Friday, September 23, 2011

Charles Libolt Sends Greetings From London.

Hey Chris!
So it has been a while since I contributed to the blog, so I thought I would send you a little write-up on how things are going over here!

I've been in London since the 6th, and while I am still without a bike, I plan on fixing that by next week! Bringing a bike amongst all of my other baggage seemed like more hassle than it was worth. Fortunately, being a sprawling urban city, there are a handful of bike shops all within walking distance from my little apartme

nt. But now the questions is - what kind of bike do I get? Road? Cyclo-cross? MTB? Trendy neon-colored fixie with no brakes and extra-narrow handlebars? Whatever I end up with, it will definitely have a sticker on the handlebars gently reminding me to KEEP LEFT when on the street.

As for my living conditions - If anybody has ever seen the first Harry Potter movie, they should be familiar with his little "cupboard" under the stairs that he was forced to live in by his evil relatives. If you haven't seen it, I suggest searching for it on YouTube. My London apartment is about the same size as Harry's little cupboard. My bathroom is small enough that I can sit on the toilet, brush my teeth over the sink, and shower all at the same time. Not that I have tried this yet, but if I am ever running late, it is a good emergency option to have. My kitchen consists of microwave and a "hob." It took me a couple of days and a Google search to figure out what the hell a hob is... I'll leave it up to you to do the same.
And speaking of food and kitchens, Britain has gone through a sort of "food revolution" of sorts over the last couple of years. Gone are the days of crappy, laughable English fare consisting of black pudding and greasy, stale fish and chips. Now, restaurants serve an endless variety of foods. They proudly advertise that they work directly with local farmers to purchase fresh, seasonal ingredients every day. This is seen everywhere from the local bakeries, coffeshops and pubs, all the way up to Gordon Ramsay's Michelin starred restaurants. Very little is imported, and almost everything goes right back into the pockets of the local farmers and butchers. Most importantly though, it makes for some delicious food at reasonable prices. My only complaint is the lack of quality Mexican food. There is a place up the street that claims to offer "Authentic California Mexican Food." However, three of the four words in that claim are misleading. It is neither authentic, Californian, or Mexican. Not bad, not really good either. But, they seem to have the Brits convinced that it is authentic, as the little place is packed every time I pass by.

My classes start in a couple of days, so before I disappear into academic oblivion for the next year, I will try to send another little update and some photos of whatever sort of bike I end up with.



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