Today it snowed and we got out of school early. It was my teacher Mrs. Bingham's birthday. Chris, Jill, John, and I went skating on the pond.
Today I went to school and got really mad at Mr. Reedy (our band instructor). Jill went back to St. Minneapolis.
Tel Aviv, Israel
We arrived in Tel Aviv today, boarded the a small bus with our driver for the rest of the time we spend here. We went to the hotel in Tiberias and settled into our rooms. I remember rooming with Jeremy and Dan.
We did some shopping in Penzance. Then we split up after a cream tea and half a train ride. After my time in Cornwall, I went back to London because I had already paid for a return ticket that was cheaper to get than a single.
I'm on my way to London Paddington from the best vacation ever in Penzance. I had an incredible time hiking, shopping and eating with Becca. She is now on her way to Bath, but since I have a return ticket to London, and then from there to Nottingham, I thought I would save some money and still do exactly what I wanted to do most. I have been to Kew Gardens. That was really beautiful and interesting, I wish to go again in the summer and visit the entire grounds. The rain was not a nice way to see it, and I can't imagine what it looks like in the summer. I decided to write now because the ticket taker on this train is very humorous, he walks back and forth after each stop calling, or rather singing, "Tickets from Liskerd" or "LIskerd, tickets there from" But he keeps changing his tunes. He smiles and laughs, he is a right jolly old elf. He was on our trip to Penzance as well. I appreciate that, he has made my day much more fun. I sent a letter home with details of my trip. It is more fun when I just send letters when I have something to say and not have to rewrite or rephrase everything while I am travelling. We just stopped in Plymouth. Only 3 more hours for me. I could just go back to Nottingham tonight, but I want to go to the Tate again, and the VA, and the Shakespeare Museum and some old pubs that I have found in London. The group of students from Luther should now be in London, so I am going to try to find them (buy phoning Luther tonight) and find out which hotel they are at. I should get in at 19:45, so I will be able to find a hostel if I can't find them. I hope to go to a musical tomorrow. Maybe a matinee of "A Christmas Carol" with Patrick Stewart. Maybe the London Transportation Museum, it just reopened.
I stayed in Earls court YHA, in a four-person room with an open window covered with bars. The first night, after I got into Paddington Station, I called Terry Uhlenhake at Luther to find out where the Paideia II group that was studying theatre in England would be staying. I had many hassles in doing so, which I will list soon, but I found out that they were in the Imperial Hotel in Russel Square starting Sunday. They were in Stratford presently. I decided to stay in London until Saturday anyway, and see some museums and galleries.
The hassles that I faced were: I lost my diary and address book at a phone in Paddington station. I went back later that evening to find it, but the lost and found was closed. I did remember the Luther number, so I could try Terry again. I also lost a pen of mine that I bought in Cornwall. I had written all my postcards with it from Cornwall. Lastly, I had to buy more tube passes than I had wished.
On my way out of Paddington, I decided to walk back through Hyde Park. That night, there was an incredible snowfall in London and all over England, except Cornwall. Hyde Park was all white with it, and it was beautiful. I did get to make a snowball and launch it off into the vast expanse of Hyde Park. When I reached High Street Kensington, I aimed, by turning right at the Royal Albert Hall, for the Goat. That is the old pub in the area, and a favorite of mine. After having a bitter, lonely as I was, I stopped and got an Indian triangle shaped food that is a lot like an egg roll, but spiced with curry, to eat on my way for 60p.
I made it to the hostel last that night, first stopping for more food in a store. I got Ramman noodles and a pint of milk. I cooked the noodles, ate, showered, and went to bed. The guys in my room were talking. One was an older man who grew up in Syria. He was talking to a nurse from Austria who was studying to be a radiologist. He advised him not to take advantage of his female patients, because there are plenty of women you can buy cheaply. Take Clarence Thomas as an example. Don't try that kind of stuff in the office. I will not tell the rest of the conversations I overheard, but the stories were many, and some were very wacko. He had lived a life of crime, and many other lives. All were exciting. I felt quite boring when this fifty-year-old man spoke.
(The lost diary mentioned above was returned to my by mail about a month after I returned to the USA. It was postmarked from someone in Georgia who found it and brought it home with them.)
Bookends & Beans is closing. I went there today to order a book, "The Sable Queen," by Brian Jacques. It is a ritual for me to go there to order those really special books that I'd feel dirty or impure if I didn't order them through a local bookstore. But as I ordered my coffee and scone and asked if I could reserve the book I was told that they were not taking any more orders, that they were selling everything. I was glad that I did come by today, so I could experience some kind of last rites with the place. I read a bit of JESUS SUN, which I'm reading slowly, on short piece at a time, purchased in San Francisco's City Lights bookshop. Rachel and I had dinner together while watching "Shrink." Great movie, if not often depressing, but the pay-off in the end is worth it.