Today was a relatively mild day. I talked with some of the people who work at the hostel and they recommended that I go to the Portobello Market, so I did. I took the Underground to Notting Hill Gate which got me about 10 minutes away from the Portobello Market, a roughly mile long stretch of outdoor vendors selling everything from vintage clothing to war memorabilia to giant servings of paella.
I walked up and down the market and stopped to look at a few things, but headed back to central London when a blister I formed the other day became particularly painful. After tending to the blister, I tried to find a place for high tea around the British Museum but fell flat and ended up getting a latte and toasted sandwich at Pret a Manger out of a hungry desperation. Even though I initially tried to avoid eating there because Pret a Manger is a large chain with a location on nearly every street in central London, I wasn’t disappointed with the experience and would probably go back again.
When I got back to the hostel, I realized that all of the roommates I had become friends with had moved on and was sad for a moment but then quickly made friends with the new roommates. Two are medical students in France in their last year of residency, and the others are Americans from Arizona (one born in Madera, just an hour or so east of where my family lives).
I got dinner with Zach, a Canadian from Toronto who quit his job working for a Canadian healthcare service to travel Europe for five months. We got incredibly portioned chicken katsu curry for £6.50 at a small place in London Chinatown called Misato, then got alcoholic boba a few blocks over. I got a lychee rose tea with gin and boba, which was super tasty!
We then wandered around some of the tourist spots in central London and got to see Big Ben all lit up.