Boston Harbor? Dump away!

7 May

Moving is singularly the most annoying process that a person has to go through.

This move-out is the fourth and final college move-out. It’s undeniably surreal — I don’t think it’s hit me yet that there won’t be a following move-in  during September. No more RA training, no more hot nights in a brand-new bedroom with bare walls that eventually will be coated in college-esque posters and pictures that you have to re-print every year otherwise they end up sticking to each other when you have to undergo yet another move in May.

Anyway, my father drove up from South Jersey on Friday night to move out 90% of my stuff (where does it all come from?!?!) Besides the typical male-parental response of “do you really  need all those shoes?” and “YOU HAVE SO MUCH CRAP” (to which I usually respond with — “You have no idea how lucky you are compared to other females’ fathers from this school.” “I wear all of it!” “But that’s my weekend bag, that’s my going out bag, that’s my work purse, and that’s my weekend bag. No really, it makes a difference.” “I’ll read all of them eventually! And I wanna keep those for my first apartment’s bookshelf — they prove I learned philosophy in college…I don’t really remember exactly what they meant but whatever”) 

Although he may have a point with the shoes.

I feel like when I get back “home” (PANIC ATTACK COMMENCE) I have to go through everything and just dump whatever I have that’s unnecessary. I really mean it, because it’s gonna be impossible to move it all back into an apartment myself, and I would like to start fresh.

I also sent home 90% of my tea, so my options have been limited to Earl Grey (surprised?), English Breakfast (aka: Caffeinate me), Chai, and Cranberry Blood Orange herbal — basically my Twinings set. So as I sit in my bleak-walled room, limited closet, and attempt to work on finals, whilst worrying about job applications, I’m gonna kick back with some of the tea I didn’t dump and hope everything works out in the next two weeks.

Did I mention today is my last day of RA duty….EVER?

 

 

Let’s Talk About Weeks, Baby

7 May

(I really thought I published this last week (April 30). Oh well)

Last night my friend Allison gave me a tea called “Detox.” I actually have yet to try it, but I have a feeling it will help the stress levels pulsating through my body.

Why am I so stressed as to require detox tea, you may ask? Well friends, because I have two weeks left at university.  It’s the last week of classes. (Cue echo: last week of classes – last week of classes).

Fellow seniors, I don’t know about you, but the fact that we have two weeks left is starting to freak me out a little bit. There’s a running checklist in my head of everything that needs to get done, and things I need to remember, and with all of the emotional turbulence that comes with it I just don’t know if I can keep it all straight.

I have to….

Move out as much as possible this weekend so getting kicked out of dorm at 10pm the night of graduation doesn’t kill me. (“Thanks for the three years of hard work! Now get out”).

Need to clean room. Let me rephrase: Desperately need to clean room.

Get rid of unnecessary clothes (………)

Drink my loose-leaf tea, otherwise it may go stale (apparently that’s a thing), which means I have to drink a tin of English Breakfast, a tin of Earl Grey, and a tin of “Winter Warmer” (now irrelevant).

Knock out all bucket list items (stay tuned).

Awards ceremonies. Must remember dates, times, locations, and dress requirements.

Actually write about tea next week.

Job applications.

Two articles for other sites.

Job applications.

Graduation dress?? Maybe??

Job applications.

Finals (Ha. Maybe?)

WHERE HAS ALL MY MONEY GONE?! (Note: No one told me that this term is the worst for finances. To all underclassmen ever: Save. Seriously. This semester is going to cost you an arm, a leg, and if you’re not careful — the first down-payment for your apartment so you’ll beg your parents to make that your graduation gift).

OK, giving myself a headache. Where’s my detox tea.

Bag Trick

28 Apr

In case you’re like me, and occasionally you wake up with puffy eyes due to the awful pollen count this week (or any other reason that would cause your eyes to be a little swollen in the morning…), there is a temporary solution: tea bags.

