Entries Tagged as 'Patsy'
September 15th, 2009 · 1 Comment
This past week I have been reading ” Watching the English” by Kate Fox. Now I am not very far into it, but I am very intrigued with the topic. I feel as though I have found a way to observe a typical day for an average London tourist. This observation has led me to realize, we don’t fall under this category, however we have succumbed to a few minor mistakes, making our nationality quite obvious. Now, my point in this post is to address the American’s tendency to stick out. kinda?
One: The Tube
Depending on how large the group is, and depending on who is in the group, the moment the doors fly open we begin to fluster and annoy everyone on board. We, unaware of our high tones, are excited about what we’ve seen or where we are going, so why wouldn’t we talk about it? At this point I am unable to recall how many stares and glares our group of 27 have been flashed, and I personally have felt tense knowing everyone is horrified by our tones, but what is wrong with a little excitement? Why is it taboo to talk to each other on the train? Then again why are American’s so darn loud?
Two: Eating Too Fast (Food in General)
As of now, I have only sat down to eat about eight times. I enjoy my meal, even though it costs more when you choose to sit down, and then I leave. Why is it that they tack of a few pence and say “take away” every time you order? Why is it a different price? And why do all Americans say your dinning out and then sit anyways? If your in a restaurant where you dine in, and have a waiter, it becomes a completely foreign experience for most Americas. I don’t know about you guys, but when we eat out at home, we go in, sit down, order right when the waitor comes up, eat, pay the bill, and leave. What is the rush? Here in London the service want’s you to take your time. When Amanda and I finished our meal at an Italian place down the street and asked for our check, we were asked a stream of questions including “did you not like it?”, “Are you in a hurry?”, “Why don’t you want dessert?” etc. Why do we rush meals, and why do the British dine leisurely?
And why do we have to ask for the check? I always forget about that!
Three: The Theater
This may be just a “me” complaint, but what happened to the glamour of going to the theater? Bright LIghts, fancy clothes, classy cocktails, beautiful people? As of now we have been to quite a few theatrical and musical performance and I can not help but notice how relaxed the event has come to be. When I was younger I remember every Christmas getting all dolled up to see the Nutcracker with family and friends. I also remember my first NYC Broadway performance, and feeling as though I needed to look beautiful just to enter the theater. Today the theater is the last event on a busy tourists agenda. So, dressed in jean shorts and cotton tank, shopping bags in hand they strut into the theater. Glamour-less? sad.
I guess I wanted to realize the obvious. As much as we attempt to fit into this culture, everyone will notice where your from. We will always stand out. Our voices, our clothing, our eating habits, and our on the go attitudes; only to mention a few. We are different, and there is not way of hiding it. We cover this up, and ignore it, because were having fun and were happy, but think about it. Were foreign. We can judge the way the English think and act, but really, were the odd ones. I guess the question is, should we learn to conform in this upcoming year? Are we subject to lose our identities for the sake of fitting in?
All this talk of acclimating, now is it our turn?
September 13th, 2009 · 6 Comments
This post has no topic and was not required.
It is simply for all of you…..
I hope we all have similar feelings about out stay here in London.
September 13th, 2009 · No Comments
“The great surprise of the Moon Under Water is its garden. You go through a narrow passage leading out of the saloon, and find yourself in a fairly large garden with plane trees, under which there are little green tables with iron chairs round them. Up at one end of the garden there are swings and a chute for the children.”- Orwell
Green Space and Pub Culture? How my brain thought I could make this comparison is beyond my knowledge but, just for a moment, think about it…..
London is a city of continual urbanization. Despite its growing population and continual reconstruction, London has been able to preserve almost 5,000 acres of Royal Park. These parks are a significant characteristic of London, and quite an amazing gift from the Royal family. They are routinely kept, and always monitored; taken care of as if they were children.
Now, I’m from Arizona. I am from the desert. The desert; the hot, sweaty, dry, brown, sandy desert. Green space is something you don’t often come across, and when you do, you must know, that it takes approximately 1,000 gallons of water to make it look like that.
