Scandinavia to Mesopotamia (with a few stops).

I’ve surely mentioned my roommate Pat a few times by now. For some
background, she is as small as she is vicious, she will do your dishes if you pay her in cupcakes, and she is one of the most driven journalists I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, let alone sleeping next to.

One of Pat’s many talents is hunting down obscure and awesome stuff to do in the city. On Saturday, we fought the insane winds and sudden wake of winter, traveling out to Canada Water in Rotherhithe (a small

Pat, Scandi Market, 21 Nov. 2015

residential area of Southeast London) in search of a Scandinavian Christmas market stationed outside of a Finnish church. What we found was a utopia of Norwegian food, Swedish candy, and a rock choir serenading us with Queen’s greatest hits. The highlight of the festival was possibly the abundance of puns (a-pun-dance?) strewn throughout, a

Fine & Scandi, 21 Nov. 2015

stand labeled “Sweet-ish candy” and a food truck called “Fine & Scandi” being my personal favorites. We indulged in Norwegian hot dogs (albeit on explicitly “American” buns), ate our fair share of Swedish candy, and pushed through the crowd of beautiful blonde Vikings drunk on spiked hot chocolate just to find ourselves in hipster heaven, a vintage shop, with the most expensive item of clothing still costing less than £10.

Do I smell that bad?

From there, we tubed back into Central London and made our way over to the British Museum, where my mature adult half was intrigued and amazed by all the ancient artifacts, and my less mature inner child wrote some totally objectively hilarious Snapchat captions to go along with some of the more amusing pieces.

I find it interesting and kind of ironic that the British Museum had such a huge collection of non-British artifacts. The collections we had time to see stretched from Mesopotamia and Egypt to Greece and Italy, and only after about an hour did we encounter any British artifacts. Upon telling a native Brit of my plans for the day, they responded with, “oh cool, enjoy the British Museum, a.k.a the things we stole when we could get away with it.”

British Museum, 21 Nov. 2015

After the museum, we tracked down a little Mexican restaurant called Benito’s Hat for some delicious burritos and all the guac our bodies could handle, and then we strolled over to Regent Street. Starbucks’ in hand, we watched the intricate Christmas lights overhead change, with the suspended clock gears projecting beautiful colors and designs. We made our way through Piccadilly Circus, spent way too long in the makeup section of Boots, and headed home.

The fact that I was frozen down to my bones for the remainder of the evening aside, I was so happy to have experienced such a culturally diverse day. We started in Scandinavia, made our way through Mesopotamia, stopped in Egypt, stopped in Greece, had dinner in Mexico, and then ended right back in England, taking in the crisp London air and pretty Christmas lights. It can be hard to travel. It’s expensive, time-consuming, and can be scary. That said, it can be surprisingly easy to experience other cultures without leaving your city. You just have to know where to look. Or, alternatively, have a Pat to do it for you.

xx Gabi


5 thoughts on “Scandinavia to Mesopotamia (with a few stops).

  1. Its weird that hotdogs are such a big thing in Scandinavia, there were stands everywhere in Copenhagen and they were one of the most recommended things to try while I was in the city. Its cool that you were able to do all of that, our return date has seemed so close lately that I’ve been forcing myself to try and take in as much of the city as I can in the next three weeks. The British totally stole all of that stuff, did you see the sassy little sign they have outside the Egyptian exhibits? Something along the lines of “yea we took it but it would’ve been lost or destroyed if we hadn’t so hmph”. Cool museum regardless.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like the most amazing day ever (especially the Queen and Mexican food part)! I had a similar experience with Pat, where she took me to a Polish grocery store that only sold authentic Polish food! Everything I got tasted amazing and was so good! It is great to meet people who widen our experiences and our minds! I also feel like this is a great post for people who have anxiety about traveling. Being an in unknown place, especially one that speaks a different language, can be really scary plus expensive! Your blog truly shows that one can see the world while staying in one place if they try hard enough!


  3. I love the quote you included about Britain stealing things when they could get away with it. When I visited the Louvre in Paris, a tour guide said a similar quote to me. When the Mona Lisa got stolen, it was stolen buy an Italian man who believed Italy deserved it more than the French since Leonardo was from Italy. The Christmas Market you visited sounds cool as well. The other day, Steph, Rachel and I went to the Christmas market that’s right outside Tate Modern. It was small but I enjoyed it and it’s definitely worth checking out. I highly recommend trying the Bailey’s hot chocolate there; it was delicious. Pat is a cool kid and I hope to go out exploring with her more!


  4. That is so awesome that you are experiencing so many different places and events with good friends. It looks like you and Pat had such a great day with one another. I have been to The British Museum myself (and even wrote a blog post about my visit) and had such a great time. It was so big and beautiful with some of the most incredible artifacts I have ever seen. Keep on exploring and going on new adventures, I am glad that you are living it up in London to the fullest!


  5. This sounds like the perfect day! I think it’s great you’ve posted about how to experience other cultures within the same country, and London is perhaps the best city in which to do just that. That is, I guess, the benefit of having all the stolen items in a place like the British Museum. It allows people who want to experience culture in a broad sense do so without visiting hundreds of countries. Really, if you wanted to get a global education, London is the best place to come. In a way we are lucky that we have the luxury of not having to travel around to many small museums. On the other hand, are we ignoring the modern culture that should almost be a required precedent to seeing these artifacts? Wouldn’t ancient Greek sculpture have more of a significance if they were contrasted with the surrounding modern-day Greece rather preserved in a place far removed both physically and emotionally from their culture? Great post, brilliantly written, interesting thoughts. Beautiful!


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