London continues to amaze and discombobulate. Shall we begin with discombobulation?
I began my first week of classes at King’s College London! Thankfully, I made the wise decision to scope out my classroom locations before the first day of class because I quickly discovered that the Philosophy Building is actually not a building. It is an impossible labyrinth with seven floors and four different staircases that all lead to different classrooms on each floor and skip some floors entirely. The building is so convoluted that you would think it was equipped with Hogwarts’s moving staircases. One of my professors kindly supplied all of her students with a map. If only it were a Marauder’s Map…
I am taking three philosophy modules and one history module. Essentially, I spend a large portion of my life hitched to Hume, hoodwinked by Hobbes, lassoed by Locke, and badgered by Berkeley. Instead of asking “what do you study?” here, people ask “what do you read?” This is indicative of the fact that you spend far more time on your own reading primary texts than sitting in class in the UK.
I often learn more outside of the classroom than I learn within because London is a mecca of culture and art. I recently saw the Lion King! I awoke in the wee hours of the morning and lined up outside the theatre with the hope of acquiring an elusive discount ticket. It paid off! I proudly lounged in my front row seat and felt very much part of the show because the actors ran up the aisle beside me and roared at me. Lions (sans the tigers and bears), oh my! In the UK, people traditionally consume ice cream during intermission. I felt compelled to partake, purely for tradition’s sake, of course 🙂
I also attended Lumiere, a stunning light festival that illuminates a myriad of different historical sites all over the city! Westminster Abbey’s magnificent light mural with changing colors impressed me most of all.
To wrap up my gleeful reflection on culture in London, may I present to you a magnificent site… Hampton Court Palace!
King Henry VIII and his six sorry wives transformed Hampton Court Palace into the epicenter of royal affairs in the early 1500s. Originally built in the Tudor style, the Hampton Court Palace we see today demonstrates an ecceltic combination of both Tudor and Baroque architectural features because King William III undertook a massive renovation project in 1694 with the intention of making his palace rival Versailles. Fun fact: tennis was invented here!
Lastly, I have discovered the joy of London’s bountiful outdoor markets! On Sunday, I mused through a vintage market replete with traditional British fashion for both ladies and gents.
However lovely the clothes may be, my heart will always belong to the food.
After dining on classic fish and chips for lunch, my sweet tooth cried out, forcing me to seek out dessert. Within the last few years, gourmet doughnuts have taken the London culinary scene by storm and now “posh doughnuts” constitute one of the most popular delicacies in London. Naturally, I began a quest to find the best bakery in London. So far Crosstown Doughnuts is a good contender.
But then again, Belgian waffles are delicious as well.
Speaking of Belgian waffles, I am headed to Belgium this weekend! I shall dutifully report back on how authentic Belgian waffles compare soon 🙂