London Calling and Harry Potter
My summer is beginning to look slightly more hectic than an average semester at Oxy. I just arrived in London this weekend and have started work at Reach to Teach, a charity that designs curricula and helps spread education in India. I’m going to be working on the central part of India, and it’s really cool to be sitting in London and still making a difference for my own country. Another first day at work, another manic Monday, another broken down train…living like a local has its disadvantages. I spent most of yesterday in the park, reading. I really love London. It’s a beautifully historic and cultural city, and I could spend days just exploring on my own… But back to reality. Today didn’t get off to a very efficient start. I reached the train station only to find it closed for maintenance, which led me to take another train to get the metro line I wanted, except obviously that would have been too easy- turns out the Circle and District lines are closed. For a month. So, I have to change 3 trains to get to work, which is not too horrendous, I guess. At least the weather is nice. Yupp, you read that right- the weather in England is actually beautifully sunny and warm- I don’t want to jinx it. The office is near Charing Cross, which reminds me- In light of the release of HP7 Part 2, I decided to go on a self-guided walking tour of London to all the film locations. I did go to the “real” Diagon Alley and Platform 9 ¾ (It was a sticker on a wall outside Kings Cross with half a trolley stuck in it- interesting, but nowhere close to what its made out to be).
My advice on the tour is to go to Goodwins Court-it actually looks like Diagon Alley and has this awesome vintage sweet shop that reminds me of Honeydukes with its floor-to-ceiling shelves of glass bottles with hard-boiled sweets and ancient cash till). Also, The Great Scotland Yard actually looks like the outside of the Ministry of Magic- unfortunately the ‘visitors entrance’ phone booth was brought in for the shoot and doesn’t actually exist, but get a picture with the ones on the other side of the road, just for kicks. Even if you aren’t much of a Pottermaniac, London has to have something that will interest you. I grew up going to the Science and Natural History Museums, and the first library I went to was the London Public Library. Alright, enough about my Hermione Grangerness- London is amazing for musicals too. I’ve seen Wicked thrice and The Lion King five times. I’ve actually always wanted to eat my way through Europe, and I started with a tiny Thai restaurant near Queensway called Tuk Tuk. It has pretty good food, and the people are nice. I best be getting some sleep- waking up at 6AM does nothing for my intellect. Cheerio! (Yes, I am aware that is a perfectly cliché British stereotype. Sue me-but be warned-my entire family are lawyers.)