Archive | June, 2005
June 30, 2005

Summer plans

I’m back from Italy! I’ll post about it later and upload the pics…and of course, I still have to post about Cardiff and the latest Mexican restaurant I ate at. In the meantime, I have to start packing up all my stuff because LSE is kicking me out of my dorm so they can rent the rooms to tourists for ridiculously high prices (and they’ve already started arriving! ACK!). I’ll be moving to Great Dover Street, which is supposedly a ten minute walk from Bankside.

Here’s some stuff I need to accomplish this summer:

Happiness is multiple pipelines
I have to write my dissertation, which is entitled “The Geopolitics of Caspian Oil Transit Routes: Russia and the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline.” Basically, I’ll be writing about the BTC Pipeline and how it has affected Russian energy policy in the Caspian Basin. I know you are all very excited about this topic. When I told my dad about it he said “Like in the James Bond movie?” Hmmm…yeah…the James Bond movie. Perhaps I could use it as a reference.

Earning some quid
Yes, another part-time job in which I employ the technology skills I learned as a teenager to make some money. I’ll be serving as the Residence Network Advisor for my dorm and also putting in some hours at the laptop support centre (remember, that’s “centre”, not “center” in Britain) on the LSE campus. It’s a lot better than Office Depot, and they pay me well, so I think it will be a good fit.

Traveling?
I’m going to try and do a bit more traveling, but am not sure what I can fit in between work and the dissertation. Everyone seems to want to go to Prague pretty badly (Eastern Europe is, like, so trendy for some reason), so I think we will be doing that. I’d like to go to Poland…Warsaw and Cracow. I think we might do a few daytrips to the English countryside. But most of all, I really really really want to go to Normandy and see the D-Day beaches (you know me and my love affair with history).

Finding a “real” job
If you had asked me a year ago what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, I would have answered that I wanted to teach Russian history or politics at a university. Well, for various reasons, I can no longer see myself in an academic career. So, it’s time to start sending out resumes and filling out applications. I’d really like to work in the oil and gas industry, so if anyone who is with an oil and gas company is reading this and knows of any job openings, send them my way! (Hey, it’s worth a shot)

June 27, 2005

Hols in Italy

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I’m going on a holiday (or “hols”) in Italy from June 27-30. That’s British for “I’m taking a vacation in Italy.” I always thought “holiday” referred to Christmas, Easter, etc, but over here it doubles for “vacation.” Aren’t you glad I am here to translate this Britspeak for you?

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I’ll be in Rome, and then Venice. Unfortunately, though, I won’t be staying in a 5-star hotel or buying $10 Cokes like these U.S. government employees! Damn, I should apply for a job at the CIA!

June 26, 2005

More photos from my neighborhood

A few months ago, I posted some photos of Borough Market, an awesome market that is just a short walk from where I live. I’ve uploaded some more photos so you can see another part of my neighborhood – the area bordering the River Thames. I love living in this area. Unfortunately, I have to move out of this dorm on July 2, but the dorm I am moving to is only a 10 minute walk away, so I’ll still be close to all of this…


This is the Tate Modern. My dorm is directly behind this former power station turned modern art gallery. The Bankside Power Station was built in 1947, shut down in 1981, and then re-opened as the Tate Modern in 2000. At night, the top of the smokestack is illuminated in purple. It’s definitely one of my favorite buildings in London, which may seem odd, because it’s not really considered to be “beautiful” but I just love its design.


View of the Tate Modern from the Millenium Bridge.


Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre – not the original theatre (it burned down in 1613), but the modern Globe is located not far from the original site.


Across the river is St. Paul’s Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren and completed in 1708. Most people recognize this as the church where Charles and Diana were married.

One of my favorite photos from World War II is of St. Paul’s during a fire bomb raid on December 29, 1940:


Another view of St. Paul’s, with the Millenium Footbridge on the right.


Southwark Bridge…and Tower Bridge is waaaay back there.


The closest thing we have to a beach!


There is a pub called Founder’s Arms that sits on the riverside. Since the weather has been nice lately, everyone goes here to have a stand outside with a pint…or two. IMHO, probably one of the best views you will ever have from a pub.


Further down from Founder’s Arms, past the Tate and Globe, there are some great restaurants.


Home, sweet home…my dorm is on the left, the building on the right is a huge glass monstrosity that is currently under construction…and here is our little “lawn” behind the Tate.

