27 February 2008

Days 4-7: Of Penpal Reunion and High-End Shopping

Over the next couple of days, I was in and out of Central London, as I spent the greater part of the weekend with my childhood friend Dalia. Dalia and I met in a swimming pool in Fort Lauderdale when we were maybe 11. (No, I am not making this up.) She was on holiday (insert British accent here), and my dad had some doctor convention, so we became friends in the pool, and remained penpals and, later, email buddies. I always said I'd visit her, and she's visited me in Florida before, so I finally came to London to see her!

I went to the British Museum before I made my way to Dals, and I was overwhelmed by the contents of the museum. I liked that it was free, but after roaming around for a while, I realized I'd been to a lot of huge museums recently and I wasn't that into it. A lot of the British Museum's collection is from Egypt and Greece, back when the British kingdom ruled the world / took relics from their native lands.

I also was not on top of my game during this museum visit. I think I was really tired, because I had a lot of stupid reactions to things. For example, I saw the actual Rosetta Stone (as opposed to the fake they had on display in the Egypt museum). You would think this would be exciting for me, but the only thought I had was, "The copy in Egypt is bigger." Ditto about everything else Egyptian there. I was like, I SAW all of this. I'm pretty sure if I had been with my mother or Rafi I would've started whining and demanded they buy me a snack. Another example involves the Elgin Marbles. Elgin took these marbles from the Parthenon in Greece. I, being the fine-tuned instrument you know and love, wandered around for a while, looking for the display case with the marbles in it. There was not to be a single marble-related game, for the Elgin marbles are actually carvings - in marble - that were all around the structure. That was the end of my stupidity.

Ok, so it was pretty sweet to see Cleopatra.

I'm sorry, I expected you to be bigger... [Insert Obvious Response Here]

Taking funny museum pictures isn't so fun without Andrew ES, whom I love more!

Recording my presence outside of the British Museum.

Then I went to see Dalia. I spent the weekend at her place, and we hung around, talking about the last 15 years of our lives. She's pretty well-versed in what's going on with me. We spent a great time hanging around in not-Redbridge, wherever it is that she lives again. We hung around her 'hood, showed me the local supermarket (I love grocery stores), went out to dinner, watched super-nanny, and did lots of other fun things. It was a great weekend!

Dalia and I enjoy dinner in her hood!

On Sunday, Dals and I went into central London to go to Harrod's and Harvey Nick's. These are two chichi shopping malls in London that are integrated into the cityscape, like Macy's on 34th Street. But where Macy's is (sometimes) affordable, Harrod's and Harvey Nick's are filled with super-expensive merchandise. Harrod's, for example, has everything, from fancy food (think Zabar's, but cleaner and bigger) to electronics, from $600 shoes to a pet department. Oh, and they have clothes, too. Dalia and I spent some time eyeing chihuahua puppies, as she debated purchasing a dog. I stuck to my guns, saying that being afraid of dogs maybe should prevent her from buying one, so we went upstairs to electronics, and she got a Wiiiiiiiiii instead. I managed to spend a small amount of money (relatively) on a few (more) paperbacks, so I could have some Harrod's bags. I think, after this trip, I was traveling with 10 paperbacks, and a siddur to do my Liturgy homework, and a couple of pairs of pants.

Look! Harrod's!

At Harvey Nick's, which is apparently known from Absolutely Fabulous, Dalia and I barely bothered with the schmancy clothes and went right to the cafe, where we ordered really, really expensive drinks made out of fancy things like avocado and kiwi (they were tasty, I swear). We also took lots of pictures of ourselves, trying to get the PERFECT profile picture for Facebook. Behold:

Harvey Nick's has some tasty stuff to drink...That Diet Coke was like 10 dollars...

Where'd she go?

Standard SBB.

Not as bad. I like my hair in this picture.

As we were playing around, I noticed these two, crazy-looking people walk in. I pointed them out to Dalia, and she gasped. Apparently, the Cheeky Girls (for real) are the Clay Aiken of England, if Clay Aiken were twins from Transylvania. Their most famous song is something along the lines of "touch my cheeky bum." Barf. Anyway, they looked fake and horrible and hilarious. Things started to heat up when Dalia and I entered into a dare-contest that didn't go anywhere during our snack. After we left the table, however, Dals decided that she wanted me to take a picture of the Cheeky Girls, but when we walked back, they had left their table. Sadly, we thought the game was over...until I saw them walking in the food store, so I played the nerdy tourist and got her in a picture with them. Hilarious! She may have pretended that she didn't care to take a picture with them, but honestly? She LOVED it.

The Cheeky Girls + Dalia.

After the malls, Dals and I went to the O2 center, where we went ice skating. Our hour on the ice was fun, although the skates were the MOST uncomfortable skates I have ever worn. EVER. Anyway, I taught Dal how to skate, and twirled around a couple of times before we made our exhausted ways back to her house.

Dalia's gliding skillfully on the ice!

That is actually my own leg. Flexibility still intact!

Reheated pizza, Peanut M&M's and Diet Coke never tasted so good as we watched TV and played with the Wii. Her internet was down, so I didn't do school as originally anticipated, but no worries. I got my bags ready for my trip to Rome, which commenced the following day. Before Rome, however, I traipsed around London (after a few hours of doing schoolwork for JTS. Really.). The resulting pictures follow here.

London Bridge!

London Bridge, as it turns out, is not falling down.

You are on Shoe Lane. Yes. Yes, I am. (My favorite bus sign ever.)

Last London picture, and I finally get the self-shot + Tube sign in the same snap!

It was really great to see her, and hang out with her parents, who had plenty of tips for things to see in Rome! Thanks to my fabulous London hosts! I hope to see you in Israel, or New York, soon!!!

There was morning. There was evening.
The fouth day.
There was morning. There was evening.
The fifth day.
There was morning. There was evening.
The sixth day.
There was morning. There was evening.
The seventh day.

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