Eurotrip 2012 – London (Day 3)

Today was our earliest day thus far. We wanted to get an early start so we could best the crowds to the Portobello Market, a farmers/flea market on the outskirts of London. It was really a cool place, kind of like First Mondays at Canton, but more hipster and cool (because it’s in London, duh!). There were a lot of vintage clothing booths, tables with trinkets, and people trying to get us to buy things. Ali and I eventually settled on a table selling vintage scarves for £1 each, which was legit. We each got two, and they are adorable and versatile–I plan on use one as a table clothe for a bedside table in my future apartment. We weren’t able to check out the food section because it wasn’t open yet and we needed to get back on track. We had a very structured schedule today that had to be adhered to.

So, after the market, we zipped to the Wallace Collection to see a painting that Snigdha wanted to see or her fellow Art Majors would shame her. The collection was inside an old mansion owned my Mr. Wallace, whom I assume was either royalty or royally rich, but I can’t confirm either because I skipped that part of the exhibit. It was a really fancy house, though, and left me wondering how people could ever manage to visit every one of their multitude of rooms on a regular basis. I feel like they’d have to hire people to merely meander through their house to keep dust from settling on the very expensive decor. If that position exists and needs filling, you can find my resume on this site. I’m available at your earliest convenience…

Lunch was had at a Mediterranean cafe on the corner near our flat. That meal is now ranked on the Top 3 Best Meals I’ve Had In London list. I had a delicious sandwich with Lebanese bread, grilled veggies, humus, and more yumminess inside. We had a bit of time to spare, so we walked a few blocks from our flat to Gordon Square to visit the homes of the famous Bloomsbury Group, including Virginia and Leonard Wolfe, Maynard Keynes, and Lytton Strachey, and, by visit, I mean walk by. This may not seem that cool, but Ali and I studied Bloomsbury last fall (in a course entitled The Social and Intellectual History of Europe from 1780-Today) and I’ve been fascinated by it. Basically, a bunch of rockin’ intellectuals all lived in the same area and hung out together and theorized and relished in their own creative self expressions–and slept with each other, too.

Then, we took to The Tube and headed toward The Globe to get in line for the matinee of Shakespeare’s Anthony & Cleopatra (we were able to nab tickets in the standing yard yesterday, which was lucky because every other show was sold out). Thank goodness we got there early! The line outside ended up winding around the circular walls, but we were some of the firsts. That’s how we ended up watching the show front row, which here means with my elbows perched on the planks of the stage. The show was performed in Turkish by a Turkish theater company as part of their current series “Globe Around The Globe”, which features a different play by a different company in a different language every night. Although it was in a foreign language, it was wonderful (Old English is basically a foreign language anyway)! And, I got to pretend I was a peasant watching a show back in the renaissance…and see Shakespeare performed at The Globe for goodness sake! All in all, it was a great experience.

After the bows, we crossed back over the Millennium Bridge and headed back to the flat where we made an unbelievable meal of fried rice and vegetables. I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the meals we’ve been able to produce at home. They have been both delicious and fun to make. We all piled in to our 3×1.5 kitchen and cooked our little hearts out. It’s been a lot of fun cooking each other dinner, we feel so domestic. Plus, we like pretending that we live here…

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