I’ve got a few more photos here.

June 22, 2005

London Mexican restaurant reviews: Cafe Sol in Greenwich

As I mentioned in my previous post about Greenwich, we decided to partake of some Mexican food after an exciting day of observing clocks at the Royal Observatory. I’ve decided that as a service to the internet community, I will always post a “review” of any Mexican restaurant I visit in London. So, today’s location is Cafe Sol in Greenwich.

First thing I noticed about Cafe Sol: Dude, where’s the chips and salsa? Yes, that’s right – NO FREE CHIPS AND SALSA. This is a MAJOR faux pas in my book. No self-respecting Mexican restaurant in the US would fail to provide its diners with complimentary chips and salsa!

As for the menu, it included a variety of “Mexican” and “Texan” food, with the Texan food consisting of steak, ribs, and BBQ hamburgers. The Mexican dishes were fajitas, tacos, burritos, enchiladas and mini-chimichangas. The appetizers were nachos, chips and salsa (still pissed off you have to pay for that!), a weird dip thing that listed hummus as an ingredient (I love hummus, but in a Mexican restaurant? I think not!), and some non-Mexican appetizers such as stuffed mushrooms, chicken wings, and “Texas” corn on the cob.

I was considering the mini-chimichangas, but noticed that they came with mushrooms and was a bit freaked out, as I couldn’t imagine mushrooms in a chimichanga. I was debating over asking for the mini-chimichangas without mushrooms, but I wasn’t sure if the food was, how shall we say this, pre-made and then heated up in an oven. Besides, I hate mushrooms, and seeing them as an ingredient totally turned me off from the chimichangas. Next, I considered the burrito, but this listed sweetcorn as an ingredient! Ewwww. I’m not a big fan of sweetcorn (especially when it is in a burrito), but apparently it is Britain’s 2nd favourite culinary vegetable, which explains why they add it to EVERYTHING!

I finally settled for the lunch special, which allowed you to choose an appetizer and certain main courses for �5.95, (a rather good price for London). I opted to have the “muchos nachos” for my appetizer and the shredded beef tacos for my main course.

Surprisingly, the “muchos nachos” were actually quite decent. They used some great cheese, included guacamole and sour cream, and provided plenty of jalapenos. The one drawback, though, was the type of chips they used. They weren’t doritos, but were damn close, as they had some weird cheese flavor. UGH! Why can’t these places just use regular tortilla chips??? Taline mentioned that they deserved an “A for effort”, but this review is going to be brutally honest and focus only on the food. I’ll admit that their nachos were some of the best I’ve had in London, but sadly, their use of these faux-Doritos knocks the nachos grade down to a B-.

As for the tacos…well…see for yourself:

LOOK AT THOSE TACO SHELLS! THEY ARE FROM A FREAKIN’ TACO KIT YOU CAN BUY AT THE GROCERY STORE! THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE! Seriously, it is not very hard to make your own taco shells. Even a horrible chef such as myself could do that. And notice how the taco dish is served…they don’t even make the tacos for you, they just throw some pre-made taco shells on a plate, add a bowl of meat, a handful of lettuce and cheese, and a small dollop of sour cream! Wow, thanks!

The portion sizes were horrible. As you can see, the meat came in this small bowl, and there was hardly enough sour cream for two tacos! The meat itself was not too bad, but there simply was not enough for three tacos. (Of course, they provided enough lettuce to fill six tacos, go figure!) Also, where are the beans and rice? This is a staple for every taco meal! Due to the above factors (and especially the pre-made taco shells), Cafe Sol’s tacos receive a big fat F.


Ohhh my God, I can’t wait to have some real Mexican food!


This Californian was also not impressed with the Mexican food.

Ummm what a cute mural:

Interior shot:


I love the cactus and tablecloths with flying eyeballs.

So, if you’re looking for some excellent Mexican food, you won’t find it at Cafe Sol in Greenwich. I’m still searching, though! Taline says there is a place called “Nachos” that I must try. Looking forward to it…

[Edit: Just remembered that Gayle left a comment on my previous rant about Mexican food:
“You should try Cafe Sol on Clapham High St. Well worth the trek down to South London. The only decent Mexican in London! Beware though, it should not be confused with its sister restaurant in Greenwich, as although they are related the Greenwich one is definitely from the dodgy side of the family!”

