On the whole, I simultaneously had a lovely yet mildly exhausting week. I often struggle with balancing my desire to be social with my desire to sit on the couch, or do some Yoga with Adriene, and paint my nails (and also, write these damn posts that I half write in my head and then nerve actually write into the world!) I know this is far from a unique feeling, but I’d been feeling pretty shit about my social being two weeks beforehand (because still being relatively new in a large office environment is intimidating, and because I realized I know three people in London and need friends), so I kind of overloaded my calendar for this week. For some people, having plans three out of five weeknights would not be tiring, but for me it is. I like hanging out with myself and Queer Eye, some nights, and that’s totally fine! Except that I just finished Queer Eye without realizing I’d gone through all the episodes, so now I need to find something else that warms my heart to the same degree. Let me know if you have any suggestions!
On Monday, I met two friends from my programme who were visiting London from Amsterdam. We went to Sichaun Folk near Brick Lane, which was a fucking glorious experience. Thankfully, they’re into the ‘order a plate and share’ mentality, so I got to eat all the things. I also accidentally ordered myself an entire bottle of wine while I was waiting for them, and managed to also decline three glasses in favour of one because I thought the waiter was asking me if I wanted three glasses of wine, not three glasses for the bottle of wine I ordered. But thankfully, my friends drank it, too, and all was well.
Nothing really happened Tuesday, but I took some pictures, so that’s something. Oh, I watched the big ole battle episode of GoT. Honestly, meh.
On Wednesday, I had two friends from my undergrad back in the States round for dinner. I learned an essential trick from one – buy the most expensive wine that’s been reduced at Co-op for a bargain ‘treat yourself’ deal. Also, I realized how freaking nice the back garden area behind my flat is. Turns out I’d not actually spent any time back there since I moved in in November, and I’ve been missing out! Granted, it’s been relatively cold up until recently – this night was no exception, but as it was, like, 10C we sucked it up and sat outside to eat our fancy cheese appetizers like real adults.
I went to Paris!! Yay for the Eurostar which can be relatively cheap if you book in advance, and thankfully trains are my preferred method of travel anyway. One of my best friends from high school was visiting her sister who is studying abroad, and her, her mom, and her sister took a weekend trip to Paris. I used to be mildly afraid of Paris because everyone always said that they absolutely hate Americans, and I was expecting people to throw tomatoes at me the second I stepped off the Eurostar. Turns out, not so! A general rule of thumb I’ve learned to get along with most people – don’t be an asshole. I met them late Friday night and we went to a random club call Fat. which was basically a weird high school fake grunge dance affair, and there were also people doing cocaine in the corner. Not really any of our bags, so we went home.
On Saturday, we went to the Picasso Museum because it was intermittently pouring out. When we left, it was sunnier, so we walked around Le Marais and then made our way over to the Eiffel Tower area. It was my friend’s sister’s last night there, and she wanted to see the Eiffel Tower lit up. We procured some macarons as a means to escape a surprise hail storm, and then ended up at a random cafe under a heat lamp drinking wine and eating a plate of fries, which is one of my favourite travel activities. Then, I ate the best steak I’ve eaten this year. AND THEN, IT TURNS OUT THE EIFFEL TOWER LITERALLY SPARKLES. That’s probably news to no one else on this earth, but it was news to me! I was actually quite moved by it – as I had been by the whole weekend really. I remember I almost cried on the train ride over because I passed this rolling fields that had wind farms on them and the sun setting in the background, and I was just like, Jesus, how fucking lucky (privileged) am I? How lucky are we all to live on an earth that’s so freaking beautiful?
FRENCH-FUCKING-TOAST!!! In France!!!! That’s all. Actually, no it’s not. My friend and I took the morning to ourselves. We went to the Arc de Triomphe, then to Jardin du Luxembourg because my friend wanted to see this specific park with the line of trees, and I thought that was the one she meant. Turns out, it wasn’t, but we stumbled across it anyway later on! My friend lost her dad six months before me – in a way completely different than I did- but it’s still so nice to be able to have someone who is going through the same shitty thing. No one’s experience of loss will be the same, but they are all valid, and it’s always good to have the support. Even more so, I feel less self-conscious about what I’m saying about death – sometimes I make weird jokes that make other people uncomfortable (or rather, unsure how to react), and I can make those jokes around her without being worried she’s going to think me unfeeling. We also stumbled upon a store called ‘Chicago Vintage,’ which was just too accurate (we grew up in Chicago).
I didn’t realize it was a bank holiday when I booked the tickets, so I went back home on Sunday night (or rather, took a train to visit my partner), and had a very interesting seat companion. Less than five minutes into the train ride, I was giving her relationship advice about whether or not this guy was right for her, amongst other things. Hopefully my advice was somewhat useful, Charmaine!