Let’s get the apology out of the way. I’m so sorry for not having written in forever, but please keep in mind that I am abroad trying to have the best time of my LIFE. But I am sorry. But this entry is going to be a big one.
[Author’s Note: to my disciples: I apologize to you as well.]
Something else to get out of the way: The dramatic stuff. I’m homesick. I’m very very homesick, as of today. And I shouldn’t be, because I’m the luckiest broad abroad right now, and London is making me feel like the only girl in the world, but I’m homesick. I miss my dog, I miss my best friends, I miss iced coffee just plain iced coffee, I miss iced coffee. I’m off for a month now, and hardcore considered asking Big Kev to ship me home instead of me traveling but that would take away from my experience of living in London for six months. Going home can’t be that easy, taking the easy way out would make me weak and I’m stronger than yesterday, ya feel? Instead, I’m going to Venice for a week and Barcelona for two weeks, where I’ll explore and try good food and have the time of my life.
Greetings from my bed in Southeast London where I’m sitting here on a Monday night with my friends Ben and Jerry and their pet Phish, it’s an ice cream joke. I realize I haven’t written in a while, and I have my journal here ready to go. So let’s see… When I last wrote on here, I was about to go out and see Urinetown, I think.
Wow, that was almost a month ago. This one’s going to be a doozy, this post. I’ll have to use my journal for reference. I can’t remember two hours ago, let alone a month ago. Jeez.
So Urinetown was incredible. By far the best musical production I’ve seen here so far, even better than Les Miz I think. Richard Fleeshman, who plays the protagonist Bobby Strong, is so handsome and he can just TAKE ME. TAKE ME RICHARD TAKE ME. According to my journal, I listened to a lot of showtunes that night, March 4th.
March 5th I apparently had a very bad dinner and saw a dance piece. I remember the dance piece, obvs. It was called Border Tales and was about London as a multicultural and racist city. Had a mixed message, an interesting one. The Irish man in the piece was very friendly and reminded me of someone. I can’t put my finger on who.
March 6th I did my laundry! And it dried all in one go, which is seriously a Christmas miracle. I saw a play about apartheid that night, where the audience was separates into whites and non-whites, but then the separation was never addressed. It was very uncomfortable. I went to a cool bar in Chinatown called Opium, where there was no opium being done, sadly. Would have made the name more authentic I guess. I had a tea cocktail which was surprisingly refreshing.
On March 7th, I wrote that I felt like I was starting to burn out. BURN OUT, MAN. I was feeling tired because I’d seen 40 shows in two months in the city. WOW WHAT AN #ACCOMPLISHMENT. I love it here, I’m just tired, I said. That day, I woke up and went to the Tate Britain whereI was very overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of art contained in the one building. Incredible. Then I went to Daunt Books, which is one of those bookstores you always see on lists on Buzzfeed like “10 Bookstores Literate People Need to See To Believe Before They Die Of Old Age Like That Couple In the Notebook By Nicholas Sparks That Will BLOW YOUR MIND and WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IS SO UNEXPECTED.” It’s a really cool bookstore. Then I went to CocoMomo, this cafe I’d been dying to go to and try their latte, which was, as expected, BODACIOUS. Then I went to dinner, meaning I took myself out on an extravagant date with myself to Bar Boulud where I had a burger so flavourful I started to weep. Not kidding, not a jest, this is very real. I started to cry the burger was so fantastic. Then I went to the opera at the Royal Albert Hall. It was overwhelming and amazing. I had no idea what was going on because it was being sung IN ITALIAN WHICH I DO NOT SPEAK AHAHA. I think someone dies.
The next day was a Saturday and I woke up late and walked around the city and saw the first show I’ve ever left at intermission/interval/halftime. I was just so put off by the show.
That Sunday, I saw The Drowned Man for the sixth time. I woke up at noon and headed to Paddington where I got my standard pre-Drowned Man meal at a pub near the warehouse where the show goes up: a chicken sandwich and a Coke. I walked into the pub and waved hi to the bartender who knows me by name and order now YIKES and he gestured for me to be quiet. There was a rugby match on and the place was dead silent. Until the home team scored and everyone went NUTS. So fun. I went nuts too. After, I went to the show, which was originally supposed to close on March 9th, but keeps getting extended, and I had a premium ticket, and it was worth EVERY PENNY OH MAN. Such an incredible experience. My mask was covered in stage blood afterwards. 😉 After the show, I met up with Jesse Kovarsky, who is in the show and who graduated from Skidmore in 2010. He was very nice and it was nice to spread some Skidmore lovin’ all around LONDON.
The next day I went to class and saw Billy Elliot, which was supremely moving, as usual. My first time seeing it in England, my fifth time seeing the show, and I think my last. The show has gotten me through a lot and that night it felt like it was telling me it was time to move on, and that it would always be there if I ever needed it. I don’t know if that makes sense, but oh well.
That Tuesday, the 11th, I met up with my friend Emily for a late lunch and a pint before heading to do some work at a Caffe Nero before seeing an incredibly disturbing World War I music hall show. I went to karaoke that night on campus, where I rocked “Listen” as sung by Beyonce in Dreamgirls. I’m a star I guess shine bright like a diamond.
The next day was a good day, until my class went to see Stephen Ward. It was a truly abysmal musical. Made no sense. I wanted to leave at intermission but wanted to see if they could top the tackiness of the first act, in the second. They did.
Woke up at two on Thursday the 13th, cooked dinner, and saw a musical that may have been worse than the one I’d seen the previous night. In a cagematch of bad musicals, this would be a close fight.
