Day One


What a long, exhausting day. We arrived at Heathrow airport at around 10:00 a.m., GMT. After a brief tour of London by bus, with our really rough-and-tumble bus driver, Owen, we arrived at Baker’s Row, our lovely London flat. After unpacking, we went for a jaunty walk to exchange currencies and see the town. London is beautiful in every sense of the word; its old-world feel, winding roads, and extremely courteous citizens enamor me already. We walked over to the British Museum to check out our “classroom” building, and had dinner at the Museum Tavern. Andrea has appointed me “student leader” for day one; meaning that I have the honor of rousing the troops and making sure we all arrive at the classroom early. I’m a little nervous, because I know some fellow students will be late risers. Still, I will uphold my duty to the best of my ability. Well, it’s 1:15 and we have to be up and out by 8:30. Goodnight, London.

Jet Lag

1/5/10 -12:55 a.m. (Eastern Time)

Jet lag. I can already feel its drowsy tendrils enveloping my still-waking body. It is hardly a “late night” for any college student, yet it is approximately 5:55 a.m. in wintry London. I am excited about every single thing London has to offer, and I can almost guarantee my first day will be spent on my feet, trolling the streets of London proper, and not softly dozing in bed. Two weeks hardly seems like enough time, yet hopefully all that there is to be seen will be. Well, I am off to take a brief nap before our cheery British flight attendants wake us for our morning tea. Til then, I will be following the second star straight on til morning.


Let us begin the beguine! As with all beginnings, introductions are in order. My name is Patrick Kiernan, and I am a theatre arts major at SUNY New Paltz. As such, I love theatre and performance in every form that it could possibly come in. I am a sophomore, member of the New Paltz Players, Paper Rain Laboratory Theatre, and most recently Alphi Psi Omega, the national theatre honor society. That seems to be quite enough introductions, so now to the marvelous and fantastic trip to London, which I am eagerly awaiting. As of now my suitcase stands half-opened in my room, things tossed semi-carelessly inside. Even as I write this, I am dreading zero hour: “Packing Time”. It is probably the lazy person in me speaking, but I’m confident I’ll drag myself into getting it done. Speaking of dragging myself to getting it done, I should probably do that now. Til next time. Here goes nothing!

untitled post.

Greetings! For those of you who have been following my adventures thus far on my other blog, welcome back! For those of you just tuning in, who’ve missed out on my first few posts, you can catch up here.

So hello everyone! As you read last time, this past Friday was the Riverboat Disco on the River Thames. It was great!! I didn’t get outside to see the sights as much, a) because it was freezing outside, and b) I was having too much fun inside! But here’s a shot of the bridge I was able to get when I got on the boat:

Tower Bridge at night

The night was chock full of a lot of dancing, and a LOT of singing – no, screaming. And so by the end of the night I was losing my voice, but Saturday morning I woke up with absolutely NO VOICE. I haven’t had that happen in so long! I guess with all the screaming-singing and the fact that I already had a little cough going on, my voice box just gave up for a while. I still only have a partial voice, but it’s better than complete silence. Saturday morning (afternoon, really), I woke up and treated myself to a full English breakfast at Cafe Roma next to the Oakwood tube station. To anyone reading this studying in Middlesex: DO THIS. It was amazing!!!! Egg, bacon, sausage, beans, toast, and tea. All for £4. (Okay, so I obviously can’t have it every day because I don’t really feel like having a heart attack, but it was certainly worth it at least that one time.) The woman working there is so nice; she realized (since it was quite obvious) that I lost my voice, so she gave me tea and told me how to get my voice back (gargle warm water with salt; already knew about that but it was nice that she offered). While I was waiting for/eating my breakfast, I decided to be worldly and pick up a London newspaper. Just from reading that one newspaper for 20 minutes, I could tell you two words you do NOT say to anyone from the UK: Tony. Blaire. Wow, so people really hate him here. I also read an article that said Osama bin Laden made a statement saying he thinks we should do away with the US dollar because it’s basically evil. Not sure how he plans to erase an entire currency, but suuuuure. Oh, sama……..

SO ANYWAY. After that, I was pretty much a bum on Saturday. Yesterday, I went to Camden Market with Claire. It. Was. Amazing. It was basically a ginormous street fair, tons of little tents and such with all sorts of different things, depending on where you were. I guess we mostly stayed in Camden Lock, which was a lot of clothes and also just about every single kind of food imaginable. Claire and I had falafel, which was amazing. Then we walked over to this stand of giant brownies for only £2. Claire got a chocolate brownie and I got this banana spice fudge thing. There was no fudge. But it was still delicious, just very messy.

Some of the shops along Camden

Beautiful view of Camden and all its tents!

Motorcycle seats!

More tents!

View from the (impossibletofind) bridge

Camden Market on Sunday = CROWDED!

After Camden, we were supposed to meet up with people to go to the National Gallery, but it had gotten to be about 2 and we hadn’t heard from them, so we were going to go back. It was cold and we were slightly tired. But Claire made the point that we both purchased £7.50 all-day passes; we might as well make use of them. So we hopped on the Tube headed for Covent Garden. (The picture at the start of this entry is a shot of Covent Garden.) And I bought this really cute change purse with London-related things on them (well, really it just has a pendant of the British flag and it says ‘LONDON’ on it. And it’s red and blue and white). Anywho, I needed a change purse, so it was a good investment.

Human statue in Covent Garden

Another one!

Anyway, after an hour or so in Covent Garden – and after we kept missing our friends by minutes – Claire and I headed back. Found out later that Joey, Josh, and Melissa (the ones we were trying to meet up with) accidentally stumbled onto the UK premiere of Invictus and got to see Matt Damon, Clint Eastwood, and Morgan Freeman IN THE FLESH!! Very, very jealous.

Today has been really productive actually. I got up early, did laundry and went food shopping with Laura. Spent over my normal budget for food shopping, but I honestly know I won’t need to go shopping for a WHILE. I feel like I’m getting used to making all my meals every day, that I can actually start making real food instead of microwavable things. Funny story: I spent about 5 minutes in the cheese department looking for American cheese until I realized they probably won’t have it. Or, as my mom pointed out earlier, it might be called something else. Oh, Liz….

So I guess I should go make myself some dinner, what with all of this newly purchased food! I’ll keep everyone posted!


The Getting Settled Hustle

Beside ridiculous baggage checks (don’t fly Cimber Air), the plane rides went smoothly with no delays as I landed Saturday. The journey to Prague took about 14 hours in total. Unfortunately, none of those hours included any sleep. It is now Monday and I’m still suffering a bit of jet-lag.

The weekend included a couple runs into town to get last minute things, and of course to have food and beverages as we all got acquainted with one another. One of the first ( and one of my favorite) cultural differences was the fact that you shot the queer eye if you order a glass of water instead of a beer with your lunch or dinner.  Did I mention it was cheaper than water?