For the first time since she started working at SGI, Melissa joined the social programme and took around 40 students to the pub on Monday. She had a chat with a few of them and discussed football & different playing styles in the different European countries. There was also a Lybian student with her and he gave the group a good insight on the situation in his country, which was very interesting! Finally they also chatted about studying in London, doing a Master of Art (MA), what is required to get a place (IELTS scores etc…)
On Tuesday, we had "new teacher #2" Lloyd, guiding a group to the 3rd most popular London attraction: The British Museum. Lloyd was said to have been a good guide, and the Egyptian History department was the most interesting, with all its mummies and sarcophagus! There was a little disapointment when it was announced on Monday that Billy Elliot would be shown as a film and not as the West End musical… Unfortunately, our theatre king Owen is currenty on holiday and wasn't able to get us any good deals this week… And he's still on holiday next week! He will however be back with a walk the following week. Anyway we did get interest from two students, Shun and Leonor, who joined Julia in LG9 to watch it. They both really enjoyed the story, learned quite a lot of foul language (there are a few arguments and quite a bit of shouting in some of the scenes), the accent was a challenge (Northern) but they enjoyed all the different emotions brought out, and their favourite bit was obviously the happy ending, with the family going to see the ballet… Finally on Thursday, I managed to convince 11 students (after a pretty slow start – only one student had signed up by Wednesday!!) to taste Indian food, and we went down to Carnaby Street (5 minutes from the school and a very lively area) to Massala Zone. The staff placed us in a corner far away from the crowd, which was nice. We started with Kingfisher Beers (Indian) or Lassis (a kind of fruity yogurt drink). Then I explained to the first timers that the best option in the menu would probably be a Thali, which is served on a large metal plate and is composed of one main curry (chicken, fish, lamb or else), 2 vegetable dishes (potato / aubergine and lady fingers – Okra), one dhall (Indian yellow lentils), some rice or Chapati – the Indian bread, popadums and chutneys. It gives you a nice selection in small dishes and is a good way to experience the flavours. It's also the typical Indian dish which you can find at every street corner in India (at a slightly reduced price over there!) Anyway, I was glad that everyone enjoyed the food, eventhough some dishes or sauces did warm the pallate with their spices, and some younger students were not so keen on the vegetables… Danilo, an Italian student, was the first person to finish his plate and was very pleased with his first taste of India. After the meal and on the way back to Oxford Circus station, we stopped to watch some street musicians playing percussion, one on a real drum kit, the other sitting on the floor and playing plastic buckets and cooking pans.. They really got the crowd going with their rythm! I just love those impromptu performances on street corners. This week is over but the social is full of good stuff again next week: the Wallace Collection, Camden Market and St Patrick's Day celebrations on Thursday with Lost in London! Have a great weekend – Don't miss the St Patrick's Day Parade on Sunday from 12pm in Green Park (next to Buckingham Palace)! See you next week!