Friday, August 7, 2009

Waistcoats and wife-beaters.

So far, this trip has been a huge success.

I'm having fun, making friends, seeing sights... I don't feel homesick, I haven't spent all my money, I haven't gotten ill, and even my course is interesting sometimes (when I am not just daydreaming about going to Stonehenge or Oxford Street). But I would say that one of my favorite parts so far has been the plethora of emails and comments and youtube messages I have received from British people giving me lists of things to see or places to check out or food to try - especially the ones who leave out the touristy places or the obvious spots and just tell me quirky stuff or their personal favorite things about this city. One person even told me about a giant maze I could check out if I wanted to perhaps pretend I was a Triwizard champion for an afternoon - YES I do.

I had a very lively, busy week, and even though it's been a blast I am very happy to have a nice quiet weeked at Alex's house. He came and stayed with me at my campus last night which as fun - we went out for Indian food with my friends Sarah, Rehka and Brie and then hung out in my little flat (it's a dorm, I can't help it. Sorry England). This morning we got up and booked train tickets to Edinburgh with the same three girls (where I get to see Eia and meet Liam wooo!) and then we left the University of Greenwich for the weekend.

We hopped on a train, and got out at the Victoria station where Alex tried to show me Google headquarters (that was a very short lived adventure when they turned us down at the front reception desk) but unfazed, we got back on the Tube, excited to get to East Ham so Alex could show me "The Who Shop" (a store that sells everything you could ever want that's Doctor Who themed). We got out at the station, walked across the street, and to our horror, the shop had a big metal thing pulled down over the front, a "For Let" sign hanging on it, and the inside was obviously cleared out.

We had a moment of panic, but then we checked on Alex's phone and apparently it had only moved to Upton Park (one station backwards). So that's where we went and I got to see a life-sized tardis and dalek and bought miniature versions of each. :)

Really silly things kept happening all day and I kept making note of them on my iPod so I wouldn't forget to write about them later, but I've forgotten what they all are so I need to look it up.

Right, so Alex and I got into a conversation that went something like this:
Alex: "That design looks like something that might be on a waistcoat."
Me: "What's a waistcoat?"
Alex: "Kind of like this *shows me a picture*"
Me: "Oh, that's a vest."
Alex: "No, this is vest *shows me another picture*"
Me: "Yeah, that would be a wife-beater."
Alex: *horrified* "What kind of name is a wife-beater???"

I thought that was pretty funny.

Also, we got to Barking station and I leaned over to Alex and said "Did you know this station is haunted?"
He just looked at me, unimpressed with my attempt on educating him about his own country.
"No it's not," he said.
"Yes it is!" I argued back. "They wrote a whole book about it."

I'll let you click the link and work that one out on your own.

I also spent part of the day rating Alex's yawns on a scale of 1-10 and I think he's probably ready for me to go back to America already. xD

That's all for today. I found out there was a Doctor Who film released 1996 (I was 8 years old!) and even though Alex absolutely refuses to watch it, I am going to go work on convincing him for awhile now. I'll let you know tomorrow if I was successful or not. Anyone seen it?


Tonioniniiii said...

first!? glad you're having a great time in lil ol' england :)

Bigred719 said...

I wish stores in the US sold Doctor Who stuff, I want a mini tardis!

I hope you continue to have a blast!

Tonioniniiii said...

i do apologise but i've never been first comment on anything before :) i would recommend somewhere to go but although i live in Britain i have never visited London town before *sad face*

hayleyghoover said...

I had no idea wife-beater was an American thing. I mean, it makes sense, but I just didn't know. CULTURE!

Caitlin said...

I've lived in England my whole life, I've never been to London.. Even though my dad used to live there. Tonioniniiii and I have something in common! HI!

But I'm glad you're having fun (:

seurat2 said...

Glad to hear this is going so well. When I was into England I was constantly going into art museums, but I;m an art nerd and I suspect you're not. Still the National Gallery is a must. I somehow think Alex will be watching that film with you any day now.

Gary said...

I've never been to The Who Shop. Weren't they going to stock Chameleon Circuit? Do they? I must go there one day, I'd love a mini TARDIS. They have life-size Daleks that speak and flash at BBC Television Centre too :D

I haven't seen the whole Doctor Who film; I tried to watch on YouTube but it was deleted. I understand it's not a fan favourite. It's set in December 1999 and.. well, you can Wikipedia it. I guess I liked the 20-odd minutes I've seen so far?

Oh, that certain book series you mention. I used to love those. I hope if I read them again I would still love them. I have some of the choose-your-own-adventure ones :D

Hayley: I didn't know waistcoat was an English thing. Hey, we both learned something today!

Ariel said...

I want to go to a Doctor Who store! I'm jealous. =]

I watched the '96 film a while back, and I thought it was okay. I didn't think the plot was spectacular or anything, but I do love seeing different interpretations of the Doctor, and that one was pretty good, I thought.

