continued from previous entry...
All the while, something inevitable was lurking behind us. James' flight back to the states was on the 9th of January. It was a little bittersweet. Him leaving meant that he could be out of the painful cold and back in the comforts of the U.S. (things like efficient plumbing, good customer service and atmospheric warmth, which I'm sure he was happy to get back). But it also meant that it was separation time again, which of course made me sad because I was getting closer to having to experience withdrawals. Luckily, I could still hold on to Shawn for another 10 days...
Outside the Tate Modern (James' last night in London... photo courtesy Shawn)
After we dropped James off at Heathrow that Friday, Shawn and I decided to head into Earl's Court on our way home for some provisions. At his request, we picked up some longoniza... and then mostly for refilling my stock, 3 boxes of Pocky, a bag of rice, a box of corn starch and some chitcharon.
Just as James suspected, the weather was relatively nice for the rest of the week.. Most of the time, Shawn and I just hung out (with exception to the times he would hang out with Helen and I stayed home attempting to finish up my essays). I'm a little surprised (but not really) that we remained harmonious throughout - given that extended periods of time with friends could turn into a really bad thing. But it didn't so I can only suppose that we really ARE pretty good friends. (*_*)
I spent a lot of time that third week being utterly distracted with getting my plans together for Shawn's birthday surprise. And in between, we got terribly drunk in my basement from my housemates' cocktail party, saw Slumdog Millionaire at the Barbican, went to the new Westfield and had some sushi, went on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Natural History Museum where we saw a REAL GIANT SQUID, ate cupcakes, drank lots of tea, and did a bunch more normal-ish activities. That is, until I was successfully able to secure Eurostar tickets to Paris.
Happy Birthday, Shawn!
Sounds like an extravagant birthday present, I know. But really... how could I NOT take advantage of him being here on his birthday and Paris just being a relatively cheap train ride away? It's not every day you can say you went to Paris for your birthday. Plus, I hadn't been back since I was 15 and it just seemed like the perfect opportunity. Since we had seen most of the sights on previous trips, we just focused on spending the one night/one day looking for lesser-touristy stuff.
Cafe de Deux Moulins (The Two Windmills from Amelie)
Moulin Rouge (no, the big elephant was NOT there)
Jim Morrison's grave
Shakespeare and Company (the bookstore from Before Sunset)
Les Deux Magots (The Two Magots? j/k I don't know... this place had some sort of literary/philosophical significance but we couldn't read the whole sign because it was in all French)
We went to a bunch of paper stores (to feed Shawn's obsession), drank as much coffee as humanly possible- because it's better there than anywhere else in the world I've been to (perhaps only Italy can beat it but I don't know for sure), and went back and forth across the city in the Metropolitain.
Pretty harmless sight-seeing, I would say. Except for the necessary tourist-esque photograph in front of the Arc...
Come to think of it, we crammed A LOT in those 36 hours. And we got back to London just in time to eat at Falafel King (that's not what it's really called but apparently that's the new nickname) one last time, and to have all of Sunday to veg before Shawn went back to the states on the 19th.
I guess the only significant thing that I haven't mentioned yet is that I finally started reading Twilight (the first book) the night before we left for Paris. With all the sightseeing and the last day to hang out with Shawn, I still managed to finish it on the tube on my way home from Heathrow on the 19th. And Shawn anticipated that... because he gave me New Moon (book 2) as a thank-you gift that Sunday.
It was all over from there. When I wasn't eating or sleeping, or trying my hardest to be a grad-school student, or watching the first movie, or ordering the next book, I was reading. I'm surprised I was even able to get out of the house to celebrate my friend Natalia's birthday last weekend. I even had to slow down reading book 3... because book 4 hadn't arrived in the mail yet.
So, I just finished Breaking Dawn (book 4) yesterday. But honestly, my decision to begin the series couldn't have been more perfect timing, because my unhealthy obsession with the books seriously dulled the separation anxiety that I barely even noticed it. Which is why it took me so long to blog. I kept getting distracted by the dashing vampire, Edward Cullen.
So that's it... back to real life again. I've got internship applications to fill out, situationist theory to read up on (yes Shawn, Society of the Spectacle is officially on my reading list), a dissertation proposal to craft, a March trip to Barcelona to plan, and a personal brainstorming session for the brilliant novel that I one day hope to write...
These days have been intense - moreso than I would have thought possible crammed into such a relatively short period of time. Exhale. Sigh. But at least I'm feeling inspired...