Or they don’t tell the full story. My phone this morning said, “cloudy.” That’s it. Not showers likely, or sporadic rain. New rule: just always assume some form of liquid will come from the sky. Rain, snow, tears of Americans without umbrellas.
After seeing the rain wasn’t letting up, I darted over to Primark (a cheap clothing/accessory/small household stuff store) in order to buy a dang umbrella. I don’t know why, but women here try on clothes over their own clothes in the store. I don’t mean jackets and coats, either. I could get that. They try on dresses, shirts, and skirts (I have yet to see pants but I wouldn’t say it never happens) over whatever they have on already. I don’t understand. This will not show an accurate fit. Go to a dang try on room like normal people!
I have no voice and I think maybe I seem extra pitiful. People are different toward me when I attempt to talk. When I asked where the umbrellas were (or rather, when I wheezed), the manager gave me a sad smile and made a woman take me over to where they were hanging. I couldn’t tell if he was being extra nice or if he didn’t want my plague and was throwing his underling under the bus.
As I was writing this as a note to myself earlier, a woman walked by and hacked (an open-mouthed, disgusting, wet, loud hack) without covering her mouth. It’s your fault I’m sick, lady.
In a true-to-form “that figures” moment, the rain had stopped by the time I bought the umbrella and didn’t start back up for the rest of the day.
The plan today was to go to the British museum. I was going to meet up with Gabby around 1:00 and we were going to find a sculpture or mosaic to write about for Dr. Shaggy’s class. But let’s back up to before Gabby and I were meant to meet up. In fact, let’s back all the way up to 7:00 AM this morning, (ON THE HOLY SLEEP IN DAY OF SATURDAY) when I was awoken by a banging and mumbling on my door.
Maybe this is TMI (but too bad, this is my dang blog, so get over it or skedaddle), but since I’ve been sleeping with my heated blanket I have a tendency to sweat at night. When I wake up at night all sticky and cold with sweat, I don’t really think – ya know, cause I’m asleep – I just strip. I don’t always strip things that are sensible, either. I might take off one sock and my shirt. I might hike up a pant leg and take one arm out of my hoodie. But last night I took everything on top off. Shirt, bra, the whole kit-and-caboodle. So when Eley came banging on my door, I was confused, disgruntled, and topless. That’s a terrible combination. I jerked out of bed and went to open the door only to realize that it would be a super awkward if I did. I am VERY glad I lock my door at night, because Eley tried to come in and I would have just been standing there in my room: topless, in sweatpants, wearing one sock.
I found a shirt, threw it on, and opened the door. Eley may have still been a bit tipsy from the night before. She asked if she could sleep with me because her gal pal who had stayed over snored. I agreed because I was tired, and what else could I do? I figured she’d pass out again too, so it would be fine. That is not what happened. What happened instead, is that she tried to have a conversation with me. Then she was fiddling on her phone with the volume on, so I could hear the little “ticks” each time she texted someone. She watched a video without headphones in, laughing loudly. And I lay there and got progressively more and more agitated. I can say from multiple experiences, I am not nice when I’ve been woken up and I didn’t have to be awake. In fact, I am downright hostile. I managed to bite my tongue, but I kept thinking, “IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO SLEEP GO BACK TO WHERE YOUR FRIEND IS SNORING SO THAT I CAN.” Eventually we both drifted off, I think.
Now that leads us to the British Museum. After I bought the unneeded umbrella from Primark, I headed to the museum to meet Gabby. The British Museum is HUGE. As a fun fact: it holds 8 million objects. The oldest of which is a stone tool that is nearly 2 million years old. I cannot wait to go back in and explore each room in detail. It will take me ages. Gabby and I just met in the Parthenon area. It was amazing to see everything, and incredibly overwhelming. There are statues that are enormous. I can’t imagine how heavy they were to move – and most of them are broken! We went to the section that had portions of the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos and I was floored. To give you an idea, there was the forepart of a horse sculpture (full horse head down to its front chest, no legs) that was 7 feet tall. That’s only the shoulders and head of the horse. Not including if the horse had been intact. At one point as we walked around, Gabby was so excited and said, “Remember learning about…” which was sort of a buzzkill for me because I had to admit, no, no I don’t. Which sucks. I keep thinking I should have studied Asian art rather than Classical. But in reality, I don’t know about that either. I at least learned about Classical art in the past. I just don’t remember it anymore. I don’t know anything about anything.
We finished up our notes for our assignment and then wandered around for awhile longer in the various Classical rooms. We came across this one section that had medical tools. One of them looked really weird, so I looked at its description. It was a bronze Roman rectal speculum. Mmmm…what? Someone please tell me how people know this speculum was specifically for rectal use. Did they find it somewhere questionable? Was it found fossilized still stuck in a skeleton? Because if not, I don’t see how someone could say it was for that. Just to note, apparently speculum design hasn’t changed in years. I wanted to post a picture of it here, but there was a thing on the British Museum website that said to register for photo use. I went ahead and did that without thinking, and now it is set to specifically send me that rectal speculum photo within two working days after approval goes through. I should have just done what normal people do and right clicked save image. Now there’s a record of my email asking for a high-quality Roman rectal speculum photo. Perfect.
