Monday, January 25, 2010

Plays, Food, and Churches

Thursday night = Les Miserables. Ok, I had heard it was good. I was even aware that it's very good. I was not prepared for it to be phenomenal. The music is incredible, the acting was incredible, and the characters were incredible. The play was done at the Queen Theatre, and they had a rotating stage (like a giant lazy susan) which made the travel and scene changes very cool. I would marry the girl that played Eponine (but only if she asked me). When she died in the play I shed tears. That's right, two tears came out of my face during a play. And I'm not even ashamed of it. I was absolutely floored by the play and I hope to swing things so that I go see it again before heading out.

Friday = Westminster Abbey and Borogh Market. Westminster Abbey is one of the coolest places that I have been to. The place was packed, and they're redoing part of the floor and a different part of the ceiling, but it was still a wonderful experience. I wish that they'd allow us to take pictures inside, but I understand why they don't. When we first got there I was just kind of taking everything in, and I looked down and figured out that I was standing on Charles Darwin. For those of you that haven't stood on Charles Darwin, I recommend it. I was kind of like, "whoa." Isaac Newton is buried there (or so someone said) but I didn't get a chance to look at his grave. I got to go in and see Mary (King James' mommy) but Elizabeth I's memorial was being worked on as well, so I only got to see the not-as-pertinent monarch, which is fine because the whole time I was just really excited to make my way over to Poet's Corner. Eventually I got over there. Pretty much everybody cool is buried and/or memorialized there (Shaky's grave is in his home town, which i'll get to eventually). Eliot, Browning, Byron, Tennyson, Johnson, the list goes on and on. I finally made my peace with Charles moonwalking across his grave. So now I don't hate him and his writing anymore. By far the best was the original, still standing grave of your friend and mine, Geoffrey Chaucer. I just kinda walked up silently, laid my hands on his grave, and stood there for like seven minutes. Dude was short (like under 5'5" short), but the man could write. I was all about getting the chance to see his tomb, because he's a freaking legend.

So Westminster Abbey was a great experience, then they walked us over to Trafalgar Square. They set us free after a few moments of explanation and asked us to go to the British Museum, which was very close. But I wasn't about to go to a world-class museum when I could go eat ostrich burgers! So I figured out that Caitlin, Audrey, Macy, and Emma were going to Borough Market as well, so I joined them. I couldn't find ostrich burgers the first time, but they knew where they were. It was amazing, especially because I hadn't had a burger in two weeks (TWO WEEKS!) so I needed to get my fix. So I'm standing there eating my burger way too fast and I figure out that the sign says 'kangaroo burgers' on it as well. So I've got lunch planned for this Friday already. Little joeys here I come. Afterwards the girls wanted to look around, and i'm all about free samples. I found what is known on the streets (aka on the label) as "Whiskey Honey". I decided the best way to do things was to try it and then check the label to see if it's alcoholic. So I did. 4% malt whiskey. And SO good. I almost did the same thing with the Ale jam, but decided to keep my alcoholic tendencies in check. Till this Friday... Post-market I had forgotten that I was with girls, and girls apparently like to shop. So I tagged along till I was insanely bored, then headed home for dinner, homework and all that jazz.

Saturday = temple trip and 39 Steps. I got up early, got into my pretty clothes, and walked through Hyde Park to the chapel. Around 7:45 the Branch President got there in his van and we all piled in. We had all six of the young men from the branch there: Pedro 1 (the first one I met - large brazilian boy), Pedro 2 (tall, skinny, hilarious kid), Daniel, Carlos, and Victor were in the car with Daniel (young mens president), and el presidente. Giovanni rode with his family and Rui met us there. I got to ride shotgun. I hadn't even thought about being in England. I sat down on the left side of the front of the car...and there's no steering wheel. Then President starts driving on the wrong side of the road! Well, actually, it took about one and a half seconds to get used to the idea. After that I kinda just pretended like my car was driving itself and turning when I thought a direction in my head. It's a little over an hour to get there by car, so I had time to talk to President. Dude's got a sweet story: he grew up in Southern Spain and was a really good boxer. So he and his mom moved to Las Vegas where he got to be an even better boxer. He told me that he would do early fights before the giant fights, so he had some big crowds watching him. (PS - His mom is Japanese and his dad was Spanish, so he's pretty cool looking as is). Eventually he turned 19 and decided to go on a mission. He really missed boxing, and his trainer was a bum, but he stuck it out (boo ya) and went home honorably. Once home he decided that boxing wasn't where he wanted to be, but he couldnt' get away from it completely so he decided to study to be a personal trainer. He was at a party later on and a man walked up to him and recognized him. Turns out they were neighbors in Spain and the man recognized President (but Pres didn't recognize him). Also turns out that the man was looking for a personal trainer. Oh yeah, and it also turns out that the dude was a professional soccer player here in England--played for Arsenal. So basically Pres's life fell in to place and now he's rockin' the job of his life in London, England. Great guy. Temple trip was great and I got to do the baptisms for all six boys from our branch.

Naturally, the second I walked in the door (around 3pm) Katie, Kellen, and Britin were on their way to see a play. So naturally I went with them instead of doing homework. I had a crazy crappy seat off to the right side, but we were close so i got to see most everything. The play was called 39 Steps and was a spoof on Alfred Hitchcock movies. It was very funny and very well done. There were only four people in the cast (3 men and a woman) so they switched a lot of roles and only one of the men stayed the same. My favorite part was when the main character is running from the cops. They dropped a white curtain and used shadow puppets to show him running through Scotland. He ran down a hill and crossed some water on the back of a sea monster. Then a deer chases the two cops, stops near the man who pets it and jumps on its back, and then the next scene starts. I really wish I had better seats, but it was a good show nonetheless.

Yesterday (Sunday) was pretty chill. At church Reesa, Jenn, Audrey, and I all bore our testimonies. Now everybody knows that I speak Portuguese, so they opened up even more to me. One of the brothers even told me that he wanted to have me over for Brazilian food soon, so I'm already stoked for that. We were also told that they play volleyball Tuesday and Thursday nights. I'm all about volleyball and Audrey played in high school, so we're more than likely gonig to hit up the chapel Tuesday night. Got home and had Mary take me to the British Library so I could figure out how to get there. Then ate dinner, hung out, and read for 4 hours so I could finish Oliver Twist on time in order to write the class's quiz about it. Today (Monday) was spent in class, going to the British Library to get my "frequent reader card" (everyone is jealous cause you have to have special permission to get one, and it lets you in to more than just the foyer/exhibition of the library), eating dinner, and going to the grocery store. Tomorrow should be pretty low key as well, so that's the end of this novel.


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