Wednesday, November 18, 2009

St. Paul's Cathedral and Thanksgiving

Every now and then, whenever I get bored or sick of my room, I take my own individualized walking tour of London. Why is it individualized? There's no one leading me, no one telling me anything about the buildings I'm passing. I think it's one of the better ways to find out about the city I've been living in for the past two months.

Tonight's walking tour took me past St. Paul's Cathedral. To pass it up close like that, I can only describe it in two words: awe-inspiring. Ok, maybe that's one word, with the hyphen. In any case, I don't care if you're Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, Atheist, Agnostic, Church of England, Lutheran, whatever, the sheer size and grandeur of the building is one of the most amazing things I've seen since I've been here. It actually made me feel really, really small. Then I remembered that events had taken place there that I had only seen on TV. Lady Di's funeral comes to mind first, and other than that there have been the funerals and weddings of other members of the British Royal Family. I can only imagine what it would be like to say your wedding vows in a place like St. Paul's.

Walking past the Cathedral made me very excited for Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving Day, the American Embassy is hosting a ceremony in St. Paul's for any Americans in London, that a lot of my fellow study abroad classmates are attending, myself included.

Thanksgiving Day might be an emotional one. Yes, I still have to go to class on that day - my professors won't give me a break just because I'm a silly American. After class is Choir practice until 9 pm. No turkey dinner, no family gathered around the table just barely tolerating each other's company (just kidding, I love my family, and our dinners only get better with age). I will definitely be setting up a video chat with my brother through his laptop, so I can see everyone and say hi to them. I haven't missed my family too much, but I'm pretty sure I might cry next Thursday. This will be my first Thanksgiving away from home, and a month from now, I'll be spending my first Christmas away from home while I'm in Germany. I'll be staying with a family friend so it won't be too lonely, but I'm still a little anxious about it.

Let's see, what else is there to write about...
Well, I finally sent out postcards to my friends and family! Some of them were written over a month ago. I do what I can, when I can.

On Monday, I took some time to myself and visited the National Portrait Gallery. It was by far the best museum I have been to yet, and I only left because they were closing up. I'm mainly interested in the contemporary photography, so I only stayed in that wing for the hour and a half that I was there, and completely lost track of time. The exhibit I enjoyed the most displayed the winners of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, although I found it somewhat amusing that the judges of the competition were all in the same social and racial class and had judged the work of a multitude of artists. After that I went to an exhibition about the model Twiggy, celebrating her 60th birthday. I have to admit I'm confused about why this woman is so popular; she's huge in Britain, but not so much in America, so maybe that's it.

Until next time...cheers!

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