Monday, May 15, 2017

Preparations

Today I didn't get up to much that I think would be of interest, but I'm trying to be in the habit of updating this frequently.

I left early this morning in order to pick up a few things to make my stay a little more comfortable since I was limited in what I could carry in my luggage. I was also hoping to find some rain boots as there is quite a bit in the forecast, but no immediate luck in that regard.


I then had a bit of time to kill so I grabbed a coffee and pain au chocolat from Pomme de Pain. Once my colleague texted that she was at the office, I headed over to meet our London staff and assist with final preparations before our groups arrive. After a morning of paperwork, we had a quick bite to eat at Salt and Pepper, a nearby cafe. I had the cheese and beans jacket potato (baked potato with Heinz baked beans), typical comfort food I ate a lot as a student.

After lunch we headed to the Whitechapel area to view the housing for one of our student groups who will be arriving in a few weeks. I enjoyed this window on the walk there:

Next we headed back near the office and I was able to see the housing where our first group (arriving tomorrow!) will be staying. We had a brief run through of the practical tour of the neighborhood that I will have to give, in order to familiarize the students with the area and show them their nearest grocery store, subway stop, bank, post office, etc.

By about 4pm the jet lag had hit me full force and I headed home. After a short nap, I ventured out for dinner. A recent London Reddit thread asked for pho recommendations and someone recommended Carrots + Daikon, which is a 5 minute walk from me and offers vegetarian pho. Perfect!
The restaurant itself has very little seating, but it had a constant stream of people coming in to pick up to-go orders. Their version was a little different form everything I've had in the States in that the rice noodles were thick, flat ones, similar in size to linguine. They also put almost equal parts mint as coriander (cilantro). I liked the addition of mint, but I'm still partial to Pho Please back in Austin.

They also make homemade Vietnamese ice cream, so I purchased a small order with the intention of eating it while walking around the neighborhood, but it began to rain when I walked outside so I headed swiftly home. The ice cream itself was creamy and delicious, and I foresee heading back there for more in the near future.




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