One of my best friends from the States recently finished her semester at sea in London, so I popped over to see her for a couple days. Amid the general hugging and squealing that comes with seeing someone from home for the first time in months, I realized the painfully obvious fact that London is massive. Districts I had never heard of, the sprawling Underground (not being able to walk everywhere was a rude shock after Dublin), unbelievable throngs of people everywhere (compounded by the fact that it happened to be a bank holiday)…
It was dizzying.
It was also a lovely time. Both of my days there were miraculously sunny; we wandered around parks, took a boat ride down the Thames, and cruised around on open top buses. In Trafalgar Square, we stumbled upon the annual Vaisakhi festival, celebrating the beginning of the Sikh New Year with classical and bhangra performances and amazing-smelling food. We went to the Ambassadors Theatre to see “Stomp,” which uses dance and ordinary objects to put on an incredible percussion show.
On my last night in London, I met up with a friend from Wash U who spent the semester at University College London. She talked about how much she loved her intensely artistic and musical neighborhood, the variety of friends she made at her college, and being handed a cricket medal by Imelda Staunton (a.k.a. Professor Umbridge).
Last year, I had considered spending the spring in London, and my weekend there was terrific. But when I touched down in Dublin again, it felt like coming home.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Bea Gantzer, and I am a junior English major at Washington University in St. Louis. I'm a distance runner, baker, and Minnesotan. This will be my first time out of the United States, and I look forward to experiencing a new culture, soaking up Dublin's rich history, and getting little-kid excited over seeing buildings older than the U.S. itself.</span></p>