Monday, April 2, 2012

I'm in LONDON!!!

I know I swore I'd write a blog every day, but today was my fourth day and the first time I've felt stable enough to write a blog post or to do anything, essentially. Today is the first day I feel happy to be here and I don't feel anxiety every second. It's the first day I started to remember the reasons I came here, and remembered that this is the trip of a lifetime, or can be, if I let it be. So here it goes.

I was expecting it to be easy when I got here. I went to Spain with my mom a year and a half ago, so I thought the main problem was going to be getting across "the pond" by myself. To be honest, I didn't put much thought into this trip. If I thought about it, I wouldn't have come. I would have convinced myself of a million reasons why it couldn't or shouldn't work, so now that I am here, I'm realizing what a huge thing it is.

Because I was such a mess the past few days, I'll skip those parts and just give you highlights. So far I haven't done many touristy things here because it was General Conference weekend. Diana has been going to the ward here, so she made some young adult friends, who I met on my first night here. I don't remember much, but I'm being tagged in pictures so apparently I was around people.

We watched 3 of the sessions of conference that were broadcast here. We took 2 buses to the church and walked a few blocks. One of the times we got a free watter bottle and egg salad/salmon/cracker bites from some guys on the street. They were selling insurance? Homes? Not sure.

The young adults here rock. Seriously. I am sure there are stuffy British people here somewhere, but every single person I have met is absolutely friendly and nicer than most Americans I know. This morning when we were leaving Oiying's house permanently, one of her neighbors, John, was outside in his yard getting the mail or something. He greeted us cheerfully and asked us where we were going and how we enjoyed our stay in the neighborhood and in London. He was seriously ecstatic to see us. Quite a jolly fellow.

For my first 3 nights here, we stayed with a 63 year old Malasian woman named Oiying. Diana talked to her at church once and I had never met her, but she was nice enough to open her home and let us sleep on the floor of a spare bedroom. We wore slippers inside her house and ate a couple of meals with her and got to know about her culture. She was adorable in every possible way. Pictures to come later.

Now we're at Diana's friend Naomi's house. She'd been staying here for a few weeks but wanted to give her a weekend of solitude, so that's why we ended up with Oiying. We'll be here for 2 nights, then off to France.

Today we toured the Tower of London and saw the Tower Bridge. It was quite an interesting tour and we learned about English royalty and a lot of history that I've read about in all my literature. I really liked going into the city finally. Tomorrow we're doing an open-top red bus tour just so we can get all the tourist sights in before I leave. I'm excited for that. Keeping me busy is a good way to avoid anxiety.

Now I'm off to the land of dreams.

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