Hahaha…yes, Greenwich was definitely dodgy! Damn, wish I had remembered this bit of advice. I’ll have to give the Clapham High St. restaurant a try.]

June 22, 2005

A foot in each hemisphere

Greenwich Prime Meridian

Today we took a boat down the Thames to visit Greenwich, where the Prime Meridian is located:

Greenwich Prime Meridian

The best part of visiting the Royal Observatory is that you can put one foot in the Western hemisphere and the other foot on the Eastern hemisphere and say “OMG! I’m in two hemispheres!” Uhhh…yeah.

Greenwich Prime Meridian

There is also a museum there, but it wasn’t too exciting because it is mainly just filled with clocks. I did see the most important clock ever built, though (or that is what the sign said, anyways).

We also ate ATE AT A MEXICAN RESTAURANT, however a description of this meal deserves its own post. I even took pictures so all of you will be able to see what British Mexican food looks like…I’ll have it up soon.

Here are some pics from the boat ride back:

Canary Wharf

This is Canary Wharf, where a ton of corporations are headquartered. It is also where Chili’s is located, so I really like this place…I need to get a job here (and no, not at Chili’s). The building with the pyramid shape at the top is the TALLEST BUILDING IN THE UNITED KINGDOM. The guy on the boat said it used to be the tallest building in Europe until the Germans built something taller. Crazy, huh? It’s soooo small.

Swiss Re building

This is the Tower of London, and behind it is the Swiss Re Tower, quite possibly one of the craziest buildings I have ever seen. It’s more commonly referred to as the “Gherkin.”

I have a some pictures from January and February that I need to upload. Some are from when Liz and Laura came over to London, and others are of the Imperial War Museum, Cabinet War Rooms, and HMS Belfast (Hmmm…war, war, war…are you sensing a pattern in my tourist sites?)

June 19, 2005

North Korea by 2010?

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A few years ago, when a group of us were planning a weekend trip from Moscow to St. Petersburg, we went down to the train station to purchase our tickets. Somehow we ended up at Yaroslavsky Vokzal, which was across the street from Leningradsky Vokzal, the station with the Moscow-Petersburg ticket office.

Nevertheless, we took a few minutes to scan the list of trains departing for eastern destinations : Beijing, Ulaanbaatar, Vladivostok, Pyongyang…wait, Pyongyang? There is a train that runs from Moscow to Pyongyang? We cracked a few jokes about ditching Petersburg for a trip to North Korea, and then headed across the street to Leningradsky Vokzal, where we should have gone in the first place.

Since then, I’ve been fascinated with the idea of traveling to North Korea, primarily because no one goes there (it’s not exactly a “hot spot” for travel, eh?) and I think it would be interesting to see what it’s like to visit the closed society that exists in the the world’s last Stalinist regime.

Lately I’ve been looking up how exactly you go about visiting North Korea and reading the websites of people who have been there. It seems like you have to go with a group, or, you could go “independently”, but will be escorted by a guide and driver at all times.

The tours leave from Beijing, which is perfect because I’d love to spend a week in China anyways. The only problem is getting a North Korean visa. I e-mailed Simon over at Koryo Tours regarding the visa issue, and he said that Americans are currently unable to get a visa. Damn! If only I had a second passport…a British passport…hmmm…must find British husband.

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So, I have a travel goal: IF North Korea starts issuing visas to American citizens again, then I’m going. Of course, that is also dependent on finances and work, however, I’m going to try and get there by 2010. Everyone thinks I’m crazy for wanting to spend a week in North Korea, but if anyone wants in, let me know.

Also, I still want to visit the Chernobyl ghost town of Pripyat (especially after reading this article), but Taline and Crystal were like “Uhhh…no.” Any takers for that one?

June 18, 2005

It’s a scorcher out there!

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Finally, we’ve been having some nice weather! The past few weeks have been a bit odd, with temps going down into the 50s…wearing a jacket in June just isn’t natural. This week’s weather is perfect:

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Whenever the temperature is anything above 75 degrees, the radio announcers like to say “Watch out, it’s a scorcher out there!” I just laugh, because what would they say about the 120 degree summer temps in the Coachella Valley? “Watch out, we’re in hell!” Well, they wouldn’t be that far from the truth…

One thing that isn’t so great when the temps get a bit “high” is having to ride the tube. It’s absolutely miserable down there…tons of people packed into a tube car like sardines, and no air conditioning.
And you know what’s really, really bad? When the Tube becomes stuck in the tunnel.