(livestrong.com)

(livestrong.com)

I woke up yesterday with my sinuses exploding and my eyes basically swollen to a size smaller than they usually are, so I went into my cabinet and pulled out two chamomile bags, wet them under the faucet with cold water, and put them over my eyes.

Ah, instant relief.

Seriously, it works. Green tea or black tea is supposed to work better — which is true. I think it has something to do with the caffeine. The chamomile worked just fine for me though. It was like taking cold water and splashing it on my face, but directly zoned in on my eyes. It felt like I had injected  refreshing energy into my skin.

Just wet the bags with cold water, and pop on your eyes. Dab on the areas of your face where you find sinus points if they are swollen, too.

Tea = solution for everything. 

“My dear, you have THE GRIM”

26 Apr

trelawaney

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the grim and maybe I didn’t have my problem solved by meeting a long-lost uncle of sorts. But it was a “dark cloud.”

I went to a psychic for this blog, thinking it would be a fun, interesting way to talk about the anxieties of life ahead.

While most people are hesitant to believe psychics are anything more than rip-offs trying to sell the past, future and present in the form of big, expensive candles, my mother is a psychic-subscriber. She believes they are excellent observers, who can read other people extraordinarily well and see potential futures based on what they observe.

psychic

(eyeofthepsychic.com)

Most of my thoughts around the buildings scattered across the city labeled with, “Psychic Readings and Advice” contained words like “false” “probably not” and “uncomfortable,” but I was never vehemently against them either. I like being a psychic-agnostic, never quite sure where I stand in regards to some sort of abstract sensibility.

Well, I just had quite the psychic adventure. I went on a hunt for a tea-leaf reader. What better way to drink tea and figure out my life (maybe)? I was kind of excited — maybe it would be a fun way to get someone else’s idea of what my post-graduate life holds. The serious dork I am, I thought it would be some woman dressed to the nines in gypsy-attire reading out of a teacup, while I sat there fascinated and entertained at what she saw.

For the record, it’s not like that.

First of all, I didn’t get my tea leaves read. Getting your tea leaves read costs $200 apparently (the Western ideal of a psychic reading out of a tea cup is extraordinarily overpriced — who would have thought?!) and that’s just not worth the cost. Secondly, I went up this dinky staircase to the apartment, and upon walking into a tiny, slender foyer  was invited to sit down and then told the price.  Leaving without any patronage  seemed incredibly difficult, especially because the space wasn’t wide enough for me to walk past her to the door, so I gave in to her haggling and had her read my palm for $15.

Unless you want to hear some wonderful things about yourself, followed by some darker mysterious hints about your future, don’t get your palm read. My creativity, one husband and two kids, current/future promise of travel, early success by 30 and meeting my soul mate at 24/25 was quickly followed by a “…but your heart is a little disappointed.”

(online-kundli.com)

(online-kundli.com)

**Please note that as psychics read you, they also ask you questions along the way. So at first she only knew I was 21 — and of course I was the lovely woman (b8***) who barely gave her anything to see what she would come up with — and then slowly and surely she discovered my major, and that I used to want to be an actress (like 5/6 years ago)**

She then told me that my disappointed heart is related to my not wanting to do what I had always wanted to, and I had a big dark cloud in front of me unless I made some changes in my life….

…..And she could help me sleep better and avoid the impending doom with scented candles.

Although I have always been skeptical before, the grim that she saw in my cup scared me more than I thought it would. With graduation looming in the near distance, the last thing I wanted to hear was a bad omen.

But my anxiety seems to have been at least altered after my mystic experience. After my initial hesitance at the thought that I could be walking into something I didn’t want, I realized: this woman has no idea who I am. And ultimately, she may “See” some future of mine — but that’s not the future I want, nor is it the future I am or will be working toward. So really, her sight is advice constructed on generalizations that fit with a lot of people after analyzing observations.

If I don’t want to walk into a cloud of darkness, I just need to have some faith that I won’t, and if I start to — change direction.

