Hello for the last time. This past week was certainly a lot of travelling. One day had an extra eight hours and I still spent the entire day travelling. By now I’m back at home in Eugene and it certainly feels weird. Like a normal weird, but a different weird than I left initially. To be honest, it felt so normal that I forgot I wanted to write one more blog post. But I think it’s important to write one final one because I don’t think a study abroad program is complete without understanding the transition period a bit. In any case, I still started the week in London, so I’ll go ahead and start there.
I didn’t have anything I needed to do on Monday. Or the rest of the week, but Monday I absolutely had nothing to do. I had turned in everything, gotten my grades on everything, and even mostly packed up by this point. So I really didn’t plan on doing anything except sit at my desk all day again, but my friends convinced me to go out one last time. This time to the Natural History Museum.
The Natural History Museum is located pretty close to where we live, and ended up being pretty close to what I wanted the Science Museum to be. It was large, interactive, and plenty informative. I spent a good amount of time in their geology exhibit and their evolution exhibit, both of which I found pretty interesting. Especially the evolution exhibit with all the new discoveries popping up questioning everything we thought we knew about our evolutionary history. The museum also had some stunning works of art, like this display in the main hall:
The museum is definitely geared towards kids, but that never stopped me before. In fact, it probably encouraged my friends and I to go to the butterfly exhibit. That exhibit is just a greenhouse filled with many different types of butterflies. We had to pay to get in but it was definitely worth it. Here are some pictures of that:
We walked through that for a while before eventually making it back home. That night we saw a big musical called Half a Sixpence, which was really phenomenal. The artistry in the dancing was really on display throughout, and it was well performed. It was a fun night to end a fun day.
The next day I didn’t do anything until we went to our final non-play scheduled meet-up, high tea. We were initially supposed to participate in high tea in Bath, but that fell through, so instead we ended the program with the fanciest dinner of my life. For those unfamiliar, high tea is basically just everything you would expect a filthy rich, very upper class couple would do for a meal. We had to dress up, which I did. I even found a tie to sort of match my purple athletic sneakers. So that’s cool.
The dinner was spent drinking tea, prosecco, and water while enjoying two courses of fabulous food. Together, we walked from high tea to our final performance, which was an acrobatics display. We had a bit of trouble finding the theatre, but in the end, we got in and enjoyed the show.
Now that should be the end of the story, but high tea got its revenge on me. I think high tea discovered I shouldn’t be participating in high tea in my athletic sneakers, so it planned to kill me. I mentioned that I drank a lot. Well all of it filled my bladder during the performance, to the point where I tried to escape, couldn’t find the exit, then spent the next ten minutes fidgeting and sweating profusely trying to figure out a way to get out of the theatre to use the restroom. I was in distress so badly that one of the ushers motioned to me so I could leave. I was able to escape, only to have the most painful and de-stressing pit stops I’ve ever had. I made it back in just in time to see the beautiful finale. I wish I could’ve enjoyed that more, but I really felt like I was dying because of how bad I needed to pee. After the show, I got some fro-yo with the massive amount of change in my pocket, and eventually made it back home to finish packing.
Unfortunately for me, that still wasn’t the end of the story. The whole incident led to an adrenaline rush, which made me feel completely exhausted and strange for the rest of the day. The adrenaline rush masked a back spasm I had because of the distress I was in, so for the rest of the week I was hobbling with an incredibly stiff and painful lower back. Well played, high tea. Well played.
Wednesday was the day everyone left. Or a lot of people. Not me. I forgot the end date so I booked my flight a day late. Luckily my girlfriend and a couple other friends were in the same boat and we were able to book a hotel for the night nearby. We spent the day wandering around and hanging out in the hotel. Pretty unexciting, but we all had to get up obscenely early the next day to catch our flights out of London. This pretty much sums up Thursday:
Thursday was the big travelling day, and it started for me at 4 in the morning. I accidentally got up an hour earlier than I intended, so I hung out with my friend that I happen to have a similar flight with. We left together at around 6 to catch a train to get to Heathrow. I really didn’t need to leave that early, but I wanted to leave with my friend. I ended up spending a couple extra hours at the airport.
The flying was very uneventful. The first plane I was on was really fancy. It had windows that could change their tinted-ness and plenty of pretty decent meals. The second flight from Chicago was really dull. I ended up landing in Seattle about an hour early, which meant I could get back home an hour early. Which was good because it was ten-thirty when I finally made it home.
Friday was a day for me to relax and gather everything, including my cat, for my trip back down to Eugene. My mom ended up taking me wine tasting. It was pretty cool. I got to try around a dozen different wines and hang out with my mom. That day I also spent hanging out with my cats. I got some pretty nice pictures of them:
Saturday I left really early to get back early enough so that I could watch the final production of the University’s season, Mr. Burns. In this, I was successful. I made it back before noon, so I was able to get shopping done and get myself settled in without worrying about making the play. Sheldon, the cat, is pretty good in long car rides, so that was nice not having to deal with an angry cat for an hour and a half.
That night I saw Mr. Burns. I was really happy to get that opportunity, because all of a sudden I could compare work similar to what I’ve been doing for the last three years to professional work that I saw in London. Watching the show gave me a unique perspective on what I can do to make our theatre more professional in quality, and gave me insight into things that we do that are of professional quality. I did like watching the play too. The scrip itself is really interesting, and the production was well put together. I was really sad that the audience was really quiet for the show that I saw. I thought it was really funny, but I was about the only one laughing.
So now I’m basically just cruising. I have a job interview lined up and I started my next batch of mead. I’m really excited for this summer. Last summer was one of the most rewarding summers I’ve had, and I didn’t really do anything. This summer, I have projects to complete and I have more friends staying down here. That about sums everything up. Have I changed because I was gone for two months? Probably. Have the people that stayed in Eugene change? Most definitely. Will that cause changes in my relationships with all these different people? For sure. But the only thing I can do about that is look forward to it.
Thanks for sticking with me for these past ten weeks. I will surely have more adventures in the future, and all of you will as well. Maybe my experiences have changed you in come capacity, and that would be all that I would ask from me detailing my experiences like this. I would say until next time, but there isn’t one. Instead, I’ll end in the way that this began, with a cute picture of my cat:
Have a great summer!