failure solely was because of my fear of heights. I knew I could get up, but did not know how to get down. Eventually, JA convinced me to get up. So, I did and i’m proud! Getting down was the issue. We had to flag a stranger down to help me get down. He was really nice. JA got up there with ease and I took her picture and we headed in the direction of the Admiralty Arch. The Admiralty Arch was a building at the entrance of the Mall Galleries. The building was so captivating. We walked for about 10 minutes down Mall Galleries and spied a soldier. I almost killed myself, yet again, because I was going to jaywalk in order to get access to it. JA convinced me not to do so because she was sure there would be more guards at the palace. When we arrived across the street from Buckingham Palace, we were highly disappointed. The Palace is gated and you can’t even get close. We say tourists taking pictures through the gate. Now, that was WACK.
We retreated and crossed the street adjacent to our location so we could find the guards we saw earlier. When we arrive at the guards, we faced another obstacle — the bobbies (“police officers”). The bobbies told me that I could not pass the barrier and could only take a picture with the guard in front of that barrier. Talk about being devastated. I was so close to fulfilling a bucket list experience and could not do it. One of the bobbies sensed my disappointment and advised me to go around the corner. Hesitantly, I walked away with tears in my ducts, ready to let the waterworks flow. I knew he just wanted me to go away. I looked in the distance and did not see any guards on the corner. After taking a few steps, I returned back to the bobby for clarification. He said, “Just go around the corner and there is a guard there. …AND BE NICE TO HIM!!!” Whatever.
JA urged me to follow his orders. So we did as he said and went to the corner. No one was there. So we walked down that street. No one was there, so when we turned, we walked a few more steps and there were two guards there, barricade-free. I started squealing and jumping up and down. I was SO happy!!!! I introduced myself to him with hopes that he’d speak. He didn’t! However, I also asked, “If it’s okay for me to take a picture with you, say nothing.” He said nothing, so I went to town!! Since TPK told me he doesn’t want any keepsakes, I decided to pay homage to him by posing as he would in front of the guards. We took about 15 pictures in an effort to get it down right!!! JA told me that the guard was trying SO hard not to laugh at me. Tourists walked by cracking up. I didn’t care because I was HAPPY! I skipped my happy ass away.
We headed back to Trafalgar Square so that I could exchange some currency. We found a change station which was located inside of a gift store. I purchased gifts for my loved ones back home and then exchanged currency. We then saw a group of girls with Primark and H&M bags. We asked for directions to those stores and ended up in Soho. Before we could reach H&M, we started walking down the street until we saw many bubbles floating everywhere. We identified that the bubbles were coming from a four-story toy store called Hamley’s. We went in there and it immediately brought me back to my childhood. Everything you could imagine was in there. We spent about 45 minutes in that store having a blast. I found a toy for Applesauce Bawse and we left. We finally found H&M and spent some more time in there. The store had a lot of cool stuff, but I couldn’t fit it and we left again. It was getting late and we were STARVING, so we went to the tube station and headed home. We didn’t realize that we damn near walked home because we were only one stop away. I showered, read and briefed for class, ate my left overs, and knocked out. Great day, indeed.