Maybe there is some sort of “sixth sense,” and some people are oddly gifted at being able to predict the future. But ultimately, I’m taking the “extremely talented sales” stance.

I mean, even if she knew a few weird things about me that she couldn’t have stated confidently otherwise.

tealeafreading1

(theignorantfisherman.com)

Tamaryokucha, Please.

18 Apr

**This is a guest post written by Zach Vasile of the Cinefile for an online media course**

Welcome to Zach’s tea experiences…..

People are always astounded when they hear that I don’t drink coffee or tea.

I utter the words and acquaintances recoil, as if they cannot possibly fathom the misery of an individual who goes without the spring of caffeine in their step. For religious coffee and tea drinkers, my preference for water or Dr. Pepper comes off like a Catcher in the Rye-style refusal to grow up and accept the realities of life as a mature adult.

Well, no more.

I finally decided to sit down and figure out which drink would ferry me to the Promised Land of hyper-stimulated adulthood. It couldn’t be coffee –I knew that from years of my father coercing me to “take a sip, ‘cause you’ll like it.” Tea – although I was no fan before – had always been seemed more palatable.

I was feeling oddly proper and post-colonial, so I started with Earl Grey – which I realized was an immediate mistake. It had a type of rind-like tang that was almost overwhelming, causing my face to involuntarily contort with disapproval.

Oolong with Black Dragon // Courtesy of orientalteahouse.com

Oolong with Black Dragon // Courtesy of orientalteahouse.com

I decided to switch it up by sampling an oolong tea labeled, “Black Dragon Tea,” a label that, I must admit, won me over with the promise of Oriental intrigue. However, rather than an Eastern flavor experience, oolong tasted more like drinking tree bark, which is an experience I’m not anxious to repeat.

An Irish breakfast tea by the prestigious Twinings tea company didn’t win me over either, and strangely enough made me look back at the Early Grey with longing eyes. What I didn’t realize is that Irish breakfast tea actually contains substantially more caffeine than other teas and consequently packs more of a wallop. For an inexperienced tea drinker Early Grey was a playful flick, but Irish breakfast tea was like taking a fastball to the mouth. I now understand why the Irish drink this stuff with milk.

Just as I was about to give up on my new addiction (and O.D. on caffeine), I found a mixture that actually made a believer out of me. Mind you – it’s not a concoction that you’re going to find everywhere, but what really floated my boat was a Japanese species of green tea known as tamaryokucha – a dark green drink with an unexpected berry-esque taste, which I encountered quite accidently through a Manhattan friend. Turns out I was just looking in the wrong places to start a habit.

I don’t know if my quest to acquire a more sophisticated drink pallet paid off, since I’m still not religious about consumption. Part of that is because I’m really quite happy with water, and the other part is that you just don’t find tamaryokucha at the local bodega.

But at least now I can go out with friends and not embarrass them by ordering my kiddy drinks. And I can now act very sophisticated and traveled as I order,  “Tamaryokucha, it’s a Japanese tea. You probably haven’t heard of it.”

Or I could just stick with the Dr. Pepper.

Courtesy of Amazon

Courtesy of Amazon

Hello Gorgeous! Where Have You Been All My Life?

8 Apr

Look at that sunshine. Just look at it. Isn’t it the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?!

photo (10)

In usual spring fashion, I have taken to the outdoors with some friends, to sit and (attempt to) do work. But, as a second term senior, I’m not quite sure what “7 page paper” even means anymore (sad, because at this point you’d think I’d be used to 15 page papers).

We’ve had quite a few nice days — and luckily, this weather leaves us with many iced tea options. Shaking things up and going for some cool drinks is the best way to break that winter chill in favor of a spring fever (and that post-graduation anxiety can be held off for at least a few hours outside. Maybe. If you let it).

My recommendations?

1. Shaken Black Tea Lemonade: From Starbucks (yeah yeah, it’s not anything different or crazy, but hey, it’s too good to say no to).