Wandering through the parks of London has shown me a completely new world. I love the way you can immediately escape the rush of a city, to find complete serenity. However, regardless of their beauty, why do they take such great care of these areas?
Why spend the money, time, attention to maintain the area?
When thinking about the social scene in London, I am automatically reminded of pubs. It seems as though pub culture has become a staple activity for those who visit London as well as those living here now. Since going on the Pub Tour, I have come to understand that Pubs are multi-purpose structures first known as town Inn’s and now used for happy hour and parties.
I have never had a fake ID and I don’t drink. That said, till now I had never even entered a bar.
I have seen a wide variety of pubs since I have been in London. Some cater to business clientele, others to locals, and finally those that focus on college and teenage groups. Now that I know the history of pubs, its interesting to notice those with traditional structure and others that are completely modern. Each pub is different, but does this mean they remain a symbol of British culture?
Why renovate, preserve, and promote buildings that have transformed into an incorrect representation of London pub life?
These two pieces of London are comparable because they are both obvious traits of London. Not only are they well known to the tourist population, but they are continually appreciated by those that live in the community. The people of London are preserving both their parks and pubs simply because they are beautiful pieces of culture. Both pubs and parks act as a form of relaxation. Like in George Orwell’s Moon Under Water, the perfect pub would be alongside a garden; a place of peace.
London will always watch over pubs and parks, not only for a form of relaxation, but to hold on to an always deteriorating sense of nationalism. Britain will continue to evolve, but by saving certain parts of the city, it will remain unique and deeply historical.
September 11th, 2009 · 3 Comments
In the play Pitmen Painters, two of the most profound lines, for me, were “stop being scared of the world” and “the mystery of being alive”. Now as a I reflect on the play as a whole, I’m unable to remember the context in which they were said however, for some reason they have remained in my thoughts through out this entire day.
yesterday in a nutshell
– wake up
– The Globe Theater
– cook dinner (burn chicken)
– email banter, fight, crap
– Pitmen Painters
– watch this space rehearsal
today in a nutshell
– walking tour
I compared these past two days, and all I can think about was, when we first arrived in London. We spent every day exploring. We stumbled upon museums, buildings, and cafes all of which seemed to be waiting for us. Now, are we allowed to say we are familiar with the city, and just stop?
Why are we here? How will this experience benefit our lives? What will we take from living in this strange city? What is the purpose?
After I saw the play Pitmen Painters, I was undoubtedly blown away by the creative and emotional connection I experienced, through the performers. Not only did I enjoy the acting and the humor, but I felt the message was incredible. Past the drama, and past the humor, I felt as though their was a consistent theme of self-improvement. I thought it was beautiful how they depicted the closed and simple life of a miner, and how easily a life can be influenced with simple encouragement. These men lived a hard and terrible life, but because of the sharing of knowledge, they were able to observe creativity, and let it improve their mental state of being.
These men stopped being afraid of the world. Do I have the ability to do this? I want to, but can I? Do you need to live in a time of oppression or discomfort in order to realize your due for self improvement?
Tags: Patsy · Uncategorized
September 8th, 2009 · 1 Comment
Upon entering the Sir John Soane Museum, I had a preconceived idea that it would be boring, and a complete waste of time. I had heard it was very small, and somewhat strange; meaning it would have absolutely no appeal to me. I refused to do research on the topic, so I walked in completely blind to the subject and unaware of what I was soon to see.
Lets just say the word “acquire” gained a new and more powerful meaning as I walked though the restored home of Sir John Soane. I can’t tell if I had the same feeling as I did when I first saw the Colosseum in Rome or Buckingham Palace here in London, but the feeling is in some way comparable.
[ Insert negative opinions here]. I won’t go into my thoughts on ego and pride.
