Monday, March 30, 2009

Of Mice and Men...

Actually, the men bit of the title is a little misleading. We're 40 girls. Come on. If I were to be more accurate, I'd say, "Of mice and menstruation." The mice bit, however, is all too spot on. In our lovely (and messy) (and cramped) bedroom on the fourth floor, we have recently acquired a 12th roommate, a little harrier than the rest of us and a little more petite. It's caused quite the raucous here, and I seem to be the only one concerned with the fact that roommate X does not yet have a name. How sad.

Honestly, that's perhaps the most exciting thing that's happened all week. For the most part, I've been lying on my back in bed, sick, and trying to breathe through a solid wall of, well, congestion, in my nose and a swollen and throbbing throat. No, I make it sound more miserable than it was. Wait. Yes, it was that miserable. The sickness started with a few girls in York, and with 40 of us on a bus all day for 5 days straight, the germs were bound to spread. Sadly, Elizabeth and I both missed out on the Wednesday trip to Brighton because we were at our very worst that day. We did, however, have a good time sleeping and watching movies -- About a Boy and House Bunny. Quality stuff.

Oh wait, actually, I have done cool stuff. Last Monday, I made it to not one, not two, but three museums. First I hit up the Natural History Museum, which was really large and sort of hard to navigate, especially since apparently every school in the UK had decided to take a field trip there that day. I enjoyed it but was sad the one room I really wanted to see had just been closed -- "The Earth today and tomorrow." Next I went through a small portion of the Victoria and Albert museum, which is a lot like the Louvre in that it's pretty much impossible to see even a fraction of it. Finally, I went with Elizabeth to the Imperial War Museum. I wasn't expecting what we saw there. By the time we'd gone through the Children's War Exhibit, which examined the Battle of Britain from the children's view, and seen the 30-minute documentary on genocide and crimes against humanity, I could only make it through about 10 minutes of the Holocaust exhibit before I was too distraught to go through the rest. That was a seriously emotionally taxing museum, but it was incredible.

I also hit up the British Library last week, something I've been looking forward to for the last year or so. It is actually really modern -- the building is only from the late 90s, as in 1990s. They had on display the original writings of authors like the Bronte sisters, William Shakespeare, Sylvia Plath, and, my very favorite, Virginia Woolf. They had part of Virginia Woolf's diary on display from when she was brainstorming about writing Mrs. Dalloway, one of my favorite books. Seriously, a really cool thing to see. They also had the works of Handel, Beethoven, and the Beatles, and also the journal of Leonardo Da Vinci. So many cool things there.

We also saw Swan Lake, one of the two rivaling productions here in London. The other production, the one we didn't see, is the homosexual interpretation of it. Well, I don't know how good that one is as I haven't seen it, but the one we saw was, in a word (or two), INDESCRIBABLY AMAZING. I was enthralled the entire time, and by the time the last curtain fell, I was still ready to watch them for another three hours. Ballet -- well, ballet that is well done -- is one of the most beautiful celebrations of the human body. I was awe-struck. It might even top Les Mis as my favorite production I've seen in London. Sorry, Mom.

Also, this week there will be a G20 summit conference here in London, so leaders from all over the world are arriving (including Obama, woot!). Security is pretty crazy everywhere, so the professors are glad we're going to be in Paris most of the week. There are several huge protests being planned for this week, many of them right down the street. There have also been a lot more bombing threats. It's an interesting experience to be here while such a huge world event is taking place in our backyard.

Today is the day I whip out all my groovy moves and write two essays, read a novel, and prepare an oral presentation before class tomorrow morning. After class, we have a meeting about Paris, and I'm going to go through Kensington Palace, finally! I mean, it's right across the street... then Wednesday-Saturday is in good ol' Paris!

Sorry there are no pictures. I didn't exactly feel inclined to photograph myself congested and pale and disgusting-looking. You do understand.


Liesl said...

Of COURSE I understand. And I'm also amazed that you got to go to the British Library. I've heard many a good thing about that library. Hope you're feeling better.

Wendyburd1 said...

I am so sorry you got sick!! I have a really hard time with the Holocaust stuff too, while it affected me the most in History class as Mr. Brown made it all so real, it still upsets me so much. Have you seen The Boy in the Striped Pajamas? I sat there with my hands over my mouth at the ending.

tenorios said...

good gosh woman! there is no time to be getting sick! remember... you are living my life too! hahah. no, but really.. i hope you get better! get some oj in your system and boost your immune system up!

Sally said...

I'm sorry to hear your sick. I'm sick to hear about the mouse. I'm thrilled to hear you saw swan lake. I'm ecstatic to hear you're in Paris during the G20 summit!

Mandy said...

You live in the most beautiful city I have ever been to. (And I've been to a lot of cities.) I am so jealous.

Anil P said...

Always tough to be down and out with so much to look around but still you managed quite a bit.

It must be quite an experience going through all the displays in those musuems. We hardly have any out here.