2. Argo Tea’s MojiteaIf you like mojitos, this could be your non-alcoholic jam.

3. Twining’s Black Pomegranate Tea Bags: Brew normally, throw over ice. Not too sweet but just enough of a fruity flavor to refresh you. So good.

4. Sweet Tea: My stepmom lived in North Carolina for awhile and makes this a lot. She doesn’t use simple syrup but it’s still tasty. At least it’s a little — well, probably…maybe …most likely not — better for you.
   Directions:
– Tie 8 Lipton tea bags together
– 
Put tea bags in a pot of water
– Turn the stove on low-medium heat and let brew almost until water is boiling
– Immediately add as much sugar as you’d like — I usually do 1 cup, but 2 is good
– Stir until dissolved
– Pour into big plastic dispenser and put in fridge 

5. Chamomile — It’ll soothe your worries about having only 4 weeks of class left (did I just say that?…), and calm you down once you’ve got that first sunburn of the season (….well hopefully that doesn’t happen. But some of us just can’t help it….)

NOTE: Buy some honey from a local producer where you live and take a teaspoon everyday (either straight-up or in your tea). It’s supposed to help you become accustomed to the pollen in your area, and thus alleviate some of those nasty allergy symptoms.

I suppose I should go back inside to A) stop the redness that’s developing on my arm **see below**, and B) get some of these papers and job applications done. But realistically, after all of the job search things I have done already, I feel myself starting to slow — which isn’t so great, but hey, at least I’ve got some tea and sunshine. 

photo (11)

Clearly I didn’t get enough sun this winter…

Happy Spring! 

Warning: I May Be the Mad Hatter. With a Really Long Rant.

4 Apr

Well I have had quite the interesting morning. I’m sitting here, blogging, and now contemplating the very thing that I am doing and its relationship to the ever changing, and yet ever-desired career path of journalism. 

We all hear stories about that one person who had his or her blog funded — paid to write on WordPress or blogger. Whatever the topic is, they get advertisers or other companies interested, and then get paid for their at-home product. This, I always thought, was “the dream” — I would be the exception to the rule if I were paid for my blog. And the normal route was to attempt to freelance or work on an editorial team in some news outlet.

Well today I had an informational interview, and after asking all of the normal questions and maintaining a demeanor that does not put pressure on the interviewee for a job (although who isn’t secretly thinking, “Pick me! Pick me!”), this woman asked me what I am interested in and I promptly responded truthfully: travel, writing and editing.

In a rather harsh tone, she proceeded to tell me why I should get my head out of the clouds: “The field is in the tank,” “I don’t understand why universities keep popping out journalism grads” — when realistically they won’t get jobs. We are competing for the very same (very few) openings against people with more years of experience — who got laid off by major outlets during cutbacks.

My goal of one day being an editor for a magazine or news outlet is (yes, this is a quote) “unrealistic”, and I’d better expand my horizons to marketing, or start looking at ways to get a blog funded.

Pause.

Get a blog funded? Was this the advice I was being given — stop looking for editorial work and try and get a blog funded? (The other advice was move to marketing or sales. But we’ll just leave that conversation up to your imaginations.)

Which left me wondering — has the exception to the rule changed? Which is now “the dream“?

We are always hearing about how journalism is changing: Edward Murrow’s vocal and facial reliability has now been replaced with a little bird and 140 characters and Zuckerberg’s social product. One of the questions I have been asked in about 90% of the classes I’ve taken is, “In today’s day and age, what is an amateur journalist and what is a professional journalist?” AKA — move over newspapers, we’ve got WordPress! 

I mean, this opens up a whole can of worms about training, ethics and all kinds of things that would take more than just one blog post to address. But the point is there — are we bloggers pushing ourselves into blogging — versus blogging, editing, writing for established news outlets — because of our blogging? (Jedi mind-trick questions.) Micro/macro, even just the fact that Twitter exists means that a lot of people want their news in a faster way than ever before. So much for the inverted triangle — why read a whole piece if you can get the idea in 140 characters? But at this point, is it even a complete reality?