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I like this part: “continually investigating new technologies to achieve this aim.”
Yeah, uhh…that new technology, it’s called air conditioning. If the pathetic DC metro system (True or False: DC Metro – worst subway system in the world?) can install A/C in its cars and stations, then why can’t London?

Other London related news…
We’re getting a beach, we’re getting a beach! Or wait, maybe not!
Plans to create a “beach” on the South Bank have unexpectedly been thrown into disarray.
The beach, which would be created at the Hungerford coach park site, near the London Eye, would be used by sunbathers and tourists during the day and as a venue for open-air cinema screenings and barbecues in the evenings.

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According to this artist’s rendition of a beach on the Thames, it will be a surfing friendly beach (notice the boards next to the lifeguard tower). Well damn, if I had known this I wouldn’t have left my board back in California…oh wait, nevermind, NO WAVES here.

Mayor Ken wants to import snakes into London:
Britain’s only poisonous snake, the adder, is on the verge of extinction in the capital, the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, has warned.

Mr Livingstone said yesterday that the situation was so grave he was considering bringing in adders from other parts of the country to stop the species from becoming extinct in London.

Yeah, importing poisonous snakes sounds like a great idea…

Book your tickets now for Air Scotland’s upcoming London-Stansted – Baghdad route!
The airlines founder, Iraqi-born Dhia Al-Ani, said of the plans: ‘We obviously won’t be flying through hails of bullets and missiles and giving parachutes to passengers, but I’m very hopeful the situation will be much calmer by November. Already there are flights going into Baghdad from Jordan and Dubai with no problems. The only tricky bit is getting to the airport.’

Hmmm…yes…getting to the airport. What, no free airport shuttle?

KGB Spies Had Guidebook for Keeping up Appearances in London
Secret intelligence papers made public in Britiain have revealed that KGB spies had a special guide to help them blend in to pre-WWII England. Carry smart luggage, ensure your AA membership is up to date and never travel south of the river, was just some of the advice given to Soviet spies in 1930s London.

Heh…I live south of the river.

From Russia with secrets
Tell an Englishman that an assassin might choose to kill someone innocently waiting for a London bus by jabbing him with an umbrella tip containing a pellet of the rare and virtually untraceable poison ricin, and the Englishman’s first reaction will be to laugh in disbelief. Why bother with such elaborate cloak-and-dagger tactics? If you want to bump someone off, why not just push him under the bus?

Oh yeah, and in non-London related news, I saw “Batman Begins” today. I liked it…

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And Christian Bale in a suit. HOTTTTTT…where can I get one of those nice billionaire businessmen?

June 15, 2005

DONE!

I’m done with finals. My first one was a few weeks ago (Soviet/Russian Foreign Policy), and my last two – Politics and Policy of Russia and the Post Soviet States and Russian Sociology – were yesterday. I think I passed.

Taking exams here is a very weird process. I’m used to GW, where you show up to your classroom, the professor hands you a blue book, the questions, and you write for two hours. Occasionally, the professor might give the class an extra 10 minutes or so if people were still working on the exam after the two hours had passed. Basically, it’s the complete opposite at LSE. Here, you are assigned a classroom and desk number that you will be taking the test at…and it is not just your class that is taking an exam in that room…usually the classroom is filled with students from two or three other courses. I feel like I’m at some test factory. Also, the professor doesn’t give you the exam, instead it is given to you by a team of two or three proctors who are there to hand you additional books, escort you to the restroom, and check your student ID to make sure you haven’t sent someone to take the exam for you. Now, personally I wouldn’t really trust anyone to take these exams for me, unless maybe it was Mikhail Gorbachev (“Soooo Misha, how about answering this question on how your policies led to the collapse of the Soviet Union? Thaaaanks!”) or Vladimir Putin. No, on second thought, I wouldn’t want Putin to take the test for me…I don’t think my professors would like his essay on why Chechnya has become such a violent and protracted conflict.
Anyways, it’s a huge relief to be done with these exams. I’ve never studied so much before in my entire life…weeks and weeks of studying. Oh, and my hand is going to fall off thanks to yesterday’s exams…six hours of constant writing is madness. Afterwards, we of course went to the Three Tuns for a few pints. Victory at last!

