London Calling

I’ve been in London for a little over a week and I’m finally starting to feel like I live here

One of the most hilarious experiences we’ve had so far has been figuring out how to use our appliances. Our stove and oven are both gas instead of electric, and none of us had ever used anything but electric appliances. After about 30 minutes of “preheating,” we found out our oven was never really on. We quickly turned on our kitchen fan and learned how to actually light the oven.  The electric kettle is a gift from the gods, but sound like a rocket ship when it’s boiling our water. The washing machine also sounds like it’s going to blast off while taking two hours to wash our clothes. We overflowed our dishwasher the first night, and there were suds everywhere. Hysterical laughter ensued as we rushed to get towels.

We’ve navigated the grocery stores, but we had to shop three times before we had a normal experience. Our first day here we ran out to get just a few things before going on a walking tour of our new neighborhood. We rushed through the store to find out our walk had been pushed back. We tried to go grocery shopping last Sunday, but the one across the street closed at 5 pm. Lots of store are closed here on Sunday. Even some drug stores. We rushed down the street to next closest supermarket, and were thrilled to find it open.  We were in the store for 10-15 minutes when workers started to tell us the store was closing soon. It closed at 6, and we had no idea. So we actually shut down the store and got in line when they finally told us the store was closed. The third time, we got to the entrance of the store and had to wait outside because they had power dip that shut down all of their freezers.

We’ve been to the Borough Market both Saturdays we’ve been here, and it is a foodie paradise. Their fresh produce is wonderful and super reasonably priced. I ate my first meat pie this weekend. It was steak and gravy in puff pastry sent from heaven. We bought spinach and feta and almond croissants (each on a different weekend) and tried our first cup of mulled wine.

Camden is the young music and arts area that I’m lucky enough to live in. It’s crowded on the weekend with people pouring in go to the markets and stores. Today we went to Primrose Hill and Camden Stable Market. Primrose Hill has gorgeous views of the entire city skyline. The stable market is full of shops and food from all over the world. Chinese, Mexican, Lebanese, Greek, pizza, hamburgers and crepes. Ciera had a falafel wrap and I had a ham, cheese and spinach crepe.

We’ve spent a lot of time on the Southbank. We’ve been to the Tate Modern and took a bus tour that brought us to all of the quintessential London sights. Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and Tower Bridge. It was nice to see all of the sights and really feel like we were in London.

This week will be my first full week of work and classes, so it’ll be interesting to see how everything works out!

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