12. Diary Entry: London

Dear Diary,

My day started stressful like every day on the excursion. One reason is that I have burned my arm by the gas oven, which I usually never use in Germany. But the reason why I had to use the gas oven is that Sabine had accidentally thrown away my meal yesterday evening, because she thought it was only the rest of her food. I actually wanted to take it with me today to London, in order that I don´t have to buy something and save on that way some money. So I tried to make delicious sandwiches to take away.

During the bus ride it came to my mind that the excursion is like a school trip. The reason might be that I went with my former class also to London for a few days. Another point is that our apartment reminds me of our former ´Schullandheim´ to which we went every year with our class. Anna and I had an interesting conversation, in which we came to the conclusion that the excursion to Canterbury must be definitely better for the group dynamic than the excursion to London, which took place last year. On the one hand you are in the heart of England and have a lot of activities which you could pursue but on the other hand, you can´t stay the whole time with all 50 people together. The result is, that the small groups, which are already formed at the beginning of the journey, will probably not resolve, because through the enormous size of the city, every small group will stay in another place and there will not be the possibility to get to know each other like in our apartments at the university of Kent, which is isolated on a hill like in Siegen. I think that this is the reason why Mr. Bliss and Mr. La Presti chose another location for this excursion.
After this discussion, Emine and Kim had the wonderful idea to play the game: ´Wenn ich du wäre,….´ As we all know that both can get sick ideas, we were afraid to play the game with them. The only one, who has dared it, was Max, which yields a beautiful combination. Kim had to go to the bus driver, grab the microphone, animate the fellow students and tell them the worst jokes she knows. Max exercise, was that he had to crawl like a seal to the bus driver, ask him if he can play a song by David Guetta and then crawls back. Emine should use the gear in the bus as a catwalk. When she opened and waved her hair around, her hair met Mr. Bliss, but she did not notice it, what was even funnier for all the others. After one round they decided to continue the game outside. Each of them made a good job, and it helped us to pass the time during the bus ride.

When we finally arrived in London, we got all in our small groups together. I explored London with Kim, Emine and Anna. We got a map of the city from a tube station and decided to walk the whole day. When you walk instead of taking the tube you see a lot of things, which you would not see when you use the tube. Another reason is that it was Kim’s first visit to England and she wanted to see as much as possible. First of all we walked through the banker’s quarter. This seemed to me just like in series and films. After we walked over the London Bridge, from which point we could see the Tower Bridge, we walked random through the Borough market, which was in my opinion one of the highlights on this day. This market offered everything, from hot to cold and from sweet to spicy food. The best thing about the market is that you could try all the selling. I enjoyed the different kinds of cheese most, because I love parmesan. But the truffle oil, which I tasted at least, was also very good. Therefore we paid nothing for our snack between the meals. What I did not like was that we told the seller, that we will come back because we do not want to carry the food the whole day with us, but we never return.

After we were somewhat satisfied we strolled along the Bankside Pier, where we met some musician who were singing, playing guitar or making big soap bubbles. There was a wonderful place at the base where we decided to make a short smoking break. The sun burned our faces, which we never thought that it would be possible, because I heard from so many people that the weather in England would be horrible. But we were lucky. After a while we arrived at the London Eye, from where we had a nice view on the Big Ben. While the others were sitting on a wall and ate their lunch I was looking for a toilet at Mc Donald´s. As usual I could not resist me not to buy something, so I decided to get some chips with ice cream as a dip. This combination reminds me of my friend Maxi, who I really miss. That is why I sent her a photo. Next to Mc Donald´s was Shreks´s Adventure, which we actually wanted to visit. The problem was that it was too expensive and we decided to go on with our sightseeing tour.

