London '12

Since my best friend Laura was going to be in London as part of her one-city-per-week trip to Europe this year, and I would also be passing through Heathrow Airport while connecting to my flight to India, we decided to spend a few days in London together. The accounts below record our days full of delirious fun.

Day 146

I'll admit that after the excitement of a conference call with my varlets and subsequent text messages with family (both fictive and sanguinary), it was a bit difficult to fall asleep on the plane. Coupled with the promise of chicken curry quickly identified by my talented Indian nose, rest was nearly impossible. But when I recovered from jubilation over my exit row seat to notice that the entire row behind me was empty, I enjoyed an improved quality of comfort. Three seats are better than one!

I read Sonnet 146 over breakfast on the plane before my arrival in London, where I was greeted by the sight of the always mediocre Laura K. holding a sign reading "Miss Gilbourian." My sister and I enjoyed a second breakfast katching up at Krispy Kreme before taking the tube from Heathrow to Pimlico, where we checked into our hotel and powdered our noses before hitting town!

We embarked upon a traditional double decker bus tour of the city (the Brasiliero ticketmaster said I look like I'm Brazilian!), during which a delirious Laurita babbled in French while I keenly absorbed a plethora of facts about London's history.

After the two-hour tour, we selected Spicy World (more Indian food, of course) for dinner (the Bangladeshi waiter said I look like I'm European!). Filled with chicken tikka and giggles, we gave our patronage to the Apollo Victoria Theater, watching their performance of Wicked.

Neither of us had seen the show before, and both were apprehensive at the start about whether our experience was "European" enough, but given that we spent half the show gaping at one another in astonishment at both plot and talent, we consider it a night well spent. I have never felt so many shivers run down my spine in a 2.5-hour period. Just wow.

After the show, we prowled about Victoria Station searching for available wifi networks which would allow me to publish this post, but were unable to locate one. Please allow me to apologize for the paucity of internet availability here! At night, we spent a few hours discussing our deepest secrets (i.e. middle school) before attempting to sleep.

This morning, we sit at Patisserie Valerie enjoying cappuccinos and cake for breakfast. We have a busy day planned, but I'll try to find a net cafe and check in with you all tonight!

Day 147, Part I

I'm able to snatch some wifi right now, so I thought I'd update you all.

Any day that starts with cake is a good day. After breakfast, Laura and I hopped back aboard our tour bus. On our way to South Kensington, we read Sonnet 147 together before exploding into Ingrid Michaelson harmonies.

Upon arriving at the V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum), we quickly made the executive decision that we could spend the entire day here. Naturally, we gravitated toward the Medieval & Renaissance displays, and I regaled Laura with my scant knowledge of classical mythology as we both bewailed our lack of Biblical expertise. We must have spent an hour obsessing over one of Leonardo Da Vinci's notebooks alone, lamenting the lack of such genius in a single individual of our society today.

After strolling through the sculpture gallery while listening to my favorite heart-wrenching rendition of "Danny Boy," we now find ourselves eating -- again. As we enjoyed an orange for dessert, I recited Wendy Cope's "The Orange" for my sister. The ever-competitive Miss Kambourian retaliated by chanting the first 36 digits of pi. As you may be able to infer, we are quite sleep-deprived. But there is art to be explored, so I'm signing off now -- cheerio!

Day 147, Part II

After lunch, Laura and I traipsed through the stained glass, oil painting, and jewellery collections at the V&A (practicing speaking Spanish in a Spanish accent and English in a French accent) until we were utterly spent. 

We then headed into Kensington and consumed some scrumptious Nutella crepes. From there, we ventured to Piccadilly Circus, where we've been wandering about for the past few hours. This last hour or so was spent looking for a restaurant that would have food for Laura's means (she needs to eat more veggies!) and wifi for me. After walking up and down the street several times, we finally spied a restaurant we had passed several times but not noticed, Caffe Concerto. Laura now sits polishing off our lasagne and Caesar salad (so authentically British) as I write this post.

We're off soon to the Queen's Theatre, where we will be watching Les Miserables tonight. Obviously, we're stoked! It's time for me to sign off, readers! I don't know when I'll have internet next as I'll be in transit for the next few days. Ta ta for now!

Day 148

The show last night was absolutely breathtaking -- quite literally, as our fellow audience members shot us frequent sidelong glances for our sighs of pain at the characters' tough choices and our squeals of joy at the actors' great voices. Laura was especially bowled over by the unbelievable effects made possible by the Queen's Theatre's revolving stage, and, as straightforward as it seems, I just can't get over the power of the vocal talent we got to hear.

Back at the Cobrigoe Hotel, we continued to marvel over the two shows we had seen as we packed our things for today.

This morning, Laura and I dragged ourselves out of bed impressively early (for us!) and checked out at the crack of eight, having been sorely overcharged for our "conplimentary" breakfast.

We lugged my luggage (cognate accusative!) to Pimlico station and waited sleepily until our absurdly overstuffed train to the airport arrived. When sitting space eventually became available, we both nodded off, but luckily arose in time to disembark at Heathrow.

Once I had checked in, we of course chose eating as the appropriate activity to commemorate my departure. After enjoying one last coffee and tiramisu together while discussing all the "usual," it was time for farewells. Thanks for a splendid time, Laurita, and see mediocre you in April! (Be thankful that you know where to go if you get hurt in London.)

I now sit aboard my flight, having been yelled at by only one airport official, and just completed my reading of Sonnet 148.

Tell the world I'm coming home!

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