The idea of journalism completely “dying” doesn’t make sense to me because I haven’t experienced journalism without the growth of the Internet (#8, people, #8). I’ve watched a lot of the changes happen — I understand that a lot of twioutlets are cutting jobs and a lot of physical papers aren’t circulating; but in my mind there are opportunities for “journalism” students elsewhere. Some mega-blogs have staffs — The Gothamist, Daily Candy, Eater (I currently intern at a food site, so these are the immediate thoughts), hell some consumer sites have their own blogs that need managing.

Yes, it’s not what it used to be. It’s not this grandiose gatekeeper of information anymore, only talking about what the producers and writers put out. We can now get information from anyone…. anywhere. Today’s outlets have some serious competition.

But the competition for a job, any job, still requires me to somehow make my own brand, in a similar way to branding my blog and then trying to get paid for my own blog.

And there’s a good chance I’m being idealistic. Maybe I’m the Mad Hatter and I’m just sitting here in my room, writing about tea and life, and I’m really just living in some tea party fantasy world. Maybe this woman is right — there is nothing for any of us. But, dream or not, my goal is to be on an editorial staff. And some positions are out there. Getting discouraged and giving up isn’t what I’ve been taught — if there’s a get, you go after it.

“I Got Nasty Habits; I Take Tea at Three”

3 Apr

I have discovered a new way to drink my tea. The best part is I can use my new tea cups in a semi-traditional way.

photo (4)

French press to the rescue! If you put tea leaves in the bottom of your French press — like you would coffee — and then add hot water, steep it, and then push the press down – you get loose leaf tea in a tea pot with a filter built in. Tah-dah.

This has become my new obsession. Instead of tea bag after tea bag, I’ve instead changed my addiction into a binge habit. I drink an entire pot of tea in one sitting.

I look like a bit of a pretentious nerd sitting and drinking it out of my little English tea cup in a crappy Walsh room with a trunk as a make-shift table, but whatever. If I counted all of the silly things people did in Walsh rooms (nay, any university housing room) I could write a book (oh look at that. Inspiration).

So, if you would like to simulate, here are the steps:

photo 12  photo 11  14  13

1. Put about 2 teaspoons of loose leaf tea for every 8 oz of water that you plan to use in the press. (I just use a normal size spoon, and get a nice heap of tea on it two times, and then a half. I suppose that’s “eyeballing”.)

2. Boil the water. It shouldn’t actually be boiling — just before it hits that point. Otherwise the water is too hot and will affect the leaves differently.

3. Pour the hot water over the leaves in the press. Spin the press so that the water pours over all of the leaves.

4. Sit the lid in the top, and slowly press down.

5. Either pour into a mug / tea cup / tall glass / whatever. Or use a teapot — this way, your tea won’t over-steep and become bitter. But, unless you really plan to drink your tea perfectly every time (and wash more dishes), the press will work just fine.

6. Repeat as many times as you’d like, or until you realize it’s becoming unhealthy.

Pardon me, I must be off. It’s teatime in Walsh…

The Little Things

20 Mar

Life certainly never gets boring. Even after you come back from spring break and have to start up your normal daily living.

The rest of my week has been, overall, fantastic. And I’ve come to a conclusion: I am relocating. I’m in the process of figuring out how to do so, but it’s going to happen.

My friend in London thinks I should go the MA route, so I can see what it’s like to properly live there, and it’ll be the easiest way to get an internship and/or part time job, so I can try and get my foot in the door. But I’m not sure it’s smart to spend another $20,000 and go further into debt. Ultimately, it could help my career, I suppose, so it’s still an option.

I have other options though. I’m looking into Bunac still, because they offer a year long program for working — not interning — in Ireland.