How beautiful is it that a man of such stature would create a museum in his home to be of some help to those desiring education. What I found to be most interesting was Soane background in architecture, a talent which led him to build this home. Through out the house, alongside different statues, books, paintings, etc., there are few of Soane’s sketches and plans for different buildings in London, including Parliament. I also enjoyed the variety of artifacts in the museum. It was just so random, but strangely they all complete one another.
Museums, stores, and restaurants like this are what I believe to make London so unique and eccentric. These small parts of British history and fun hole in the wall joints make the city exciting. I am disappointed that I allowed what others thought of the museum influence my first impressions, however, I am glad that it was required so that I was able to develop an opinion of my own.
What are we missing in London? Do we notice every little cafe, charity store, Lebanese restaurant, or historic home?
Could you live here forever and never really see anything?
Tags: Museums · Patsy
My first observation: I have absolutely no interest in comparing Hinduism and Sikhism.
My second observation: I lack the sufficient knowledge to try to act as though I can analyze religion, and if I tried I believe my thoughts would reflect my bias nature.
My third observation: I’m going to shut up and write about what I have learned.
Since we have been in London, I have truly enjoyed our emphasis on the great diversities of faith. Since the day I was born I have practiced the same religion. Although I lay great value on my beliefs, I have always found it fascinating to learn and study other religious beliefs. That said, I find this prompt very interesting, in that, I appreciate the opportunity to look further into how these religious groups face immigration as well as assimilation.
I really like BBC.com. It isn’t the easiest cite to navigate, but its very informative. After reading both the Hinduism and Sikhism profiles I happened to find two, very distinct, characteristics that have and will continue to influence their ability to practice religion in London.
To be a devout practicing Sikh, one must have uncut hair, carry a comb, wear a silver bracelet, wear special undergarments, and carry a sword. These customs were came into practice when the religion was developed in India. India allows and accepts these customs simply because it is natural. However, today, in England these practices may influence the daily lives of those who practice Sikhism. Carrying around certain weapons in a city is against the law, this is an obvious, however other customs the Sikhs practice influence their ability to smoothly immigrate into London. Leaving hair uncut, and wearing certain clothing could factor into attaining certain job position etc.
Hinduism also stems from India. Those that live in India and also practice Hinduism have forever followed the segregation of the Caste system. The system includes the priests, the warriors, the merchants, laborers, and the untouchables. This system is clearly prevalent in India but, now as those who practice Hinduism immigrate to London the system continues. Although the segregation is not visible, within their religious community, tradition continues to flourish and those with in their class remain in their class. The combination of both the Caste system and the British Class system allows for deeper separation, and continual discouragement of creating a people as one.
These two faiths immigrate to London with the desire to continue their religious practice in full. However, when they encounter the different laws and social values in the city it becomes difficult to balance religion and assimilation. Preventing this seems almost impossible. Should the people of London allow one specific religion to carry around a weapon? Should the Hindu rank system be completely abolished, even if it altered the stature of a priest? These question are not simple. Question of this form require more than just a quick conversation or a unanimous opinion, they require both cultures to accept each other 100 percent. Who knows when that will happen….
I believe Brandon and I have won the award for worst bird poop incident. Not only did we have bird poop on us the entire day, it was like freaking Niagara Falls bird poop, splattered everywhere….. and my sweater is dry clean only.. stupid bird.
When I first sat down to write this post, I thought my views on identity were simple. Simple meaning; you are who you are, don’t throw a fit, its easy, kind of simple. After I realized I had virtually nothing to write about, I figured I needed more time to allow myself to further my knowledge on what identity is.
This time around, after viewing what I though may help my argument, (the Sikh and Hindu Temples), I have gained some understanding of what identity is. It is apparent that, the search for and loss of identity reflects entire generations in the city of London. The book Salam Brick Lane is a perfect example of the diverse population attempting to search for a British identity while also trying to grasp their own at the same time.