On Friday, according to my journal, I ate 6 oranges. That day, I got up and went into Central after picking up my tickets for the show that night. I sat in Starbucks and had a stay-in coffee for the first time ever – a venti coffee literally comes in a bucket. I met my friend Ellie for dinner and we went to MeatLiquor, this unbelievable burger place that has amazing fries. Ellie didn’t love the fries, but someone’s gotta be wrong some time. Then we saw The Drowned Man and obvs it was AMAZE.
Saturday I guess I spent the day being weary of the Ides of March, since it was March 15th. HAHA. Went for a run through Greenwich today, which was really nice. Made a quick pasta dish for dinner and then headed out to see an American play, Other Desert Cities, which was given a stellar production in the round at the Old Vic. It was stellar.
On Sunday, the first part of my family, Aunt Kate and Uncle Tom got here. I met them at their hotel around noon. We went to Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, which is where soap boxers can get up and speak about anything they want and debate with the other speakers. Mostly religious fanatics speaking but it was a lot of fun. Then we went to lunch, where I had the next burger on my burger quest, the Ari Gold Burger at Patty and Bun – the best burger I’ve had so far. I didn’t cry, but it was just so flavourful and an all around amazing burger. We walked the North Bank to St. Paul’s and then went back to their hotel. Tom and I went to the pub around the corner while Aunt Kate showered. We went to this CRAZY THAI PLACE that wasn’t very good and that was WAY TOO BIG. A full two floors of a restaurant. YOU CRAZY?
On Monday, I showed them around Olympic Park and the South Bank. Then I did some work at the National before seeing an Irish play (on St. Patrick’s Day no less) at the National. It was bizarre and confusing and was performed by a 95 year old woman speaking in a combination of English, Gaelic, Latin, French, and gibberish, and she was playing a river apparently but it was AWESOME and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE.
On Tuesday, I went to class and saw my 50th show since being here – Matilda the Musical, which did not impress me to be quite honest. In New York, the show was light and lovely and I cried a lot more than a 20 year old should have but here it was dreadful in every sense of the word. The kids were great but the parents and other adult characters were NOT COOL. Or particularly memorable. Didn’t cry.
I skipped a few days of proper entries because my parents were here, which was really exciting. Here’s what we did:
Thursday: They got here and were jetlagged and my sister was sleepy so sleepy like a little stuffed rabbit so we walked around the South Bank and got fish and chips and went to the London Dungeons which were SO TOURISTY and then got dinner in Marylebone. Then they went to sleep and I trekked home.
Friday: I met them at the hotel for breakfast with really great coffee (FINALLY) before an all day tour of the city that was SO FUN. Our tour guide Mitchell shined bright like a diamond. What a gem. We walked around Covent Garden and saw this hilarious street magician whose improv skills were sublime before getting dinner at a pub before seeing The War Horse, as the lady next to me called it at one point. It was my second time and my parents and sister’s first so it was fun. And interesting to see it from a different perspective.
I let them have the day to themselves to cover all the touristy things I’d seen or will see before meeting them for dinner, where I had a great burger with crispy bacon (FINALLY) at Burger and Lobster. Cripsy.
On Sunday, we went to the Tower of London which was the best non-theatre thing I’ve seen since getting here. Even better than the Rothkos at the Tate Modern. Then we went to Selfridges where my dad bought me a great new backpack, from Herschel. We got dinner at The Ivy, where a lot of famous people ate in its heyday in the 1930s. And me. I’ve eaten there too, so now I can say I’m a famous person from the 1930s. Call me Noel Coward HAHAHA.
The next day they came down to New Cross to see my flat and my school and then they left. Class was cancelled so I did some food shopping and worked out and did some homework. No theatre this week, except for Thursday. I watched Downton Abbey. Good.
Tuesday night all of note that happened was my knock-out performance of Beyonce’s Love On Top at karaoke.
On Wednesday, I went to class. And then to a Skidmore in London pub night, which was nice.
Thursday, this past Thursday, I went to the National and drank coffee and wrote an essay and read Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, which is a queer coming of age graphic novel that I’m working my way through right now. It’s really beautiful. I went to pre-Drowned Man pub and then saw The Drowned Man which was so sad – I followed a lot of the sad story lines that night. I cried a lot during the show actually. Some heartbreaking work.
Friday, I booked my trip! I’m leaving on Wednesday for Venice, where I’ll be for eight days, staying in a hostel near Piazza San Marco before traveling to Barcelona for thirteen!
Hopefully I don’t get mugged or kidnapped. That would really put a damper on things.
On Saturday, I relaxed and went to a pub with my friend Cynthia who I met in Lisbon. It was really great to see her! She’s hilarious, and her friends who were with her were great. I watched a lot of Drag Race today. Don’t tell anyone I’m gay.
I wrote on Saturday that I think I’m ready to go home. I really do miss home and my friends and my family and my dog. I say that now, but when I’m packing to go home to America in two months, I won’t be ready to leave. It’s exciting here and I love it here. This is the experience.
On Sunday, I went to Central for dinner, at a food truck, Bleecker St. Burger on South Bank which was a very excellent burger, before seeing and meeting David Sedaris at Cadogan Hall, a classical music venue in Sloane Square.
When speaking with Sedaris about theater and gender studies and Skidmore and my upcoming travels to Barcelona, he gave me a phrase to use in Spain to attract the prostitutes: “Dame tu leche, papito.”
Give me your milk, little daddy.
Tomorrow, I’m going to a silent disco at the top of the Shard, the tallest building in Europe. Hope I don’t fall off. That would stink. Especically before my big trip!