I’ve also decided that I’m not going to visit the library for at least a week. I’ve had enough of that place. The library is pretty cool looking…modernish type architecture and what not, but it’s not a great place to study or do research. A few days ago I was minding my own business, reading about Uzbekistan or something, when this girl a few tables away started singing along with whatever song she was listening to on her iPod! Yes, SINGING! A horrible pop song! At the top of her voice! Now, I understand that sometimes you have this urge to burst into song…it happens to me, usually when I’m riding the Tube and listening to the Clash (“Shareeeef don’t like it, rockin’ the Casbah, rock the Casbah!”) however, realizing that I am in a public place, I somehow manage to restrain myself. But a library? I mean come on, are you that into your supply and demand graphs that you don’t realize you are singing some horrible pop song at the top of your voice?

Also, due to exams, the library is now open 24 hours a day, so some people have effectively MOVED INTO THE LIBRARY! There are two girls on the third floor who have taken over a table with all their notebooks, notes, books, cookies, Red Bull, etc. And they are there practically all the time, and when they aren’t all their stuff is just sitting there. RIDICULOUS! Those hardcore studiers stress me out. I take one glance at their study “cocoon” that they have built over the month and think to myself, “OH MY GOD, should I have staked out some territory in the library and stocked it full of goldfish crackers and diet lime Coke??? Should I be doing nothing but living here, perhaps venturing out only to sleep and shower? Why did I spend so much time at that pub last night??? AHHHHHH!”

But whatever, I’m done, so now it’s time to do a bit of relaxing. Oh, and clean my messy room:

June 11, 2005

Mexican food in London, or the lack thereof

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I give up, the British are hopeless when it comes to Mexican food (or shall I say, Tex-Mex?).

After a long day of studying ethnic conflict, the stagnation of the Communist Party under Brezhnev, and other mind-numbingly boring topics, Crystal, Taline, and I headed off to a nearby pub for dinner. For an appetizer, Taline ordered the “Mexican platter” which apparently consisted of nachos.
This is what the waitress brought us:

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Our first reaction was “Oh no, that’s not ours. We ordered the Mexican platter” to which the waitress replied

“This IS the Mexican platter.”

Now you may be thinking, but Lindsay, where are the nachos? Why are there onion rings on that plate? And what are those things that look like reject chicken McNuggets?

Well, as I mentioned in my previous post about nachos, many British people do not understand that the vital ingredient of nachos is CHEESE. So where’s the cheese? Well, on this “Mexican platter” there was no cheese, therefore the pub needs to take a big fat black marker and cross “nachos” off the list of items included in the Mexican platter.

Secondly, the chips were Doritos…even worse, though, was the fact that they were COOL RANCH FLAVORED DORITOS. UGH! What self-respecting Mexican platter has cool ranch Doritos? That’s right, none…unless you are in Britain.

And look at those small bowls of guacamole, salsa, and sour cream. Are they serious? We could dip maybe four chips into that thing of guacamole before it was gone! And the guacamole, of course, is the pre-packaged stuff you can buy at Sainsbury’s or Tesco…not really deserving of the name guacamole.

About the onion rings…uhhh I really have no idea why there are onion rings on a Mexican platter. They weren’t on the menu. I can honestly say that I have NEVER been to a Mexican restaurant that served onion rings. However, this was not too surprising, as I had already noticed that Tesco included onion rings in their “Best of Mexico” section of their online grocery store. This “onion rings are Mexican food” business needs to stop…NOW.

As far as the things that look like McNuggets, they were breaded peppers stuffed with ricotta cheese, which is very authentic, considering ricotta came from…oh right, ITALY, not Mexico.

You’re probably thinking “Well, duh, Lindsay, you shouldn’t have expected there to be real Mexican food in a tacky British pub in the center of London. How about the Mexican restaurants in the UK?”

Right…Mexican restaurants. There are a few that I know of in the city. One is Chiquito’s in Leicester Square (a HUGE tourist area). I haven’t eaten there, but have had drinks there, and the atmosphere is so ridiculously funny. There is a girl that walks around wearing a bandoleer filled with shot glasses (instead of, uh, shotgun shells) and two holsters that carry big bottles of Jose Cuervo. When you order a shot, she makes an announcement and blows on a whistle or something. It’s really authentic, especially with that British accent she has…makes me feel like I’m back in SoCal.