It seems as though Londoners want immigrants to assimilate into their culture. Does this mean, then that once a man from India, of darker complexion, who works in the city, goes to fun pubs at night, and lives in an upscale neighborhood, in other words “assimilated”, can only identify now with British culture? For that matter, if one does do these things, is he/she unable to identify with their original culture?
The two temples we saw represent how immigrant populations have migrated to an area where they can openly worship a religion brought from another country. In these temples we saw people who practice a very strict form of both Hinduism and Sikhism but we also saw those who dare to use the term, “more westernized”. We see these people worshiping in street clothing and we know it is their choice, but how do they feel? Do they feel trapped within one culture, or do they feel as though they want both?
I guess what I am trying to argue is that identity can not be defined by another person. As a matter of fact, identity can just as easily never be defined. It is ones choice to have an identity and it is also their choice to not. The real issue involves the ways in which a country handles an immigrant populations decision to choose their identities meaning, they have to allow each individual to make the decision.
I am an America. I descend from Germany, Ireland, Scotland, and England, but me, myself, and I, am an America. But, if I ever choose to move to England or another country, I would hope that my identity would be at liberty to alternation based on who I want to be and who I choose to identify with.
We have been lucky enough to not only focus on the history of this city but to also have the opportunity to gain knowledge about the peoples and their culture. More specifically, I have to come to be quite fascinated with the different religions of London. Not only is this a immigrant filled city, but it is extremely diverse group of organized religious views.
Today we had the amazing chance to visit Saint Paul’s Cathedral. I can only speak for myself, but I have yet to see a building radiate such an enormous amount of beauty. First of all I had no idea it was such a large cathedral. I had only seen the back end closest to the tube entrance, but when we walked around to the front, I was overcome by its stature and grace. I was so happy to know we would be guided by Mr. John again. I think he adds so much excitement to history, and his passion for his country really shines through.
Walking through the church, I was utterly amazed by the detail, and the sparkle. You don’t know me well unless you know I love anything pink, princessy or sparkly! This in particular fell well under the “sparkly” category. While writing this post, I still am not capable of comprehending how large and how ornate each aspect of the cathedral is. It is truly a work of art.
I was very grateful for the chance to go to the top of the dome. Beautiful, gorgeous, incredible; these words do not come close to describing how mesmerizing this view was. We have covered so much space, so many museums, and so many feelings, but now, at the top of a monument so dear to London, we realize how much of the unknown still awaits our arrival. Can we possibly learn to understand this city in only a months time?
After our tour, a few of us decided to stay for the nights Evensong. What an incredible expereience. I myself have always enjoyed religious related musical performances, but this was unlike anything I have ever seen. We were unable to clearly hear the words, however the building and organ created such a lovely atmosphere it was almost impossible to not feel overcome by emotion.
I feel very lucky to be able to view these churches, and embrace the different religions of London. I can’t wait to go to the Mosque.!!
Hey there, Patsy and Amanda Girl here, your one and only source into the the scandalous lives of Londons elite,
(aka Dickinson college Norwich Humanities students)
In the last few days we have made quite the dent in our list of required activities. Instead of blogging after each trip, we decided to collaborate our ideas and opinions within in one “museum” post.
At this particular time we have gone to both the British Museum and the Cabinet War Rooms/ Churchill Museum. What we would like to do, is continue to add information about required museums to this post during the remainder of our time in London.
Although Amanda cheated and already wrote about the British Museum, we will further our analysis of this great house of stolen goods in this post. After a morning of strolling over eroding bodies, we found a glorious pizza joint and indulged ourselves with BBQ chicken pizza and a meaty calzone. Realizing we ate our body weight in food, we decided to return the Bloomsburry area to change for the gym. Needless to say our intentions were not strictly academic so, to get back on track, we agreed to visit the British Museum before our workout.
