I want to blog everyday, but not everyday is worth blogging about...For instance, Thursday was a lazy day. We were still pretty tired from our day trip on Wednesday and we had a lot of homework to do. Mostly, we just hung out around the centre, there were no lerftovers so Emma and I ate waffles for lunch, and I finished Northanger Abbey for British Literature. I love Jane Austen and I love Northanger Abbey. It's such a darling story and it was so fun to have been to some of the places in the book. Read it, you'll like it.
Friday was a free day because of the day trip scheduled for Saturday, and we had a lot of fun with the day all to ourselves. We didn't take the tube very often because of the terrorist threats surrounding Tony Blair's visit so we walked down to Portabello Road. It was a little rainy and cold, but we found some of the cutest shops! Including a bakery called Hummingbird. I got a delicious fudge cupcake, and the atmosphere was so cute! I'll definitely go back and take pictures. The weather makes me want to leave my hands in my pockets, not whip out my camera and have a photo shoot and I'm getting kind of tired of not having very many pictures. But, after Portabello Road we went to a great little restaurant called Giraffe. It served everything from hamburgers to edamame. The design of the place and the wonderful smells coming from the kitchen made me want to stay all day. Right across the street from Giraffe was Top Shop, Kate Moss's store. I think I built it up a little too much though, because ultimately I left empty-handed and slightly disappointed. Maybe as the weather gets warmer the clothes will get cuter. I'm so glad I ate a lot at Giraffe because we had curry and rice for dinner, and I don't fancy myself a fan of authentic thai food. We finished our Friday with a little gelato from Gelato Mio. It was just a fun day!
Today I was a Sikh woman. We learned all about the Sikh and Hindu temples and then set off to South Hall to experience them ourselves. At the first Gurduara(Sikh Temple) we entered, removed our shoes, covered our hair, and washed our hands in preparation of worship. We learned a lot about the ten prophets that wrote the book of scripture that Sikhs read and believe. We ended up upstairs in the main worship hall and I didn't know you could take pictures, so I just have a video of part of the scripture reading. On the weekends they read the entire book of scripture and it takes about 48 hours. It kind of reminded me of mutual and how we would have B.O.M.-a-thons and read the Book of Mormon in one sitting, but anyway, the scriptures sat under a canopy at one end of the room. We walked down a long aisle and when we reached the canopy, to show respect to their god and prophets, we touched our foreheads to the ground and then walked around the canopy and back to our seats on the carpet. Our guide taught us for about half an hour and right in the middle I had a coughing fit(I'm sick again), and it was one of those situations where your throat is really dry, your eyes are watering, and you just can't cough enough and I felt terrible because the guy was already hard to hear. Honestly though, I need to find a good vitamin. On our way back downstairs they gave us a "gift" and it was a dough-y wheat ball, and we touched that to our forehead in gratitude and Calvin finished mine...After you worship you go down to the cafeteria for Langar, which is basically a free communal meal paid for by tithing. They feed an average of 5,000 people a day. The food down there was pretty authentic and I liked the rice, and only the rice...the water was good too. After we left, we went to a Hindu Temple and spoke to a little old man there. We still had to take off our shoes and cover our head, but Hindus are polytheistic(Sikhs are monotheistic), so instead of showing respect for one god, we learned about several gods and got to see statues of them. It was difficult to understand everything we were told and the cute old man would say something he believed followed by the question, "is it not true?" All we could do was nod haha. We went to one more Gurduara, this time in a smaller group and worshipped on our own. I was pretty proud of us. We remembered everything and touched our heads to the ground like pros. We had a lot of time to explore South Hall and to be honest it was kind of ghetto. It literally looked like a little India. There were a ton of little shops lining the streets full of beautiful scarves and saris. I got a really pretty scarf and I'm going to wear it over my hair in Provo. It will be the next big thing, just wait. We also got awesome henna tattoos! They're beautiful! We got them done in a bridal shop and also in the bridal shop were the most beautiful dresses in the world. They were traditional hindu bridal gowns, hand-beaded, 500 pounds, and I lusted after them. They were so intricate and beautiful, but I just couldn't justify the purchase haha. The plan tonight was to eat Indian food at Gifto's in South Hall, but I just kind of knew that I wouldn't like it, so we went to McDonald's before dinner and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. The Indian food was alright, but way too spicy. We caught the train back, and now I'm in the dorm blogging my little heart out and shining my Sunday shoes. Pray the organ behaves tomorrow.