Welcome Friends, If you are viewing this page, you are on my blog that I plan to use to document my journey here in Europe, more specifically London. I borrow my blog title from Christian author, Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life. In this book,Warren provides insights on how to seek your own purpose, authorized by God, by examining your life over 40 days. I go on to say all this to point to the fact that I do indeed believe that this entire journey, as well as what I have gone through in life thus far, is in fact part of the plan that God has for my life. I cannot easily say what my purpose in life is yet, but I do feel that I am called to do great things. To say the least, I hope you all enjoy reading as I continue to post. Feel free to comment and let me know you are thinking of me, as I am surely thinking of you. Keep myself and my cohort in your prayers; we greatly appreciate it.
Sunday, 19 February 2012
Me in front of the Tower Bridge
The London Eye
The replica version of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
I haven’t blogged in a few days, OK more than a few days, but I haven’t been being idle.School hasn’t really had me busy, but I have had the chance to get out and enjoy more of this city. A few things I have done over the past week include going to the Portobello Road market, planned a trip to Paris, and I went to a Shakespearean Play—A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Portobello road was nice.It was like a vintage street sale with all these old items and flea market type things.I wanted to buy so much, but settled on a jerk chicken sandwich and a hand painted poster of London.Both were good. I could have bought at least fifty things for my late grandfather. There were old tap shoes, Mohammed Ali memorabilia, a pair of old school boxing gloves and shoes, and Billy Holiday this and that. All of these are items I know he would have loved. Among these were some true antiques, stamp collections, street art, handmade jewelry and too many other things. But, as you can expect, a lot of that stuff was a rip off.
We will be in Paris from March 2-5—that’s all about that for now.
The play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one I have seen and read a bunch of times, but this production was very unique. In fact, it was complete with stand-up comedy, splattered paint, audience participation, musical numbers, and a food fight; all things that are not usually a part of the original, more traditional productions.But it was great. It was held at the Lyric Theatre, right off the Hammersmith tube stop. This area of town is quite nice and I look forward to going back.
We also threw a house party / potluck dinner last night. Our guests were our friends from Germany, Norway, and Sweden. Everyone was asked to bring a native dish, and although it didn’t exactly happen this way, what was brought to eat was good.Especially these smoked salmon wraps. The party was great and was followed by a night out to a club named “Propaganda.” That was good, too. The whole night was great.
And so is my last week or so. I now have a list of some things I want to do in the weeks to come, which means more posts for you.Thanks for reading people.Until next time,Cheers.
Samuel Johnson once said, "Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."
We heard this quote on a bus tour. I have only been here two weeks and two days and I cannot agree more.Just walking this city gets one excited.Not to say that things are so much different than back in the states, but there are some differences that make you say, “Wow, the Europeans really have it figured out.”I learned recently from a bus and boat tour that the reason that they travel on the left side of the road is because that’s the way they would travel back on horse as they fought battles two thousand years ago. The swordsmen would carry their swords in their right hands to jab their opponents as they rode by on horseback.Thus, they have not changed it in two thousand years. That was just a small anecdote that I found interesting and thought I would share.It is after all when we find the answers to our questions that we become enlightened.
Beyond that, we have done so much in so little time already and I am having a blast.Since I have been here, I have taken quite a few walks alone, discovering some of the other neighborhoods and boroughs that border our own. It is in doing these walks that I found, many good street vendors, Buckingham Palace, the church I ended up attending this past Wednesday and Sunday, and the pub that my friend recommended for me to visit.
The latter two, bring me to my next point. The pub, Ye Old Cheshire Cheese, which was renovated in the 1600s and again I’m sure since then, was by far the most authentic pub experience.The layout is rustic, the feel is cavernous, and the food is great. I had fried mushrooms, chicken breast, chips (fries), and a hard cider, all while I read a few chapters from the bible.The service there, as in many pubs, is expedient. No matter how many people, no matter how much food you order, you are not waiting more than 10 minutes.That is something I have yet to experience in the states.Not to mention, the servers are very nice, as are the bar tenders.
I went to the Bloomsbury Baptist Church on a Wednesday night for a violin recital, but ended up staying, after I was invited, for a bible study called “Exchange.”Both events run weekly, but exchange is specifically aimed at students and visitors to this country who want to have a faith-sharing experience.I met so many people that night and upon returning that following Sunday, everyone knew me.People spoke to me as if I had been going there since I was little or something.What surprised me most were the people who hadn’t met me the previous Wednesday who came up to me saying, “You must be Dorian.” I enjoyed the service, and was just overwhelmed by the love of people who hardly knew me.
I joked with a friend saying that I may not come back home, and I said to another that I definitely need more than one semester here.It may not happen close to my return, but I will definitely be back to London. I know this will be the case because I am not tired of living.
Our orientation at London Met went quite smoothly, although their process was not the most practical.The campus is really nice; it’s quite modern in both its architectural design and facilities.Beyond that, we have met some really nice people.So far, our favorites are the people from Norway.It is remarkable how nice and laid-back they are.They are even quite funny even though they do not quite understand American sarcasm.
The school has put us on to so many different opportunities that are available to us as students from another country (although we have paid for it with our tuition).We have already visited the International Student House, more popularly known as “Ish.” They have everything: a bar, a club, theater nights, student accommodations, discounted events, bus tours, weekend trips and much more.We will definitely be going back.
There was also a police officer from the area who will be working more closely with the university who answered so pretty risky questions for us.The orientation staff told us to be prepared with crazy questions of all kinds.We learned from him that it is alright to walk with beer on the street; pepper spray is illegal (in fact, its equivalent to carrying a firearm); and where not to buy weed in order to not be ripped off or seriously harmed by lacing. Furthermore, he disclosed how much weed you could carry before you get arrested. I forget the exact amount but he said we could basically serve the whole lecture hall and not get in trouble. Not that any of this applies to me, but I found his honesty quite respectable and he was funny. His overall message by no means was to go out and be crazy, but more so to be safe and act responsibly at all times. The best part of his presentation was the surveillance video he showed us.We saw exactly how pick-pockets work and boy are these people creative. No one is safe, so as I walk down the street and sit (or stand) on the crowed tube, I am more than alert.
The first day of class was quite good apart from getting lost in the maze that is the main academic building.After my first and only class of the day, I spent twenty minutes trying to find my way out of this building.It exists as maybe four or five buildings connected to one another, with rooms and colored zones in no particular order.The kicker is you can only get in and out of the complex from one building.That is, unless there is a fire. And such is the conclusion of my writing about school for this week. I still have two more days of classes, three classes to go. I look forward to them all.If all of them go as well as the first day, and are interesting, I should be good. And if they’re not? Then I will still have to be good, convincing myself it’s the best class I have ever taken.