Our first impressions of the museum held true to Professor Qualls’s notion that to see everything would take a full day. After searching for a map, we began our search through the main level. In order to refrain from repeating what everyone has already written about this museum we have decided to note only our specific interests. We found that our two favorite exhibits were the table displaying rows and rows of pills, and the Greek Parthenon. Our initial thought was that the British were very lucky to have such precious and historical artifacts for any average person to view. However, after walking through each room, we realized that a such an extensive collection, from all over the world did in fact represent how powerful the British empire was. Are we ones to judge how these artifacts came into the possession of Britian ? We don’t think so, but it is fascinating to attempt to understand England’s direct relationship with countless foreign countries.
This is a perfect transition to our visit to the Cabinet War Rooms and the Churchill Museum. Before we entered the museum, we happened to stumble upon the traditional changing of the guards ceremony. Lets just say we became mildly afraid of fancy uniforms, big horses, and yelling. After our wild encounter with the guards, and a few stops to admire our surroundings, we walked over to the museum. We paid our admission fee and began our journey through this underground world. We were very impressed by the museums state, and became intrigued by the history of the Blitz, (luckily the next day we were informed by our class in Regent Park). We came to an exit, feeling mildly unimpressed with how short it was, and then realized we hadn’t seen the Churchill Museum. We then ventured upstream back to the museum.
The Churchill Museum is exactly that, a memorial museum to Winston Churchill that, depending on you attention span, can captivate you for quite a while. We both agreed that the overall construction of the museum was one of its most appealing characteristics. Its shape, lighting, and interactive activities provide entertainment for a wide age range. We were most amused by the time line in the center of the room that, when touched, displayed data from days of Churchill’s life.
Although these two museums, for the most part, have absolutely nothing in common, they both demonstrate critical and influential aspects of British history. Each museum we visit solidifies the idea that Britain is always evolving. Not only its people, but its ideas as beliefs as well.
By the way, the Gym down the street, Oasis, is not a gym! We were dressed and ready but it was nothing. Disappointed?
Some things never change, London better love us.
Patsy and Amanda Girl
Tags: Amanda · Patsy
I absolutely love being alone.
Today was the perfect Patsy day. A perfect Patsy day consists of exploring, clothes, history, being dressed up, and smiles.
I have been waiting to go to church here in London and today I got to. I figured out my tube route and then got all dolled up and went on my way. One of the things I was most excited about coming to London, was being able to not only explore my faith in another country, but to meet new people who also share that same beliefs. That being said CHURCH WAS GREAT!
The church building I attended was right smack in the center of a million museums. After the service, I walked outside and decided to go into the Victoria and Albert museum (not knowing it was required). I thought the contents of this museum were unbelievable, and it went on forever.
I spent a rather long time in viewing the fashion exhibit. I have always been obsessed with clothes, and in these rooms, I was like a kid in a candy shop. The way clothing has evolved over time, to me, is rather fascinating. Clothes represent more than just pretty colors and fancy fabrics. Clothing shadows the transformation, liberation, and movement of women. This exhibit demonstrates how beautiful clothing can be and how creative the fashion mind is.
Needless to say: Heaven.
I also enjoyed the exhibit on fairy tale furniture. I got in trouble for using my camera there but for heck sakes there was a PRINCESS CHAIR!!!! I wanted a dang picture.
After the V&A, I held myself back from entering the Natural History museum, (Im obsessed with the NYC, and DC museums), and frolicked up the street. I experienced a tad bit of anxiety when I had know idea where I was, but i quickly used my AtoZ and planed my way back. After I calmed myself, I just relaxed. I happened to stumble upon Harrods! (This was not planned I promise I had absolutely know idea where I was). I breifly walked in and noticed the amount of people, and left. I hate crowds.
Like I said before, I just love being alone. Not only do I love that i can navigate myself through out this city, but I really enjoy that fact that I can go to church, explore a museum, get lost, gawk at clothing, and find my way home without having one legitimate conversation with anyone. I was walking home from the grocery store the other day and I realized for the first time, that I am alone. Is this a good think? Right now it seems like it.
This trip is helping me grow in more ways that i realized. I feel like im learning to be a completely new person, and I’m okay with it.
Tags: Museums · Patsy