Afterwards we were looking for the way to the Buckingham Palace and followed the Chinese tourists with their selfie sticks. But they went to the St James Park, which was very big and pretty. From a distance I saw someone was feed a squirrel, but then I thought that it is not possible and that must be another animal. But after a few minutes some squirrels came to Kim and wanted to eat her nuts and raisins. I stood there petrified and could not believe my eyes. But Emine was very fast and took some photos. Then we walked to the Buckingham Palace which was from my point of view not very interesting. I think you have to see it only once in life and not twice, that’s why we spent only a few minutes there. But if we were not looking for the way to the Buckingham Palace we would have seen the wonderful park. I wanted to buy a new pair of Nikes and remembered the store, which is called Nike Town. So we went around the Piccadilly Circus to find this store. On the way to it we made a stop at H&M where Anna bought some clothes. Finally, after we found Nike Town I saw that the prices were enormous and we went immediately out. In front of the entrance was a really good musician we listened to. Emine did not want to leave him. We decided to finish our shopping tour and look for the way back by walk, to arrive by time, which was not easy. First of all Anna and I tried to find the way on our own, only with a map, while Emine und Kim were drinking their slush ice which was for free. It turned out, that it was not a good idea, because we were lost. The helplessness leads to ask some other people for the way to Saint Paul Cathedral. While we were walking, it got darker and darker and the city seemed to be alive. The pubs got crowded; suddenly more people were walking through the streets. Another effect was the art of the musician, who created a fantastic atmosphere. It felt as I were on vacation and did not want to leave. But it was definitely too cold to stay the whole night in London and to take a bus in the morning. Additionally, we were tired from the whole walk. We were proud because we did not use the tube, not even for the way back which was very long and without any break.

After we arrived to Saint Paul Cathedral we met the other fellow students at Tesco. We wanted to buy something for our lunch package for the next day. To be honest, I did not know before that a supermarket in England is called Tesco. After this shopping, we went with some other fellows to a Chinese Restaurant, because some of us wanted to have dinner before we get into the bus. This wonderful restaurant, which is called ´ITSU´ was a nice closing of a beautiful day in London. This is because, half an hour before the restaurant closes, you will get everything for the half price. Actually I was not hungry, but when I saw the price for six pieces of sushi, which amounted to two pounds (which is cheaper than cheap), I was not able to resist and bought one of these. I wanted to enjoy my Sushi to the fullest, which I can eat 24 hours a day; I had to wait until we were sitting in the bus. There I swallowed them up together with Anna, who also could not resist. In this way we shared our joy together what makes more fun.

After our lovely dinner in the bus, we tried to make some pictures of the London Tower during the ride, but that did not work. Furthermore, I had another great discussion with some fellow students. Now it was about my appearance. It was very good, that they were honest with me, because I think that this is something very important, which everyone should deal with. Additionally it was also very interesting and I was curious to get to know more about myself. They told me, that I looked at the people the first days very angry. On the one hand, I did not speak very much, which suggests that I might be shy, but on the other hand I still appeared confident and a little bit arrogant (which was not the correct word, but something in that way). And now I am completely different. I think that this had something to do with the fact that I was really sick the first days and had no energy to laugh and to talk a lot. But the others are right with what they said; at the beginning when I do not know some people I am always shy and do not talk or laugh very much, but when I get to know and like them, I open myself and had a lot of fun with them; especially when we drink alcohol to lighten the mood.

Funnily enough my fellow students were not tired after this exhausting day in London, so that we decided to play a game which is called in German: ´was würdest du lieber tun?´ This game is about asking the other teammates unpleasant questions and gives them two opportunities of what they would rather do. There were questions like: ´Would you rather eat a cockroach or the tongue of a pig?´ I will not name the other questions and go into detail. But I can say that it was a really funny game, where everyone could join and tell us what he would like to prefer. It went so far, that some fellows were sending questions to the others during the night via what’s app.

Everyone said before, that the day in London will be the most expensive day but actually it was one of the most cheapest day because we saved money as we did not used the tube and we took our own lunch with us so that we did not had to buy something. On this day I spend only two pounds for Sushi.

All in all it was a wonderful day but I think that I might not go for the next five years to London again because for me it was somehow like boring to be there a second time and would rather prefer to see new cities that I have never been before so that the wow effect comes to my mind.