Thursday, May 03, 2007

Second day in London

Here's an excerpt from my journal entry from 2 May 2007--my second day in London:

I tried to stay awake all through yesterday to avoid making my jet lag worse, but it didn’t entirely work. I laid down on my bed for a second in the afternoon and woke up a couple hours later. However, I felt a lot better after that.

We had a great dinner (some kind of vegetable soup) at 5:30 yesterday. We all eat together at that time, and a third of us have dish duty each week. Tony and Tina, the couple who live here and take care of the Centre, prepare the food each evening. Last night we had soup, salad, baguettes, and a really good cake with warm custard. The cake was especially amazing. It looked like it might be a dense, rich, sweet cheesecake-type affair, but when I took the first bite I was pleasantly surprised. It was lighter than I expected, and it had apples in it. It was almost like a really thick, sturdy piece of apple pie, but the texture was a smoother and more uniform. The custard made it extra good.

After dinner last night I went on a walk with Kinsey and Jesi. Jesi and I got our Oyster Cards (month-long Tube passes). We also went to a few stores looking for phone cards for Jessie. We went to Boots (a “chemist”, a.k.a. drugstore) and Tesco (a grocery store). There are lots of interesting products to buy here, even in grocery stores. Tesco had a “family planning” section full of all kinds of birth control products, and there were stickers all over the inside of a phone booth advertising all kinds of questionable services.

After the stores, we walked over to Kensington Gardens and played Frisbee for a few minutes. It was nice to get away from the huge crowds for a few minutes.

I spent the rest of the night trying to get others’ computers to work with the wireless internet so that they can use Skype (an internet telephone program) to talk to people in the States.

* * *

Today I got up at around 7 a.m. and read my scriptures for a while. Today I read the book of Fourth Nephi. I was impressed by how much can change in a generation—for the better or for the worse.

I showered and had breakfast (help-yourself cereal and toast). Then a third of us went out on a walking tour of the West End with Roger Baker (my literature professor), his wife, and Taylor and Kenzie, two of Dr. Jacoby’s daughters.

On the tour we walked through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. We passed Kensington Palace and stopped in front of Buckingham Palace. We also saw the Marble Arch (a war memorial), the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Hyde Park (LDS) chapel, and probably some other things that I have forgotten We continued on to Leicester Square and sat down for a few minutes in the park there. The tour was officially over at that point, but a group of us went to several theatres around Leicester Square and checked on discount ticket prices.

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