Saturday, August 24, 2013

London Day 23: Celta 75% complete- part 2

Every Friday, a group of girls goes out for lunch together.  Even though we've only been together for a few weeks, it feels like a few years.  We had a delightful lunch together in a Persian cafe (last week was Lebanese, and before that Moroccan).  We were actually LATE getting back to class by 8 minutes!  We felt really badly about it, but it was unavoidable.  Sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.  Love my sweet friends.  
The tandoori was too pretty to just pass by.  

So to recover from our terrible lateness and guilt, we treated ourselves to ice cream and a long chat.  I learned something startling- that my (now) dear friends  initially thought stereotypes about Americans that made them reluctant to get to know me.  At least it wasn't because of my personality.  I am glad they gave me a chance in spite of my American-ness.  Although in my defense, I don't think I am that representative of the stereotypical American.  It was odd to contemplate I was nearly discriminated against by my sweet Somali-British Muslim friends.  I am very very glad that things worked out the way that they did.  The whole parting conversation made me contemplate pre-judgement, stereotypes, and English-ness.  I began reading an anthropological study of the English this week.  One thing I learned is that British men talk about themselves 15-25% more than their female peer groups.  Another is that it is ok for Brits to complain about the weather, but not for non-Brits to do the same.  One should always agree with weather observations, regardless of personal opinions.  So many things to learn, consider, and take in.  

Whilst contemplating English-ness, British-ness, and American-ness, I noticed two girls across from me on the train.  Two different ethnicities, two different ages, and two different ways to be vibrant and colorful.  Different, but somehow still fundamentally the same.  There may be room for us all, yet.  


Every morning I pass by two Indian fruit sellers (the shops are actually called Indian Fruit and Veg).  I greet them both if they are setting up when I pass by.  One always smiles and wishes me to have a good day.  I buy bananas from him, well at least I try to.  Mostly, he gives them to me for free.  If I insist on buying one, he lets me pay for one and then forces me to take two.  Nice way to start the morning.  

Favorite fruit cup from Pret A Manger.  YUM!  

Got invited to Bollywood night, had no clue what to expect.  Indian people have a lot of energy for dancing.  Way more than me.  I stayed safely against the wall and just observed.  

A fabulous transvestite in green sweats and black fur.   I literally chased the poor fellow down the street for a block to catch the photo.  
I think I've adjusted to all that is London, just in time to be nearly finished, of course.  I know this to be true because this week I got really impatient/annoyed with tourists clogging the tube, the sidewalk, and the food establishments that I frequent.  :D

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