Boasting over eight million residents who make up more than 50 different ethnic communities, London is known for its plethora of farmers markets. This past week I took a trip to Brick Lane Market for a mouthwatering lunch with foods from different countries around the globe. There were pastries, body scrubs, vintage clothes, live music, street art and more. I will definitely be going on a few more trips to the market and the surrounding area over the next few months.
Though everyone seems like the friendly neighbor that you say hi to on your way to school, you should always be diligent and protect your belongings. Pickpockets are very much prevalent in London.
A few tips to keep your things safe and to make this trip the best one you will ever have:
Make copies of your passport, debit cards, credit cards, and all other relevant information for travel. Leave a copy at home and a copy with you when traveling to other countries.
If provided by your housing accommodations, always lock your documentation in a safe if provided. If it is not provided, find a hiding place that you remember.
Never leave your valuables lying around in your room if you are sharing it with a new roommate. Due to the many new acquaintances that you and your roommate will meet, it is best to be cautious and lock your things up. You do not want to accuse someone of stealing something when it goes missing because at the end of the day you still need to replace the objects.
Write your name on everything and lock up your food if you are sharing your kitchen and that is an option. Some people may eat half of your food while you are sleeping and then you have half of a personal box of pizza left.
There are many museums all over the city of London. Most of these museums are free with the exception of traveling exhibits that require a small fee in order to pay for the artwork insurance. The museums range from fashion exhibits from past centuries in the Victoria and Albert Museum to the “Life and Death” exhibit in the British Museum. This week I focused on the Asian culture and the history of Native American Tribes. Fun fact, tribes on the Northwest Coast would hold potlatches during major life events. When the missionaries came in to “civilize” the natives, they banned potlatches because they were wasteful. In 1951 the potlatches ban was lifted in Canada (The British Museum). If you are ever in London, take advantage of the museums!
Classes while abroad are a big adjustment from being at Penn State. Each class is two and a half hours long with a ten minute break around the hour mark. On the bright side, each class is only in session once a week. Many classes have a component that makes the city your classroom. From women’s history classes to theater, each one takes students all over the city to learn. This week’s theater show took us back to the ‘40s with the true story of former First Lady Jackie Kennedy’s family in “Grey Gardens.” The show was located in the Southwark Playhouse in a very intimate showroom. Though this true story left me wondering whether the ending was for the best, the actors did a phenomenal job.
Check out some photos from this past week:
Daje Walker is a sophomore studying History and Secondary Education. For the Spring 2016 semester, she will be studying abroad in London, England.