Some of Gabby’s flatmates came with her to the museum, so we decided to all go and eat together afterward. The decision was made to head to Chinatown. I hadn’t gone yet, so I was wicked excited. One of her flatmates was German, and the other two were Asian. They were speaking Chinese, so I assumed (there’s this recurring pattern for me assuming things each blog post. Maybe instead of Meg gets lost, this should be called Meg makes an ass assuming) they were Chinese or Taiwanese. When we sat down to eat, one of the Asians started to make conversation with me. I don’t remember why I said it, but I somehow threw into the topic (probably at random and in a way that did not flow) that I had lived in China for awhile. They both just blinked at me. Instead of being deterred, I went into further detail. “I lived in Yantai, in the Shandong province?” They both continued to look blankly at me, so I asked instead where they were from.
…Singapore. Here I am, being a big dumbass, thinking I am bonding with these Asians over our mutual time living in China, when they aren’t even Chinese. Now I look racist, because not even Asian person is Chinese – DUH MEG. SORRY I didn’t know that people in Singapore also speak Chinese. I thought maybe they spoke something different. Malaysian or Singaporean or something. I know next to nothing about Singapore, other than it apparently wasn’t its own country until recently. One girl I talked to from there told me that and said it didn’t have much of a culture because half of its inhabitants were older than the country.
I tried to change the conversation and include the other half of the table (Gabby and the German) into it. I learned, thanks to the German flatmate, that apparently the “fact” that an average person eats XX amount of spiders in their sleep at night is a lie. Made up as a social experiment by people in Australia to see how fast lies travel and are believed as fact. WHAT HAVE I BEEN BELIEVING ALL MY LIFE?! I have had legit nightmares about eating spiders accidentally when I was asleep – and here I find out it isn’t even true?! I started a journal entry on this blog like the first week I was here where I said I dreamt about eating spiders, but I deleted that part because I thought it was too creepy. Come to find out I had nothing to fear at all. Insane.
On a less disturbing note, when we were actually on the way to the Chinese restaurant, we passed a gathered group on the sidewalk. Gabby and I were both like, “what’s going on? Oh, it must be someone famous.” I have never thought I’d be star struck, so I “whatever’d” in my head, thinking I wouldn’t even know who the famous person was. Then I saw his face. IT WAS MATTHEW LEWIS. Better known as Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter films. Gabby and I realized who it was about the same time, and had the same initial reaction: grab each others hands and hold on for dear life, squealing under our breaths. Totally reasonable response. My favorite part was that Gabby didn’t even question it. We both just went with it. Yes, we are now holding hands in a crowded sidewalk while looking at a famous person. This is okay. I didn’t get a photo with Mr. Lewis, and neither did Gabby. We stuck around for a few minutes taking photos over people’s shoulders who were taking photos with him. Gabby was going to take a photo with him, but then decided not to on the basis that he “is famous but also a normal person and what if he’s just trying to get to the train?” I was on the same boat as her. I think it’s cool that he’s famous, and now it’s cool that I can say I saw him from a few feet away. But I’m not going to ask someone on the street for a photo with them. I feel like that’s intrusive and weird. I get they’re used to it, but I don’t want to be a bother, and that would make me feel like one.
After the star struck evening and dinner, we all started to go our separate ways. I went to the library to try and print out all the reading I need so far this week. I have two things I need to read for Tuesday morning. Another two things to read for Tuesday evening. I also went ahead and used my shiny new loan money to buy a recommended text book. One of my professors said a student asked him what he would suggest as a good overview for someone without an archaeological background. I bought what he described as his “basic bible.” Go big or go home. Look at me, spending money on… books. Dolla dolla bills y’all.
It was pretty dark by the time I left the library, so I headed straight for Temple station. Only to round the corner dash down the stairs to see that the gates were up. The station was closed. There were signs up saying this was planned, but I hadn’t been aware. I didn’t come in on that train, after all. It was a total Monday moment, and I’m glad i happened on a Saturday when my mood wasn’t bad.
I’ve been sitting and rewriting chapter 1 Greek vocab for the past hour. I am so terrified of failing and already I feel behind. I’m planning on going to the library all day tomorrow to study more, but I don’t know that I will have fully grasped the vocab and grammar by Monday. Also, I feel like I need to have read ahead to chapter 2 or 3, as well. Because I want to avoid the same disaster from Friday. There isn’t enough time before Monday! Are there study tricks I’m missing or forgetting? How do people stay caught up? I’m trying to be smart with time, but it’s not working.
When I’m overwhelmed I like to eat. A lot. So right now I’m eating a store bought Victoria sponge cake on my floor. The whole thing. With my hands. Wife me.