Martin K. Smith said...

I've seen the 1996 Who. It's... Not that great.

I remember when it first came out, I was kind of excited at the prospect of having a new Doctor Who - I was 9 and knew about the TARDIS, etc. I don't think I'd ever actually seen any Who before though.

Needless to say, I was disappointed. I caught it again recently... Still bad, I can appreciate the badness now though.

RhianonLives said...

Wow, I'm right with Alex on the wife-beater thing! What a disgustig name to call a piece of clothing!, I'd never heard it before.
Alright, I just googled it and I never thought I'd say this but hey, wife-beaters are cute xD DO YOU SEE WHAT YOU DO TO ME, Kristina??
I'm glad you're having fun in London, you should make a vlog with some sights in it, especially if you go to Stonehenge (are cameras even allowed there?).
Love from Portugal!

Tonioniniiii said...

Stonehenge is in a middle of a field next to a road so I guess they can't ban cameras in such a open place :S
I live in Wales and lead such a sad life I can count on one hand how many times I've been to England :'(
and i was pretty shocked at the wife beater thing i've never heard of such a phrase :O

Anonymous said...

Wife-beater may be an American thing, but English people DO know about it. Alex seems to be a bit behind on things everyone else (by everyone else, I mean me) knows about. He should spend some time on!!
And yes, you are allowed cameras at Stonehenge! I've just realised I'm going to be driving past there tomorrow (on the way to London!)

Rivvy said...

Barking station might not be haunted but there are real places in the underground that are! Check out this youtube video....a whole documentary about haunted tube stations. Would be cool if you could visit some of them and tell us if you experience anything or not!

Have fun in London!

Anonymous said...

A wife-beater is an item of clothing?! Up in the north of England where I live, Stella Artois - a cheap and nasty lager favoured by frustrated middle-aged men - is referred to as 'Wife-Beater', for reasons that should be obvious. I'm glad you're having a good time in London!

Tiny list of things you must try while you're in England
1. Nando's
2. Newcastle Brown Ale
3. Jaffa Cakess

Stephy said...

aw you're coming to Edinburgh! i live in the city centre about a 15 min walk from the main train station. that's so cool although firstly i am currently half an hour from there visiting my family and secondly even if im there when you are i would never have the courage to just walk up and be all 'hey, i am one of yr blogreaders/videowatchers/etc'.
although in edinburgh you should definitely check out the grassmarket, a street with lots of vintage clothes shops and cute little bookshops :]

Anonymous said...

I don't like that they are called wife-beaters, either, even though I am familiar with the term. I prefer to call them tank tops.

Quixotic Idealist said...

I love you and your obsession with Goosebumps.
Aaand the 1996 DW film is pretty bad, haha. :) but worth a watch!

Elly said...

Glad you're having a good time!

If you're looking for places round London that are nice, Notting Hill is gorgeous. You can see the door that's in the film, and there's loads of second hand shops - there's one called the Book Exchange (I think) where I got loads of Buffy comics dirt cheap!

If you're looking for a day trip, Brighton is only an hour away from Victoria. Go on a sunny day! There are the North Laines, which are 4 whole streets of little independent shops, no big chains allowed, and the Lanes which are a little more commerical, and of course the pier :) you can get fish and chips and go to the old penny arcade! :)

If you want any more info on Brighton I live here, so lemme know! :)

Skylar Alyxis said...

Haha, that's so cool that your studying in London! I dream of studying abroad in Europe so I loved reading your blog and updates talking about your stay in London. I also love you Youtube videos! And I thought that was funny the part about 'visiting the maze and pretending your in the Tri-Wizard tournament haha :)

Tesni said...

oh yes you must do some of england's great mazes. I LOVE mazes- the one at Longleat is very very very good and also the longest hedge maze in europe i believe, so very Triwizardy. However unless you are planning on visiting the SW which you should to see Stonehenge, Bath, Clifton Suspension bridge, Shakeaway (google) etc, there is a big maze at Hampton Court Palace which will be closer to you... and nice to see King Henry VIII palace. I'm assuming you've learnt about him, since he's probably along with Elizabeth the First, one of our most famous monarchs.

Wifebeater? i'm with alex, its a vest!

saw someone recommend Nandos- you should also check out Wagamama. Charlie will agree with me.

also, please visit the english coast if you can. english coastlines are spectacular, especially the Cornish one, but I doubt you'll have time to visit Cornwall, but you should for a real Cornish cream tea, authentic cornish pasty and clotted cream icecream.

ooo i will stop suggesting in a mintute, but I do love my country, make sure you see some idyllic english villages, eg. cotswolds, and visit the peak district, or dartmout- beautifully wild- and the lake district.

The lamb-banana in Liverpool is awesome too.

