Tuesday, January 10, 2012

More Exploring

Today was a great day of simple yet exciting discoveries. This morning we took a bus from right outside our flat to Hammersmith and we got to sit on the top right in the front. I've been wanting to do this for a while and it was definitely worth waiting for.

Front row!
In Hammersmith there are a lot of inexpensive restaurants and places to shop. I stopped by an Orange Mobile store and finally picked up a phone! (And I got a great international calling deal might I add). After this we found something I've been searching for since we've been in London: a pound store. It's the equivalent of an American dollar store but with British currency. I bought a night light, a flashlight for my black hole closet, some candy, water, and Pepsi for 6 pounds. I actually like the soda (or fizzy drinks as they call them here) better here than in the U.S. since they're less bubbly. 

After my exhilarating experience in Poundland we went to a small but very pretty pub called The Hammersmith Ram where they had lunch specials for 5 pounds. I couldn't understand what the bartenders were saying most of the time so I just smiled and laughed. I guess it worked out alright. 

Beef burger with chips (french fries)
Some of us in the booth (and my Strongbow!)
After this, we went over to Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park and rented bikes to ride around. I learned quickly that the Brits made this feat seem a lot easier than it actually turned out to be. 
Assumption: Swipe our cards, grab a bike, gracefully be on our way through the park.
Reality: Cards wouldn't swipe, receipts wouldn't print, couldn't figure out how to get the bikes out, bike seats were set for 6'5" giants, couldn't adjust them, had to ask meter reader man for help, could barely pedal up hill, rode on the wrong path, solidified that fact that we're Americans.

Riding bikes
The Long Water 
It's all just a learning experience I guess. All in all, riding bikes was a lot of fun since everything in the park is so relaxing and peaceful. One of the best discoveries we made recently was Islkar Water. It's the best water I've found here so far and I can actually drink it without tasting some unidentifiable minerals. Overall, today was exciting and productive.

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