Officially a London Student

After the chaos of my whirlwind orientation day settled down I had a chance to collect my thoughts and the realization that I’m actually back in school finally hit.

London

I’m experiencing at least 50 different shades of anxiety, nervousness and fear but overall I’m excited to have yet another opportunity to go back to school and also explore another new city.  hashtag blessed =)

London is amazing.

I try very hard not to look around in wonder like a tourist but sometimes it simply can’t be helped.  I’m still adjusting.  Haven’t figured everything out yet and I’m not quite ready to give up my trademark shorts and sheer shirts but I’m sure I’ll find a way to keep part of the old me and somehow blend it with the new me to come.

London

Classes start this week.

Already I have a sneaking suspicion that life is about to get truly hectic for the next few months.  I’m OK with that and I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to handle it.  But this won’t be like undergrad or musical theatre school.  This time around I’ll actually have to show up for class (sober) and do the work.

Also, I have to maintain a B average.  Not that I ever had bad grades in school but it’s one of the first things they stressed during orientation so I’m assuming they take that sort of thing pretty seriously around here.  It’s a good thing though because I definitely slacked off way too much at NYU.  I plan to make up for it this time around.

I do hope I won’t get too busy to keep up with my blogs and Youtube videos.  I truly hope there will be time to fully enjoy London.  Speaking of which, it looks like bowling and salsa dancing lessons may be in my immediate future.  Additionally, I may have found a free outdoor bootcamp to attend on weekends.  And I managed to find a Black hair supply store as well as a Black hair salon right near where I live.  Yay!

Let’s see what else is in store for me.

 

Outfit / #OOTD

Sweater – The Limited

Scarf – Primark

Cut Offs – Macys

Tights – Primark

London: Fitting In

The menu was written in chalk on a large board as we entered the cafe. The sun was brilliant.  The park was packed with other people all eager to brunch with friends and loved ones.

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We were having brunch by the lake in Victoria Park and I couldn’t decide between the Banana pancakes with creme brioche and the Pavillion, which was the traditional English breakfast.

Always open to trying new things especially where food is concerned, I didn’t shy away from the English breakfast because of the beans or the random mushroom.  I’d never had beans for breakfast and mushrooms didn’t usually look like they’d just been plucked from the Earth and placed on my plate when I ate them.  But again, I was willing to give it a try.  Plus, the dish came with bacon.  And sausage.  I’m always up for bacon and sausage – especially sausage.  I love sausage.  So despite the beans and the mushroom, the traditional English breakfast was quite tempting.

However I was also drawn to the banana pancakes.  I love pancakes.  I don’t normally have banana with my pancakes but I love pancakes.  So I had to make a tough decision.  Or a compromise.  I realized I could have the pancakes with sausage.  That’s what I would normally have in America so it seemed simple enough to me.  I asked Andrea if he’d be willing to part with his sausage so that I could have the best of both worlds – Andrea was not willing to part with his sausage.  But when it was time to order he did ask if it was possible to order an extra sausage with the pancakes.

There was a bit of a pause after this inquiry.  The server kind of blinked at Andrea and said, “Sausage?  With the pancakes?”

Andrea nodded and the server blinked again.  But before we could all start to feel too awkward he shook it off and said, “Whatever you want mate.”  And proceeded to ring up our order.

Hilarious.

It never occurs to me that the things that seem perfectly normal to me coming from Los Angeles are actually quite strange to people in the UK.  I think it’s because when I go to London (or any place that’s not home) I’m immediately open to the new experiences I’m bound to have.  Nothing seems strange to me – it’s just new.  So I figure it’s the same way on the other side of the coin.

Nope.

I got quite a few comments about my sausage with pancake meal from my brunch mates.  I suppose that if/when I do move here I may have to abandon that food pairing if I want to fit in.  Ah but it’s a small price to pay to be part of a city as amazing and surprising as London.

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So far I made my first Primark purchase.
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Everything in Primark is considered cheap.  I guess Primark would be the Target or Walmart of the States.  Last year I visited a Primark but ran away immediately because it was way too crowded and I wasn’t in the right state of mind to actually do any shopping.  But this time I was with Andrea, which helped keep me calm and the few items that I purchased seemed to jump out at me from the racks.  It was a fairly simple shopping expedition.  And cheap…which is great considering my budget.

