This Past Tuesday

Was back at the BBC on Tuesday morning! We got to watch them do their radio program Freedom2014: Freedom and Addiction. 

It was really exciting to watch an actual show at the BBC. There were three guests. One was currently a morphine user, one had stopped using cocaine/other hard drugs and had gone through rehab, and one was a doctor. They were all asked questions about drug use both in the UK and around the world. 

I was fascinated by the morphine users responses, as they were really a different opinion than anything I had heard before. I think this one of the things about the BBC that I really like: they bring on people of all different viewpoints so that listeners/viewers can get a lot of information and then create educated opinions. The morphine user discussed how he didn’t want to talk about his morphine use—he wasn’t there to defend himself. Instead, he was speaking for a group of drug users who want to bring up the fact that they turned to drugs for a reason and that they need to helped. For example, these people need help getting jobs. Also, they want to be taught how to use drugs casually. If drugs are recreational, then with education, they should be able to be used safely. 

What was also really cool was that while this program was going on, Mexican security forces claimed that they had killed a Knights Templar cartel drug lord. Obviously, this related to drugs, so the program got one of their Latin America specialists to come in and talk a little bit about that situation and also how that drug cartel affects the lives of the people in Latin America. I liked seeing how the program adapted to incoming news. 

That night I also went to Pub Quiz with my roommate! It was really fun, and though we didn’t won (though we did have a higher per person/correct answer rate than the winning teams!), I would love to one day go to a pub and do a non-NYU version. 

This past weekend we made the trip to Bath. 

Since I’m writing this a week late, a lot of the details have escaped me. Not to fear though, I’m sure I’ve retained everything else that’s important. 

The weather in Bath started out pretty incredibly terrible! The rain was really bad. But the city is very beautiful, and we learned a lot about Victorian ideals. For example, the front of the house would have amazing architecture, but the back would be totally plain. Essentially, you wanted to look rich to people passing by!

Lots of promenading and the like. Felt very Jane Austen because, surprise, surprise, Austen spent a lot of time here. In fact, Bath shows up in a lot of her novels. 

We also learned about how people could actually get free care in the baths. This is still a practice today, though there is better medical knowledge on what the baths can actually help with. They are seen as very relaxing, so they are good for the mind and for muscles/physical therapy. 

We had some free time to eat, and basically just ended up getting pizza, because the rain was back! 

After, we headed over the Roman baths, which are pretty fascinating. And also look very fun. I could go for a Roman bath. The water is pretty and green, but they warn you not to touch it. It’s very unclean, apparently, and has a lot of bacteria in it. 

The Romans had quite a few baths, so you would strip in one room, then go into another room to do primary bathing, etc, until you got to the cooler areas, where your pores would eventually shrink again. 

At the end there was a fountain, and we could drink medicinal water from it. It tasted a little bit like blood. Most likely there was extra iron in it. 

I will stand by my theory that drinking that water seriously helped my cough though. 

Last Thursday we were taken on a tour of the BBC Broadcasting House! 
It was really cool to see all the different departments and the newsroom, and all the people doing work while we were there. The Africa area was busy as they had an ambassador there doing an interview.
I really liked the different working spaces that the BBC has—comfy areas, places with big tables for collaborative work, desks, etc. I think any place that has varied work spaces is successful! 
Afterwards, there were a few people who actually came in to talk to us and give insight into their views of journalism. They answered questions and told stories about their experiences in the field. The BBC is really amazing about putting journalists in the field. 
We then had some BBC pastries and were given the opportunity to come back on Tuesday morning (tomorrow!) to see a radio show. So excited!
PS: The picture is one of the views from the roof. 

Last Thursday we were taken on a tour of the BBC Broadcasting House! 

It was really cool to see all the different departments and the newsroom, and all the people doing work while we were there. The Africa area was busy as they had an ambassador there doing an interview.

I really liked the different working spaces that the BBC has—comfy areas, places with big tables for collaborative work, desks, etc. I think any place that has varied work spaces is successful! 

Afterwards, there were a few people who actually came in to talk to us and give insight into their views of journalism. They answered questions and told stories about their experiences in the field. The BBC is really amazing about putting journalists in the field. 

We then had some BBC pastries and were given the opportunity to come back on Tuesday morning (tomorrow!) to see a radio show. So excited!

PS: The picture is one of the views from the roof. 

I’m sorry I haven’t written for so incredibly long! 

Things got a little crazy after Dublin because everyone came to visit me. My friend Maggie was here, plus my friend Peter, plus my friend Relvin for an evening, plus my grandparents. It was really nice to see everyone though, even though it was a busy week! 

I also had midterms…which was a pain. 

I’ve also been sick (again, you ask, yes, again), so there was a lot of rest.

I didn’t really do much with all these people but eat (Wagamama is amazing, people), but I did go see the Tower of London with my grandparents, which was a nice experience. To be honest, the monarchy does not excite me the way it excites others, but I enjoyed seeing the gold and jewels. It was a nice day too, very sunny, and the Shard looked pretty gorgeous. 

This weekend I’m going to Bath so there should be good pictures (although it might rain) and some stories! 

Dublin this weekend! We headed off on Friday morning from Gatwick. What a cute airport! Also incredibly easy to get through—and the airport employees are quite friendly. 

We got to Dublin, and found a way to our hotel, which was a real hotel room, which was so cool, because come on, student hostel life. We decided to head into the city to get something to eat and see what was up. 

The bus ride to Dublin was long from our hotel—between 45 minutes and 1 hour—but we did get to see some aspects of typical Dublin life (kids coming home from school, locals taking the bus, etc). We got into the city and headed to the Queen of Tarts which is some of the most amazing food I have ever had. I totally recommend this place if anyone is ever in Dublin. 

After that we went to a céilidh (pronounced sort of like kay-lee, to my understanding). It was basically in the street and had some semi-professionals performing various types of Irish dance. And then an instructor would actually teach us some steps. It was really fun to dance to the live music and everyone who was dancing was really into it. No one seemed to feel very embarrassed; it was more about having fun and letting loose. After, we crossed the River Liffey and went to a beer and food craft festival. We didn’t stay long, but I had some nice craft beer. 

Dublin is not a huge city. You think it is going to take hours to get somewhere, and it’s really only 15 minutes. I rather liked that. And I felt that the River Liffey felt like a very friendly presence in the middle of the city. Loads of green space too, and everyone is friendly. There’s this thing where if you look someone in the eye, they will actually say hi, like they’re acknowledging that you actually exist. The only thing is that Ireland is almost always cloudy—that weather, man! 

Mackenzie had a terrible cold (which we learned is actually a sinus infection) and I was somewhat cold so we headed back to the hotel room. The next morning we did some of the more touristy stuff like The Dublin Writers’ Museum (Dublin really has produced some amazing literature), the Guinness Factory (we poured pints and got free samples), and walked around the city. I then went off to meet my friend Sara who is studying at Trinity College for the semester. We went to a small, quiet pub and talked!

Yeah, I didn’t really experience the hardcore party life of Dublin on St Patrick’s Day, but I didn’t really mind, because it just seemed to so foreign to the city. To me it was obvious that the city doesn’t usually have so many people and the people who were running around drunk were not from Dublin! Which is totally cool. But I rather liked going to a small pub where older men were spending their Saturday night. It felt somewhat authentic. 

On Sunday I slept in and spent the day alone. I headed to the Big Day Out, which was this huge carnival. I sat in the park and read Joyce’s The Dubliners. I also spoke with an older couple from Dublin (friends!) and headed to the National Gallery. It was a nice, relaxing day.