Monday, May 28, 2012

Where'd all the good people go?

I'm still playing catch up for the last couple of days. My blogging time is becoming more limited, and my drive to stay up into the early hours of the morning to write about my adventures has been a little weak because of this nasty sinus infection I've had. But here are the updates:

Saturday, 26 May 2012:

Woke up early and stole away to Portobello Market. I went by myself, and I had a really good time! It was fun to take my time wandering down the road, soaking up the crazy environment as I went. I arrived about the time that it opened, and within twenty minutes there were hordes of people crowding the streets. It's funny to observe the market-goers... I love to play a game with myself (apparently I play a lot of those) where I guess which ones are Americans (often wearing cargo capris, tennis shoes, and a backpack), which tourists just arrived (they're the ones that are going nuts over the souvenir shops that you can find on every corner of London), etc. I got a few things at the market, mostly some small gifts for family and friends. Oh, and I found the best frozen yogurt I've ever had! It was a big cup of fresh mixed berries with vanilla yogurt piled on top... I might have to go back next Saturday just for that.

In the few times that I've shopped the markets, I've learned several keys to working the system. Anyone who plans to shop the European markets in the near future may find the tips useful:
It's quite helpful to get ready for the day before you go. You need to look nice and presentable. Deals are often given to the "pretty girls." With that in mind, be careful not to wear too much flashy jewelry or fancy clothing, because they'll try to get more money out of you. Find a good balance. If you're a lady, always try to buy from male sellers, particularly the younger ones. Flirt if you must, but beware of the creepy ones. Show them that you can hold your own and that you know how to make a good bargain. Don't ever buy something without first trying to haggle the price. Always argue. For any market, go in the morning, before everyone else. The vendors often give in to haggling for their "first customer." Before you buy something, make your way around the market and check for cheaper prices. Many of the same products are often sold at different booths, and some are substantially cheaper than others. Hm, what else? Oh, prices are always higher at the front of the market, but are less expensive toward the end of the road. I would recommend starting at the end and working backwards. When haggling, ask for the price, then take a very long time to think about it. Stick around the booth, and make your internal debate (about whether or not to give in) extra obvious. Slowly put the item back in it's place; at this point, they'll usually offer a slightly better deal. Consider it, but politely refuse and begin to walk away. Almost always, they'll shout a new price at you. If the price fits your wallet, do it. If not, continue to walk away and find something that will.

On Saturday afternoon, I saw Misterman at the National Theatre. It's a one-man show starring Cillian Murphy, the creepy blue-eyed beauty in Red Eye, Inception, and several other big movies. If I've ever seen an abstract show, this was it. The acting was beyond incredible, but the story was dark and haunting. I left the show thinking about JJ's song Where'd All the Good People Go, feeling a little bit disgusted by the world.

In the evening, the world just grew more corrupt when my group went to see Duchess of Malfi. It wasn't my favorite play to read, but it was even worse to watch live. Don't get me wrong... the acting, set, lighting, and staging were all awesome, but it's difficult for me to really appreciate a show that's full of blatantly inappropriate and disturbing scenes. Some of the girls loved it, but I'm learning that I'm not a fan of the dark. Brittany says that my corruption's gotta happen sometime. I beg to differ.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Four of us gave talks in our ward on Sunday. I spoke about finding joy in the journey, which was a fun one to study and prepare for. I really really enjoy giving talks. Helping in the nursery was easier than ever... we had two little girls and five adults, so we had some great conversations about ambitions and professions and dating and such. There was a really nice family from Provo visiting the ward, and I had a good time getting to know them and asking their advice about a few things. Next week is our last week in the London North ward, and I'm going to miss it!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Class was entertaining this morning. The theatre class was split into four groups and each group was assigned a scene from a play to reenact for the class, so we laughed as two of the groups performed theirs. Then Phil was in one of his crazy moods and got the class laughing and everyone was talking at once and it was complete chaos, but it made me realize how close we've become as a group. Although we struggled a little bit to mesh at the beginning, I think we all feel like a big family now.

I just got back from a run in Hyde Park. It's bloody hot, but it felt so good. It's gonna be sad to go back to Utah and have to run the same routes without being surrounded by bright gardens and ponds and statues and hundreds of people picnicking. At least it won't be humid, I guess, but I'd gladly take the humidity if I could keep the scenery. And I live right across the street from it all. This is a pretty cool opportunity.

Tonight I'm going to see Noises Off with Taylor. It's supposed to be a great comedy, so we'll see how it turns out. Tomorrow the whole group is heading to Stratford early in the morning. I may not be able to take my computer; if that's the case, I'll report back in a few days. Cheers!


**Later on....

Noises Off was the second best show I've seen in London, next to Wicked. It was HILARIOUS. Taylor and I laughed our heads off the whole time, and continued laughing the whole tube ride home. We were in the front row and were practically spat upon, but that just made it all the better. I love London theatre.

Greatest show ever.

Our extremely close view of the stage.

Taylor's face when we saw how close we were... we had to look up a bit the whole show. Notice the worker in the background staring us down for taking a photo in the theatre. Priceless.

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