England Life Stories

The London Diaries: Day Three

Day three comes to you from the top seat of a classic red double decker. This is so London, and the church bells chiming around the city make it even more so. I’m rushing this one because I’m meeting up with my new Brit friend, Asante, who I met hours upon landing when I walked into the Joe & The Juice on Portobello Road and ordered a flat white.

What have you got going on?

  • I don’t know. You tell me! I just landed.

She then told her coworkers I just got off a flight from LA, but they continued making drinks (haha). She turned back to me and invited me to a barbecue. A barbecue that I’ll be going to directly after I click publish this. The past few days feel both jam-packed and quite empty – problems of a solo traveler? It’s honestly one of those trips where I don’t know if its Sunday morning or Thursday night.

Every morning here has begun by the two photos above.

My hostel is located inside a park, which is great for the adventurer in me and threatening to the cynical in me. Every day when I leave my hostel, I walk down a long beautiful tree-lined, isolated path to the Holland Park tube station. It’s beautiful, but it’s also a mugging waiting to happen. I hesitate every time between jamming out to SZA during this me time, or keeping my electronics in my bag so I don’t get mugged.

The second photo is a photo of my daily breakfast and I’m pretty sure it’s gotta be part of any study abroader’s survival guide to London. It is key in mine. See, this is where other countries need to step it up – and they need to step it up in three specific ways.

  1. First, there are like five supermarket chains here – and you’re nearly guaranteed that you’ll cross one every fourth block.
  2. Second, each has a refrigerated section of healthy and vegetarian grab-and-go foods.
  3. Third, the meal deals are for less than £5

All pretty great. Oh except for that one time yesterday a security guard came up to me in an aisle and asked me to open my pockets.

You want me to open my pockets?

  • Yes, open your pockets.

For what?

  • Because I saw you put something in there.

…My phone.

Then he pointed to a white shampoo bottle the same color as my iPhone and said,

I thought you were shoplifting the shampoo.

Seriously…shampoo, of all things?

I made my way over to Shoreditch, which is where “everything” these days is happening. I bought a travel guide from a blonde woman working at a bookstore who looked very clueless when I asked her where I could go in London to chill out on a Saturday night and not drink.

Next scene is me at The Ace Hotel ordering a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, then half the bottle. Clearly, a pattern is establishing itself here, so my night wouldn’t be that complete unless I up my socialization game even more and turn up at my friend’s apartment party. Oh, but before that happened, I can’t forget to tell you that I…

Went.

To.

The.

Wrong.

Apartment.

And.

Opened.

The.

Door.

Cuz there were people, there was loud music, it was the right apartment number – or so I thought – and no one refused me when I walked in and said “What’s up!” Someone please teach me how to read British addresses cuz I went to the zip code, and not the right apartment.

Shout out to me gettin’ a lil’ messy in London.

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  • Kiki

    N (North), NW (North West), SE (South East), SW (South West), EC (East Central) are examples of where you are geographically. Then, it’s just the numbers which tells you which area you are specifically in example: NW5 is Kentish Town. A door number or name also helps. 😅 All the best on your travels baba.

  • Whahaha I love this daily blogs from you Damon!

  • Daniela Zancan

    Loving the London diaries.

  • Não parem nunca de escrever no blog! Amo isso aqui <3

  • Christophe Charrier

    J’aime beaucoup la façon dont tu nous fais les récits de tes voyages/séjours : j’ai vraiment l’impression d’y être, c’est très immersif ! Merci Damon ! Bon séjour à Londres

  • The prevalence of Tesco Express, Sainsbury Locals, M&S Simply Flood, Waitrose, Boots, etc. lunch deals and selections, let alone ubiquitous Pret and Costa are truly a wonderful thing in London. The tomato-cheese pinwheel rolls they have in the Sainsbury bakery are sort of like having croissant-like pizza for brekkie. Love it.

    • They are really EVERYWHERE. It makes life so much easier with those meal deals!

    • The 5 pound meal deals CHANGE THE GAME.

  • blonde woman working at a bookstore who looked very clueless when I asked her where I could go in London to chill out on a Saturday night and not drink

    As someone who was brought up in London and with British culture in general… I would have looked mighty befuddled too. I seriously can’t think of anywhere like that apart from bowling but some places even sell alcohol too.

  • Shazia

    Loving these blogs – I’ll be moving to London this September for uni, so definitely finding this helpful.
    It’d be great if you’d link the rest of them or at least the next part of the series after the blog though. After I found the first part through the link on your vlog I had a hard time finding the rest of them.
    Keep ’em coming.

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