Please be advised that the lack of posts is not due to me neglecting my commitment but due to lack of internet access. I took my final final on Wednesday and from there went straight to Gatwick airport to catch my flight to Barcelona. Yesterday my parents and I wandered around the city-a HUGE city, might I add. We were here in 2001 but only for an afternoon/evening. That short span of time was full of excitement though. As it was December we came upon dozens of Christmas markets selling every style of nativity set you can imagine and witnessed the strange tradition of kids hitting a log with a stick. That fateful night was also the one during which my mom's purse was stolen at an internet cafe. Don't worry though, I stole it back from the perpetrator before he knew what had happened. One of my prouder moments.
As promised, here are the posts I haven't been able to get online until now:
~We Specialized in Pencils~
My parents arrived in London on Monday. Being fed up with studies, I decided to meet them at the airport. The ride isn't exactly riveting but it was nice to turn my brain off for a bit and just kick back doing absolutely nothing. Once they arrived we dropped their bags off at a friend's house (thanks L!) and caught the train up north to Highgate Cemetery (link). The two sides -east and west- are separated by a narrow, steep road. On the west is the more overgrown, dark, gothic-foresty area which boasts a lot of creative headstones as well as some famous people; Karl Marx likely being the most well-known. Wandering around is not allowed on the west side, visitors must go on guided tours (I guess it might be to prevent tourists from stealing bits of things? Who knows). The east side, however, is open to meander through. We spent an hour or so enjoying a stroll through the forest. The cemetery is absolutely massive! Many of the graves were really not that old (I expected some ancient relics for some reason) but the vines had overgrown the majority of the markers which gave it a warm, earthy feel. Recently I have grown to enjoy cemeteries a lot. They used to really freak me out when I was young. The thought of treading the ground over someone's body seemed incredibly disrespectful and, well, just plain rude. I don't know what changed my feelings about it but I find them really peaceful now. That doesn't change the fact that I refuse (as much as any dead person can) to ever be buried in one. I don't want my remains to be stuck in one place. I want them to be scattered to the earth and seas so they are in thousands of places at once. I want my ashes to become part of growing plants and animals. I want to be in the flowers in the mountains and in an octopus in the sea. Being at this cemetery though I can see why some people would want their bodies there for eternity. It really is gorgeous.
During one of our train rides my dad and I were discussing pickpockets. We both admitted that we really wish we could be a good pickpocket. It seems not only cool but also pretty handy. A recession-proof skill. Apparently my dad went one step farther than I in his career. He and a friend actually attempted to become pickers of pockets during his school days. They “specialized in pencils” as he put it. Each week they would take as many pencils from people's pockets as possible and the person with the most at the end of the week was the winner. He didn't say what the reward would be, other than a huge pile of pencils, but he did say they were quite successful. That is, they were until his friend stole from the school bully and things got a little more dangerous.
Not much to write about as I studied most of the day. We did have a good drink though that is worth mentioning. Mom and Dad met me at school in the evening to get a tour and we ended up having dinner there in the bar downstairs. Yes, all you Utahns and state-school kids, I said bar. At school. Things are different in wonderful ways here in London! Dad ordered a Bad Habit shot which, though he didn't share, looked delicious. So whip out your double shot glass and give this a go. First pour in a shot of Peach Schnapps (if you know me AT ALL you know that I firmly believe this to be the best way to start any drink). Next, take a spoon and flip so the curve side is up and slowly pour a shot of vodka over that. The aim being to allow it to float on top of the schnapps. Ok. So now you have two shots of clear stuff and, while you can see a line where the two meet, it isn't very sexy. For the final touch put a tiny bit of a berry juice in the spoon -curved side down this time, of course (our bartender used black currant but that's a lot more prevalent here than at home so use whatever berry juice you can come up with). Really lightly, barely touch the spoon to the side of the glass above the vodka so that the juice makes contact and seeps down between the layers. The result is a beautiful shot; clear all the way through with a magical hint of color in the middle. Well, what are you doing still reading? Off to the liquor closet with you!
The sun can never be far from the nearest palm tree and Barcelona is full of them. It is also full of tall, dark, handsome Spanish men so that's an extra bonus. I decided I am going to contribute to the hot guys reading books blog so I am always on the prowl for a suitable subject. While we were on our tour bus yesterday I also resolved to create a Hot Guys Riding Bikes blog. Dad and I began discussing the possibilities of new sites and came up with: “Trashy Chicks Throwing Up” and “Get a Room” (dedicated to pictures of unabashed and socially inappropriate PDA; inspired by a couple in the park that were going at it so fiercely we were worried someone might get hurt).
Also of note is my habit of now looking right when I cross streets instead of left. I did not anticipate getting programmed so quickly for the backwards-driving ways of the Brits but I have almost stepped in front of several cars here in Spain and am trying to rewire my mind again. Oh! And I saw a t-shirt I really liked. The essence of it is this: the usual evolution tee with various stages of man's existence. First, the chimp, predictably. Second, a man standing upright. Third, a man bent over with the weight of carrying a cross. Fourth, a man standing upright with the Pi symbol above his head. I'm not sure how to google that to find a picture but I will give it a shot.
Funny line of the day: Mom offered Dad a bite of her sandwich and when he took it from her he asked,”Can I pick my zone?” I laughed so hard! I mean everyone does that when they are offered a taste of someone else's food, right? If someone hands me Ben & Jerry's I always scout out the chunkiest bite or if it's, say, a pizza I look for the most satisfying section. It just made me laugh that Dad actually put words to it.
Things Barcelona does better than London: Sun. Sangria. Spanish. Strollers. Nachos!!!
No L s
As I type, I am sitting on a train to our next destination. I can't get inspired to read a book or even take a nap. What I want to do is run around. My body was dedicated to studying for so many days that it is craving a good hearty burst of exercise. I want to hike a mountain, or ride a bike for hours, or go swimming, or run. Not even yoga sounds enticing. I want something that exhausts my entire body so much that I can't move my arms for the next two days. Perhaps if the doors didn't prevent me from doing so, I might exercise up and down the cabin. That may seem odd to the other passengers but at this point I am not sure that I care.
Things I Miss from Utah (besides all my lovely friends :)
Decaf Chai Tea from the Tea Grotto
Nachos from D'Edge
Brewvies with Kristen
Briewvies with Kristen & Alex
Parties at the condo
The way it smells when it rains in Utah
Walks at Liberty Park
Andrea, the girl who cuts my hair
Being excited when it rains because it has been soooo long
24-hour Smith's right across the street
Tank top weather
Ruth's Diner Biscuits