OK I'm stopping :P

Tesni said...

oh visit a proper castle too!! One with battlements, arrowslit windows, dungeons etc.

Katie said...

LOL on the wife-beater story. I'd never really thought about it but Alex is right, it's pretty horrible. Also lol on the Goosebumps book. Good call.

What does "For Let" mean?

Annnd you should probably definitely make your next YouTube video about being a Triwizard champion in the giant maze. I'd love to see it!

Anonymous said...

I hope you know that every time you tell me where something is I'm marking it on a map and getting really, REALLY excited for my own adventure to start.

I can't wait to see you!!!


IFTBA said...

Yes, I have seen the film. It is bad and nothing happens in it. Eric Roberts plays The Master. He looks and acts stupid. It is not classic-Who bad, it is Lifetime-movie bad. They're stuck on Earth the whole time. I think New York, but I can't remember. I believe it was made on a budget of two dollars and fifteen cents. The theme song is sort of okay.

VicMorrowsGhost said...

I kind of remember that movie. I don't think it was that good. Something about the millennium and an atomic clock?

Pics of the Dr Who store? Sounds awesome!

You> I'd like to buy a wife beater please.
Shop Assistant> O_o WHAT?

BenCracknell said...

I remember Hayley said a couple of videos back about a ife-beater, and I was horrified. It really amuses and kind of confuses me the differences between our cultures, yet things are completley the same!
Crazy world, huh?
Anyway, I hope you convince Alex to watch the film (:
Also, if you have time, I really would check out the london dungeons, if you avn't already.
I'm such a scardy cat, and I was totally out of my skin.
It's a really fun day out.x

BenCracknell said...

-List Of Food You Should Try:-
Scotch Eggs
Sausage Roll from Greggs
Fish & Chips
Yorkshire Puddings
Chocolate Crunch
Magic Stars
Wilky Way

SlytherinSweetie said...

London sounds AMAZING so far.
I'm glad you're finding it awesome. I love reading your blog. I would love to study abroad when I get to college.

I love Doctor Who, why can't there be one in America?

Anyway, hope you have an awesome week! Tell Alex I said hi!

Nally said...

I am also slightly horrified and confused concerning the term 'wife-beater' in relation to a vest.

Anonymous said...

Hhaha its so funny that their vests are our wife-beaters (which is an awful name) and theyre waist-coats are our vests.
I'm glad you're having a great time there. I am extremely jealous.


Mackenzie Paradzik said...

You guys are so funny:) "What kind of name is a wife beater!?" xD Your blogs never fail to make my day! The 1996 Doctor Who was okay.. The plot wasn't all that strong, but go may like it:)

Hema said...

ahh reading your blog is like experiencing london all over again. i love it here - how awesome is it? (moved here two years ago). oh and primark = cheap = child labour clothes (there's a pretty well known documentary about it - 'blood,sweat and t-shirts') = not cool... just sayin'...

lizzie.parker said...

I don't know when your going to Edinburgh but I know you like theatre and you should definitely try and check the Lyceum. There should be something on there if you go during the festival even if there isn't you should try and get in there. It the prettiest theatre I've ever been in, it's not very big(400 seats or so) but it has this massive chandelier and is really beautiful. Our Youth Theatre performed there recently as part of the National Theatre's youth festival and it was amazing!

lizzie.parker said...

I don't know when your going to Edinburgh but I know you like theatre and you should definitely try and check the Lyceum. There should be something on there if you go during the festival even if there isn't you should try and get in there. It the prettiest theatre I've ever been in, it's not very big(400 seats or so) but it has this massive chandelier and is really beautiful. Our Youth Theatre performed there recently as part of the National Theatre's youth festival and it was amazing!

barefootfiona said...

If I may say... Stonehenge is amazing and all, but yous hould REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY go visit Avesbury while you're there. It's like twenty minutes by car from Stonehenge, and you can actually touch the stones there, and there's a pub, and a short walk in the countryside, and a Wiccan bookshop, and it's SO quintessentially English. I can NOT recommend this village-cum-hamlet enough. You HAVE TO GO.

I really hope you read this comment... how else do I let you know I'm serious about this? Avesbury is the WAY to GO.

Anonymous said...

In America we have "The Doctor Who Store," an online shop that has brought Colin Baker over for New York City conventions recently.

In the Northeast at least there is Newbury Comics which carries Doctor Who merchandise. Usually, they are out of stock of T-shirts though.

I thought the term wife-beater came from the show "Cops." Named after all the guys wearing only and undershirt when the cops dragged them off.

The 1996 "Doctor Who" movie. I was excited when I heard about this. Much less so when it came out. The 7th Doctor's death was dumb. The Master had some good lines, but filling a hallway with mucus should not be a viable a superpower.

Manderiffic said...

I love reading about the differences in American culture and British Culture. My favorite though is when these differences show up in conversations you had with Alex.