London times

Hello all!

I have started uni now – and I’m loving it. The first subject I had, ‘Contancy and Creativity: Jewish Interpretations of Tradition’ I think I will really enjoy. The teacher is fantastic, and the content will be interesting and relevant to my life. ‘The 18th Century Novel’ was not quite as inspiring, but it’s cool to be studying European literature in London! I am yet to have a class for my third subject, ‘Contemporary Security Issues.’ That’s tomorrow.

So 7 contact hours a week for me – that’s it. I will have Tuesdays and Thursdays off. It would be nice if it was Thursday and Friday, so I could take long weekend trips, but I will still have plenty of time for travelling. Speaking of travelling, I have just booked with a group of girls to go to Paris on the 12th of February. We have a reading week that week, so we will spend four nights in Paris for Colleen’s and my (early) birthday. I can’t wait! I have been to Paris before, but it was quite rushed, and there are many more things I want to see.

A few of us also have plans to go to Amsterdam at the end of February, as well as a couple of weeks in Italy during our break in April. I don’t know how I’m going to focus on studying with all this to organise and look forward to…

What else have I been doing?

The other night, I went with a few of my neighbours down to the bar here in the residence for a pub quiz. I didn’t know many of the answers, but it was fun. Even the one question about Australia I didn’t know… that’s embarassing.

On Tuesday it was sunny, which is not a common occurrence here! Since I didn’t have classes, I decided to make the most of the sunshine, and I walked up to Hampstead Heath. It’s like an enormous park, but more beautiful. It feels like you’re in the country when you’re there. Here’s a look:

After a wander through the Heath, I took a bus to the Hampstead High Street, and had a look around there. There are some really cute shops and amazing bakeries. It’s sort of a posh area, but it was nice walking up and down. On Tuesday night we had a pasta night at Great Dover St. That was certainly a success – worth the 45 minutes it takes me to get there from Hampstead.

Yesterday I met up with Taryn, who is here from Melbourne this week. It was great to see her. We went to the National Portrait Gallery – one of the few museums in this city that I hadn’t yet been to. We had lunch together and wandered down the Strand before I had to be in class in the afternoon. She got to see where I go to uni. She was especially impressed by the library, I think.

Last night I went out with Anna, Laia and Laia’s sister who is here from Barcelona for a few days. Me being the only non-Spaniard gave them the chance to practise their English! We went to a bar near St Paul’s Cathedral where they were showing a Spanish football game – their team – Barcelona – was playing. We had planned to all go out together, but the numbers slowly dwindled for various reasons. Nonetheless, it turned out to be a good night.

Laia, Anna and Me at the bar (the name of which I don’t remember)

Today Taryn is coming to see Hampstead. If the weather holds up, we might go to the Heath. I’m excited that one of my friends gets to see where I’m living – she can report back to the others!

One thing about London that I’ve noticed is that it’s super busy all the time. There are always long queues in the supermarkets, lots of people in the shops, and its always full on the trains and buses even when it’s not peak hour. There are people everywhere at all hours. I like this, but I also like that I live a little bit out of the city. Living in Hampstead, I’m getting the best of both worlds. Despite the schlep to uni and to where a lot of my friends live, Hampstead is a lovely area and I am really enjoying living here.

I guess that’s about all for now.

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