But making the decisions is both exciting AND difficult!  I think one of the most difficult things about “growing up” and “moving out” is trying to make your decisions for yourself, regardless of whether you gain support from parents — and I don’t mean the type of support where they’ll shake their heads and worry about the decisions you’re making and not think it’s the best one. I mean the support where they stand behind you and encourage what you want. It doesn’t always work like that, and I feel like I have to defend my decisions…when in reality…. I’m (“supposedly”… So everyone says…) an adult and, well, that would mean I really don’t have to.

So, I’m trying to come to terms with that right now. Honestly, its not a bad situation to be in. It’s a good one; I am able to live my life and just need to know that my decisions are my own. (Hence the meme below…)

31461222

It’s a good week. Stressful, yes, but definitely good. I have great “big-picture” things ahead: the last two months of undergrad with friends, a whole lot of options for post-graduation, the prospect of a new apartment / place, and so on. So many reasons to be happy!  

Just a little list to show…

1. Life is never boring. There will always be something new popping up (whether its a good challenge or a particularly tough one — you could be better for it).

2. You make your own opportunities. (Well, in the experience of being who I am and growing up how I did, I’ve been lucky enough to be in a position where I can make this statement. But I digress, and will avoid making this political.)

3. I now have two beautiful teacups, from which I can consume whatever new teas I would like: Black Winter Spice (from this really tiny tea store off of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh), Earl Grey out of the limited edition 2012 tin, Cranberry Blood Orange, or Pomegranate Green.

photo(2)

Teacup #1 from Camden Stables Market

And the other one…..

photo(1)

Teacup #2 from antiques vendor in Notting Hill

4. My room always has a ton of sunshine coming in the window.

5. Pete’s Cafe exists (Italian omelet, anyone? That just happened a few hours ago…)

6. Good health. Seriously. This is one we all take for granted. 

7. Amazing friends

8. The Irish cheddar, English clotted cream, scones, and jam that are currently in my fridge. (Thank you, Myers of Keswick. Thank you).

9. The fact that my burn is pretty much healed! Translation: No more pain and…(drumroll please)…. I can go to the gym again FINALLY.

10. Snapchat. I don’t really need to explain this one. 

Anyway. Gotta run. Friends are coming over for some tea!

Tales from Tooley Street

15 Mar

Happy Spring Break from across the pond!

I am currently sitting at my old kitchen table, in my old flat, while my friend cooks dinner for the two of us and I blog.

photo (6)

The lovely inside

As you may have guessed — I’m in London at the moment staying the apartment I lived in this summer, and I am the happiest camper imaginable. The two girls (well, now three) I stayed with and I became friends, and they are so wonderfully putting me up for the week while I visit. Even as I sleep on the couch now, it feels more like a home than my own apartment back at school does. This feeling most likely stems from my emotional attachment — I was living on my own in a foreign country and had to make it a home.

I know I’ve mentioned having lived abroad for a short while before, and to make a long story short: I took a course in June with Fordham, and then stayed through the summer so I could work on a small freelance team for BBC Travel (BBC Americas-Worldwide) and cover the Olympics. In order to stay for two months past the Fordham program, I had to find a place to live — and luckily landed myself in the flat I am writing from — just South of the Thames, and a few blocks from Tower Bridge. It’s a beautiful little flat — with three bedrooms, and an open style living room – kitchen that lights up so brightly during the day. I am so happy to be back it’s unreal.

I got off a train from Edinburgh yesterday around 2:50PM GMT, and I could have kissed the walls of Kings Cross Station, but I feared looking even more like a crazy American than I already did with the ridiculous smile I was carting around. My friends — the two girls I lived with who attend Kings College — picked me up from London Bridge, and could probably attest to said smile. And since then, I have consumed a lot of tea and eaten a lot of food.

Yesterday we just caught up for a short while, and then I went for a walk along the Thames between Tower Bridge and London Bridge — my favorite place in the world. And today, I met one of the women on my freelance team for breakfast in Islington, and then moved quickly to Camden, where in the summer I spent a lot of time. I also finally bought myself a nice, vintage looking tea cup that I have been wanting (I’d post a picture, but that requires unwrapping it).