I’ve also been to Abbey Road.

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Oh my goodness what an adventure.  I’ll have a video of this posted on my Youtube Channel.  Do check it out when you can.  www.Youtube.com/DawnMelissaVlogs

I went to a super posh and hard-to-get-into club called Sketch.

Normally I avoid places like these like the plague – I’m just not a fan of high priced mediocre drinks and snooty attitudes.  But when you know someone who knows someone (in my case I knew someone who knew someone who knew someone…who knew someone) who could get you access…you don’t pass up the chance.  Sketch was awesome!  High priced drinks and all.  The best part was the bathrooms, which weren’t really rooms so much as sectioned off areas where there were individual, egg-shaped stalls.  Crazy.  I tried to get a picture but it didn’t work out.  Ah well.

This week I plan to visit some museums again.  I went to see an exhibit at the Barbican Centre called ‘Monument’.
Then I was at the Tate Modern for a bit- I’ll have to go back soon because Andrea’s roommate, Matteo, talked to me about a Rothko painting and it was so intriguing I decided I needed to go back.

And if possible I’d also like to do a campus visit.  Now I’m off to meet a fellow Youtuber in person for the first time.  So exciting.  Wish me luck!

By the way, the weather here has been amazing.  I can’t believe I actually walked around all day yesterday without a jacket.

More On Customer Service

People are the worst part of working in customer service.

Don’t get me wrong.  Customers who greet me with a smile get a flash of pearly whites in return. And they get the best customer service ever.  But if you bark orders at me and throw money at me like you’re at a strip club then you don’t get a sincere smile.  You don’t get told to “have a nice day.” You don’t get to drain me of any energy.  You barely get my attention.  You get the minimum of my attention (the rest of my attention is back at Facebook headquarters).

But let’s play a game of ‘what if’

What if retail stores were run by club bouncers and the second some rude mother starts screaming and yelling about discounts a large bouncer came and told her to get the f*ck out.

That would be awesome!!!!!

What if customer service reps were treated like flight  attendants and the retail stores were like airplanes.  You can’t be rude to a flight attendant. You can’t get loud on an airplane.  No one wants to be on the no fly list or handcuffed next to an air Marshall. So asshole mothers, cranky old White men, and uppity Black men alike have to be on their best behavior. They have to actually be decent human beings when they go to an airport. They have to actually treat TSA and everyone they come in contact with with some sliver of respect.  It would be so awesome if retail stores were like that.  And the second some awful customer got unruly an Air Marshall or TSA would appear and pull them to the side for a random search or something equally annoying.

What if there was a $1.00 restocking fee for every item a customer pulled off the shelf and brought to the checkout lane just to check the price only to say “I don’t want it (You knew you didn’t want it when you picked it up in the first place!!!!!). A restocking fee would keep that kind if nonsense to a minimum. 

I don’t mean to complain (actually I do) but it just gets under my skin sometimes when I have to deal with entitled, impatient people who think that because I’m bagging their purchases that somehow that means they are better than me and can therefore treat me any kind of way.  Unacceptable.  There’s the trash bin right there throw your own trash away.  Also I don’t have the prices of every item in the store memorized – that’s what the price checker is for. 

The only good thing that comes out of my working in retail is the experience has made me more aware of my behavior when I’m the customer.  I don’t bark orders at the cashiers.  I don’t scream random nonsense when I’m feeling impatient after standing in a long line.  And I don’t take an aggressive dump directly on a toilet seat in the public bathroom used by both customers and employees. 

I don’t care how much money you have there is never an excuse to take a dump directly on a public toilet seat.

People…. We can do better…..

Photo Friday: Shoes!

I never thought I’d wear leopard print shoes.

Fun Friday

Not that I ever had anything against them in the past but I just would tell myself, “that’s not me…” and kind of shy away from anything too flashy or outrageous or that would draw attention.

 

Wow.  Crazy, right?

Who doesn’t want to draw attention?  I can’t believe I let myself be so boring for so long.  Love the shoes (From Target).  And I’m officially going to stop saying I don’t know anything about fashion.  Because I know what I like.

 

 

And that has to count for something.