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By rlubitz

So I’m off. I’ve got about four days left of London. The time is split by a trip to continental Europe where I’ll be able to compare the awesomeness of this city to a lot of others. But I know nothing can compare to this place. Nothing can compare to walking to the coffee shop and seeing Big Ben in the distance. Nothing can compare to being called ‘dear’ on a daily basis. Nothing can compare to constant dog sweaters.

I’ve spent roughly three months in this city and I could spend the rest of my life here too. Never once was I homesick for the regularity of Washington, DC or the charm of Florida, my home state. It was like this city absorbed me, body and soul and then I just existed. I was always excited to get out of my room, just walk around, maybe go to a market and look at pretty things all day. And I didn’t even have to go to a market to see pretty things all day, I could just take a stroll through Hyde Park or by the Thames.

Beauty was so regularly available that it became the norm but I can see myself waking up to the sounds of emergency vehicles again in DC and whimpering for the beauty back.

When I first arrived I was so anxiety-ridden that the time seemed to zoom by. It was only when I realized my days were numbered that I began to savor. And I’m so glad I did. It started to become a game in my head where I would not let a day go by without doing something new, without being pleased with my day and those were the days I’ll remember for a long time. It could be a simple thing like a walk or a museum outing for under an hour. I just had the self-motivation to do pretty much everything and I’m so glad I did.

Travel is stressful and you can have an absolutely crippling breakdown thinking of all the things that could go wrong. Your bag could get stolen, you could break your iPhone, your hair straightener could erupt in flame, you could be forced to have the most awkward breakfast of your life at your Berlin hostel. All of those things could happen and you could be left in a state of absolute misery but what you have to remember, totally and absolutely, is that you are in a foreign country. I know people who have never been on a plane before, who have never seen snow and if you remember how lucky you are to have traveled to be living in London then everything becomes fine.

I could not have asked for a better stay here. It felt like I could finally breathe without stalling after I got over the initial hump. It was like taking a shot of happy every morning.

I’ll be riding on those memories when I go home. I’ll be nostalgic to the point of annoyance. I could be having a wretched day but then I’ll think of the red buses and almost getting run over and the dog sweaters and the stress will pour off. I have these memories to ride on and I’m so thankful.

I’m going to miss a lot of things. I’m going miss the smell of croissants and expensive coffee. I’m going to miss escaping into the city by myself with my own motives, on my own terms. I’m going to miss the red buses and the tube. I’m going to miss Parisian weekends and bus rides through the countryside.  I’m going to miss the trees and the roses. I’m going to miss the sound of my neighbor’s voice. I’m going to miss the bottles clinking at three in the morning. I’m going to miss how the air felt after a day of rain. I’m going to miss how my hair has looked for three months. I’m going to miss my hairdresser who cut my bangs and spoke zero English. I’m going to miss boys who wear oxfords and argyle. I’m going to miss the horrible Chinese food in Camden. I’m going to miss walking down Drury Lane and Fleet Street. I’m going to miss the scooters and I’m going to miss the city. I’m going to miss this city but I know I’ll be back. I have to be.

By rlubitz

To prepare for my impending departure I’m having a very slight, slow breakdown both physically and mentally. It’s going to be a while before I leave Europe, I’ll be going on a 2-week mega adventure with my mom between now and then. Think The Amazing Race except it’s me and my little mama trying to not get mugged the entire time. I see hilarity ensuing and hopefully I can update you here on that.

But I’m in the middle of final paper time and my body is completely shutting down. I set my alarm every day for 9am and I can’t seem to wake up before noon. It’s not that I’m all that tired but it’s that there’s an entire season of Freaks and Geeks online and it trumps sleep every single night. I’m making pretty much 0 progress on papers now, instead choosing to wake up late and think of all the things I’m not going to see when I’m really gone. (grim, right?) ...continue reading "How to Have a Breakdown Without Really Trying"

By rlubitz

I’ve been here for about two and a half months now and I’ve got one month to go. I’ve got just under two weeks left to go of class and I’ve been sleeping until 1pm and staying up until 5am writing papers/watching The Hour. I feel worthless, constantly pinching myself over the fact that I can go outside and look at Big Ben for three hours if I wanted to but I don’t. ...continue reading "The End is Near and It’s Horrible"

By rlubitz

Remember a few weeks ago when I had this sort of plan where I was going to gradually do every assignment so I wouldn’t be crushed under five essays due in two weeks?