One place I have eaten at is Cafe Pacifico in Covent Garden. I’ve been there twice, and so far, have not been very impressed. It is a decent meal, and a nice change from British/dorm/take-away food, but is nowhere near authentic.

First off, you only get one complimentary small bowl of chips and salsa (and they act like this is a big deal…oooh, a free bowl of chips, thanks!). If this restaurant was located in California, it simply would not survive due to this issue. Unlimited baskets of warm chips and big bowls of salsa are CRITICAL for a Mexican restaurant, and Cafe Pacifico truly fails in this regard.

Second, the menu is kind of weird. “Lobster & Papaya Quesadillas with Mango Cream” freaks me out. Like, whoa, where did THAT come from? Also, they have “Mango, Jalapeno, and Brie Quesadillas.” Uhhh…brie? The, uh, FRENCH cheese that ALMOST KILLED ME?

There is also a whole section of the menu dedicated to “Modern Mexican” (whatever that is) and a ton of seafood dishes, which I don’t particularly like. I had the chimichanga the last time I was there, and while it was decent, it was sooooo small. I couldn’t believe it! It was maybe half the portion you would get at a restaurant in California. And the refried beans tasted like they were from a can (which they probably were).
Also, Cafe Pacifico is insanely overpriced for what you are getting (I know, I know…it’s in Covent Garden, and should therefore be expected). If you ever want to try the fajitas there, perhaps you should first drop by your local bank to take out a loan…you might need it once you see the bill.

Oh, the drinks there are good…especially the pina colada (VERY hard to find good pina coladas here) but at �4 per drink (aprox $7.25), you might want to have just one and then head down to the Three Tuns for �1.70 pints of Strongbow.

I came across this review of Cafe Pacifico that a British guy wrote. He mentioned that his wife is from LA, so he’s probably had some real Mexican food:

“They deserve to be sued by the Mexican embassy in London for the insult to Mexican cuisine. They make Taco Bell look like cordon bleu. Save yourself money and have a McDonalds, it will taste better and be spicier. If you value your taste buds eat elsewhere.”

Heh…gotta love the British.

So, basically, my experience with Mexican food in the UK had been rather disappointing. Right now I’m craving some greasy taquitos from Robertito’s in Oceanside (oh, you know what I’m talking about…the ones slathered in guacamole and sitting in refried beans and rice…sooo good, yet so unhealthy).

I wish I could import entire restaurants into this country. I’d take El Mirasol, Las Casuelas, El Gallito, and La Gran Fiesta from the Coachella Valley (R.I.P. Taco Shop), Old Town Cafe from San Diego, and Anita’s and Robertito’s from Oceanside. Then the British will be able to enjoy some REAL Mexican food.

I should probably mention that this problem is not confined to London, though. Washington DC’s Mexican food sucks, too. And don’t leave a comment saying that “Lauriol Plaza is good”, because it’s not (I don’t care what the Washington Post says), or “There’s a place in southeast you should try…” because I have, and it sucked. I did have some amazing fajitas in Moscow, though…go figure.

(If you have come across good Mexican food in London, though, let me know, because I would be willing to try it out…yes, I’m that desperate for some good Mexican food!)

June 10, 2005

I want to go on this trip!

Everyone at LSE received this e-mail today:

Announcing the…
LSE/OXBRIDGE CUBA TRIP – an LSE/OxBridge premier!
(open to all students, alumni, staff, faculty and family)
The Che Guevara Tour
Tour Dates:
13-23 July 2005 (confirmed)
24 August-3 September 2005 (subject to demand)
Celebrate the culture of Cuba – while Fidel is still around!
Marlins, 30 degrees, Che Guevara, Cuban cigars, jazz, rum, Mojitos, Hemingway, Castro, fun in the sun, beaches, sportfishing, Caribbean nightlife, salsa lessons, stunning ecological reserves and eco-tourism activities, cultural immersion lectures at the University of Havana, and more!
11 Unforgettable Days in Havana, Vinales & the surrounding beaches/countryside!

I’ve always wanted to go to Cuba…it’s supposed to be amazingly beautiful and I’ve heard that the people are incredibly friendly. At $2,300, the trip is just a bit too expensive, though! Someday I’ll make it over there.