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  • Writer's pictureMaiya Focht

Week Four- Friends and Food

Candidly, due to my issues with my laptop, I'm writing week fours summary/review a week or so later. As such, my recollections aren't as fresh, but I will do my best to give a genuine reflection, without too much hindsight wisdom. I risk showing too much wisdom as each week progresses, as I become more and more the cultural and intellectual giant, I'm afraid my brain might burst.

All jokes aside, the major highlights of week four were the visit from my friends that are studying in Florence, and the continuing discovery into the confusing world of British cuisine.

First, the friends. Two of my best friends from Syracuse, who are studying in Florence, came to visit me for the weekend. I found/find myself wrapped up in immense gratitude to have such love in my life. With the little time they had to visit, I did my best to highlight London's culture as I have come to know it. This chiefly includes food, markets, more food, thrifting, sight seeing, and more food. (Don't worry Dad, I've been partaking VERY minimally in the thrifting aspect)

Though they have had no shortage of good food in Florence, I was able to offer some ethnic diversity that they had missed (here's looking at you falafels; shoutout Borough market). They were also itching to return to the world of consumerism, which I provided handily through the aforementioned thrifting (though we also stopped by Urban Outfitters).

This sightseeing expedition took up our whole Saturday, and our poor, tired bums could barely be pulled from the couch for our night time expedition. But pull away from the couch we did, because there was one facet of London culture they had yet to experience, nightlife.

In order to give them the best sample of nightlife, my roommates and I took them on a pub-crawl throughout a grungy, traditional neighborhood in London called Camden. Through our deal, we had free access to and drinks from 6 bars/pubs. The ambiances ranged from ole english, to new neon, to 90's punk. Seriously, the last bar was 90's punk themed. I was in heaven. *cue Blink 182*

At some point in the night, my friends got the notification that their flight had been delayed, and that they would have to spend an extra day in London. I did my best to hide my excitement as they spent 30 minutes on the phone with RyanAir, but having the extra day to simply relax with my friends was quite a treat. Eventually, as their travel plans came into place, I think they were a bit happy for the extra time too.

We spent our Sunday as we've spent many cozy Sundays back at school: waking up late, moaning and groaning of hangovers, caffeinating, and feasting on a greasy plate of eggs and toast. How comforting it is to simply go through routine with those you know well. After our day of trash TV, blanket mountains, and rehydration, I made sure to take them for one last mecca of London culture, pub food.

We stomped through the biting cold to one of the (seemingly endless) pubs around the corner, plopped our tired bodies into some barstools, and grabbed a couple orders of fish and chips. It seemed a rather appropriate way to send them off from my country.

Saying goodbye the next day left a resounding ache in my heart the way it does anytime you leave someone you care about. Its as if the little guy in your chest is saying "I know I'll see them again, but boy what a waste that we spend this time apart".

Still, this life I have begun to build here is separate from theirs, and I have carried on just fine, though with an ache in my heart for my dear friends in Florence, my dear friends in the USA, and my dear family. And such is life, I shall continue on, wholly separate, yet wholly entwined.

Days left: 81 Places visited: Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Borough Market, Shoreditch, Shoreditch vintage shops, Camden Pub Crawl, Dingwalls

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