And after that, I went to Holborn, where I walked to Twinings tea shop and bought myself three types of tea — including loose leaf Earl Grey in a special “2012” tin (keeping it forever). They added a tea tasting bar in the back, so I also tried three more types of white and green tea while I was at it. For the record — I did not dislike any of the greens or whites this time!

It was a necessary stop. Not only had I made the plan of going about a week before I got here so I could fill up on some teas, but I also started feeling a little panicky — which is not an OK feeling to have when I’m trying to get away and relax. At breakfast, the woman who was on my freelance team with me, asked me about my post-grad plans, to which I responded the usual “not sure yet…”. This is the woman who told me about a company called BUNAC, which helps grads get visas to intern in other countries. And ever since then, it’s been sitting in the back of my head for a really long time.

In the US, the conventional path does not involve leaving the country for a few months. Some kids do it — but usually to backpack for two weeks after graduation, and even that’s hard because the importance of getting a job has been pressed down on us so strongly. I’ve thought about every single way I can get back here and not disappoint or worry my family. Grad school? — But you aren’t supposed to go unless you know exactly what you want to study. What do I want to study? — No idea, and the thought of writing a dissertation makes me want to crawl into a hole. What do I want to do for a career? Something that involves travel? — I want to work as an online editor eventually. Are entry level positions leading in that career direction open? — Well, yes. But not a ton.

In a perfect world, I wouldn’t have all the student debt to pay off starting six months after May. And then I could do this program with no problem. However, I have quite a bit of  debt (also, Sallie Mae is the bane of my existence, and I haven’t even had to start paying off yet). And although one parent is behind me, the other one might not be so understanding toward what I actually want to do. Now that’s it’s coming down to the last few months, I’m starting to wonder: is it the right path for me to jump right into a career? Or should I be unconventional and go abroad for a little?

So, to clear my head I landed myself in a place surrounded by tea, and felt so much better. I don’t want to be depressing — it lasted about 30 minutes and then I was in a right good mood again, trying to decide which teas to buy, and what to do with the rest of my day.

Bea's of Bloomsbury

(Like the chipped polish? Haha)

I ended up walking a lot the rest of the day — about 5 miles, and landed myself in a bakery/cafe: the Bea’s of Bloomsbury (for the record, neither location is actually in Bloomsbury) near St. Paul’s Cathedral, where I had myself a Guinness Chocolate Cake and a pot of Earl Grey (and yes, I took a shameless selfie of myself there — although I took it full of shame as I tried to hide my actions from the cafe’s employees behind me).

I actually really love travelling alone, so sitting at a tea place solo for an hour was really lovely. Being alone while abroad is really spectacular — it forces you to step outside of your comfort zone the first few times you do it, and (as long as it’s not a gut feeling of danger) it helps you grow as a person. I’ve eaten alone a few times — breakfast and lunch are really easy, but the first time you go someplace to eat dinner alone can tough, but it’s easy to get used to, especially in a country where going to pubs is rather normal.

I walked back home as far as my feet would take me, hopped on the bus, and crashed at the kitchen table about three hours ago. What am I doing now? Drinking more tea.

photo (7)

(Walker’s Thai Sweet Chili Crisps anyone?)

It’s a Ceylon Earl Grey that my friend picked up in North London near a Turkish neighborhood. It’s strong, but really calming.We’re just waiting for her boyfriend to pop around — I get to finally meet him today! But as we wait, I’m trying to plan out my day tomorrow. I never made it to the Sherlock Holmes house on Baker Street this summer – the ‘queue’ was always far too long — but I’ll try and see that tomorrow. Maybe I’ll conquer the parts of the British Museum that I didn’t get to. I definitely need to sit in a cafe and work on some job applications. (That was the deal when I booked this trip.) 

But for now, off to the pub!