So that didn’t happen. Nor did I ever really think it would. It was a horrible idea not to but life is life and the internet exists along with entire seasons of Louie. I’ve gone days without sleeping not because of essays but because of life and the internet.

I’ve procrastinated everything and I want to die.

My remedy is to just TRY to manage my time so I don’t want to die COMPLETELY. ...continue reading "I Am A Horrible Academic"

By rlubitz

So, uhm, newsflash: London has a pretty fine street treat here that I would like to see directly exported to the United States.

Back in American cities there’s the hotdog and the pretzel and that’s pretty much it. There’s a huge level of shame that comes from standing out in the sun and staring at a cart for ten minutes and then going up and saying “Hot dog, please….and these chips… much is a soda? Okay. Yeah. Thanks.” It really shouldn’t be shameful at all, we all know it’s unhealthy but sometimes a honey needs some chips and a soda.

Here, however, there’s NO SHAME in street eating. There’s a bit of fun in it, really. ...continue reading "Reasons to Live: Sausage Rolls"

By rlubitz

This past week was Reading Week here in the UK and while British students read, I decided to see six different European cities in a week.

For those wondering, taking night buses is a very, very bad idea. Buses rock about and can stop abruptly and drivers can keep the lights on and blast the air conditioning on a six hour night bus to Paris and drop you off an hour early at 5:30 am. After this said journey, you look like a very unhappy newborn kitten. Your eyes can’t open and it is so, SO cold and you have no idea where you are and maybe you start crying. Night buses are a very, very bad idea. ...continue reading "People Are Amazing and I Want to Marry an Italian Flight Attendant"

By rlubitz

In London, this election isn’t really a debate but a consensus of the whole entire country that Barack Obama should be elected yet again and the opponent is a *string of offensive names.*

This country fears the alternative. This country fears the alternative would be a step back in time. This country fears that things are too close and really, what are we thinking with that Romney character?

They fear what will happen to the EU, what will happen to US human rights and what will happen internationally. ...continue reading "London Loves Michelle Obama’s Arms Just As Much As We Do"

By rlubitz

For the past few weeks I’ve been abroad. That’s what I’ve been thinking and doing and talking about this whole time but since I’ve been here a while it’s finally struck me that I’m actually STUDYING abroad. Like I have to do work. Meaning papers. And maybe take an entire day in a library to get through life. Maybe there will be a week straight where I’ll exist on Tesco Only Ham sandwiches and the sacred 30 pence chocolate bar. ...continue reading "An Explanation Of My Impending Breakdown"

By rlubitz

British kids are proud of their music and they should be. Their music revolutions turn into our music revolutions from pop to goth to punk and a little bit of soul. Then of course there are The Beatles, four boys who made this country and are always hanging around London in advertisement and art.

Before I came to London I was terribly concerned with being cool. I’m giving up now and embracing my full on lameness. There is just no competing. The kids here play David Bowie at parties and Radiohead when they get home. In America we play vain songs from vainer artists. Walk through my freshman dorm and you can hear The Libertines, Florence and the Machine and Mumford & Sons who are every British kid’s patron saints since the release of their newest album.

I can’t pick a song that I love here because there are just too many. So here are a few of my favorites old and new. ...continue reading "British Beats"

By rlubitz

I’ve never lived in a place like London and frankly never really thought I ever would. But now that I am, now that I’ve gotten to roam these streets and never gotten tired of them, I can’t think of living anywhere else. It’s a tough city where people are incredibly polite but not necessarily warm. That’s excluding very old English men because they are actually the best people that inhabit this earth. It’s been an adjustment but a fast one.

That being said, on my many walks around the city to nowhere in particular, I’ve run across a fair amount of amazing street art. Graffiti, I feel, lowers this art to mere illegal acts by people who are running from the law with bandanas around their mouths, etc. The art I’ve seen is fantastic.

...continue reading "Art I Like So Far"