This week of classes is probably the last easy, skate-by type of week and starting tomorrow, we are going to have to start hunkering down and penning due dates into our planners. Ouch. It’s hard to focus here when I know I could walk ten minutes down the street and get a Belgian waffle covered in melty Nutella. I haven’t done that yet because if I get one, I’ll never stop. I had salad for dinner tonight, so it hasn’t been all bad.
Last week, all the UNH-ers were required to attend one “meeting” with our on-campus advisor, Judy. The meetings were mostly so she could get to know us, so they were in cool locations. I opted to go to the Pub Quiz option at a pub down the street from school. Some other options were lunch at a garden cafe, or a field trip to some insect museum. I’m pretty good at trivia, so me and two friends as well as about seven other people from UNH went to the pub and attempted to beat locals at very British questions. There were references to some English sitcoms and actors and stuff that we knew nothing about, but we got some of it. It was pretty clear that we were strange foreigners. It didn’t help that I used the word, “cents” when ordering a cider at the bar. Also, a little qualm I have about pub chips…they never have enough salt on them. I don’t understand why the Brits make you salt your own fries. It’s blasphemy. Moving on.
Friday during the day, we looked around for places to get Michaela and Tiffany’s eyebrows threaded. We went into one beautiful Marylebone salon that said it would be 36 pounds! Thats almost sixty dollars, so that was not going to happen. We found a place called “Pharmacie” that was actually a pharmacy on the first floor, then in the basement there was a threading station and nail salon. Any sane person would find that sketchy and strange, but we went for it. I waited on the couch outside the room and watched exotic fish chase each other around a giant tank. I narrated their innermost thoughts for Tiffany and Emily. I’m making friends and they don’t think I’m strange at all.
Their eyebrows came out great, and it was only ten pounds each. Myself and two girls with bright red foreheads walked around Marylebone and poked around the boutiques that we aren’t worthy of setting foot in. There is a shop that I am completely and utterly obsessed with beyond words called Cath Kidston. It looks like Zooey Deschanel’s closet. Just do yourself a favor, and spend a few hours drooling over this website: http://www.cathkidston.com/
We also went into La Fromagerie which is a stunningly gorgeous Italian Market/cheese shop. They have a room called the cheese room where the air is filtered differently and it’s colder, but all the cheese is laid out in this beauteous display and you can walk in and just gape at it like the tourist that you are. The guy running it asked one of the girls we were with what her favorite cheese was, to which she replied, “Gouda.” He reached down onto a lower shelf, grabbed a block of something, meticulously cut us pieces of the velvety perfection, and gave it to us to sample. So now all gouda is ruined for me. It was luxurious, creamy, earthy joy. I can’t even describe it with language. I’ve been spoiled rotten. Here’s the link for this mecca of marvelousness: http://www.lafromagerie.co.uk/
That night, we split into two groups. Myself and three other girls ended up at the Camden Head pub and we met a bunch of locals, which was cool. They all seemed curious what we had done so far, and each one I talked to pretty much said the same thing: “You haven’t seen anything yet. If you liked “THIS,” by all means, go “HERE.” We got a bunch of suggestions of places to go, and places not to go. We were told that the cocktails in Paris are way more expensive than we would ever expect. That was disheartening, but we’ll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it. On a better note, the music at that pub was outstanding. Such classics as, “Born in the USA,” “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “RESPECT,” and per my request, “Come on Eileen,” completely brought the house down. That was phenomenal.
The Next Saturday, we went to Kensington Palace, where the Prince and Dutchess Kate Middleton apparently lived for a while. It’s right on the edge of Hyde Park, which is absolutely massive. Some other houses on the edge of Hyde Park had guards with guns. I’m kinda dying to know who lives there. One had an Israeli flag on the outside, and there were signs everywhere prohibiting photography. They had guns, so we kept our phones in the depths of our bags to avoid getting shot at. That would be a real downer. The Kensington Palace gift shop was huge and had amazing, albeit, overpriced gifts. I want to go back, but I’ve been incredibly frugal lately about that stuff. We also went to TK Maxx, which is the British TJ Maxx and explored. It was AMAZING in there. So many cute things, so much better than american TJ Maxx. I didn’t buy anything, but I was eyeing a leather jacket for 99 pounds. The selection is pretty incredible. I want to go back at some point when I can mentally block out the realities of the horrific exchange rate for a few hours. I did get a cardigan at American Apparel, but it was only 17 pounds because it was 70 percent off. Yay, frugality.
That night we got Indian food at a place called Chutney’s in Euston Square. It was reaaaallly good, but it was all vegetarian. Next time, we want to do Indian food at a place where I can get Butter Chicken or Chicken Tikka Masala. I got a curry dish that was amazing over coconut rice and we got homemade Naan to lap up all the extra curry sauce. It got me thinking…if Bolton were to get an Indian restaurant, I bet people would move out of town for the following reasons: 1. Culture. HOW DARE THERE BE POPPY SEEDS IN THIS SPOTLESS, WONDER BREAD TOWN. 2. Variety. WHAT IS WRONG WITH BOLTON HOUSE OF PIZZA? IS THAT NOT ITALIAN? SEE! WE DEVIATE FROM AMERICAN CUISINE …WHEN APPROPRIATE! And God forbid we have to cut down a tree to make room for it. There would be riots, I tell you. Riots filled with moms dressed in Chico’s and waving around tupperware containers.
But, in all seriousness…one of my requirements for a place to live post graduation is that it be within walking distance of a bomb Indian restaurant because Indian food is my JAM. My next post will be about Stonehenge and Bath. Just you wait a hot second.