Laundry costs $7.36 per load here

Have you ever heard of such exorbitant laundry services?! There must be something I don’t know. Maybe the Queen does her laundry here. Or maybe once I deposit my clothes into the washer, they’re teleported to a team of underground elves who use golden soap and meteorites to de-lint. It’s beyond me.

Mysterious laundry hypothesis

This week I got to try on a hijab! There was a booth outside the campus library in celebration of Islamic Awareness Week with an assortment of scarves and a few Muslim girls staffing it. I immediately felt self-conscious when I imagined going over there, so I took that as a sign to do it and did it. The girls couldn’t have been sweeter, showering compliments of “you look so beautiful!” and “it complements your eyes!”. Regardless of their generous attempt to make me feel at ease, I felt pretty uncomfortable for those ten minutes of being dressed in the headscarf, talking with them about how it made me feel, writing it down on a whiteboard, and then declining an offer to wear it for another ten minutes to experience how others would respond. They took a picture and said they’d send it to me, but I haven’t received it yet.

At the risk of possibly being offensive in some way I can’t predict (a major fear instilled by Wes’ unbelievably PC atmosphere):
I mentioned this briefly a few weeks ago, but I really really love the diversity of East London. I like being around people of many different colors. I like hearing the languages on the tube and feeling like a minority because I’m white. I like that this area is dominated by halal restaurants and on a 15 minute walk down the street, I can pass four Indian clothing shops.
I think it’s related to how homogeneously white my hometown is (93% waddup) and the fading sparkle of Wes’ so-called diversity. As explained by Queensborough Community College, diversity is composed of “dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies”. Was going to post some easily comparable statistics but they’re not easily found online/ I’m too lazy to make big fancy tables so here are some salient points (sources: QMUL and Wesleyan websites).

Notice the top 3

22% Muslim!


QM blew Wes out of the water for Asian students. But QM- where are the Latinos??? “Mixed background”? “Other”?

QM also has more than double the international students of Wes.

There are a ton more differences I won’t talk about (academics, income level…) so this is just a peek. In sum, both colleges offer different types of diversity. Also gotta tell you that the years I used to compare the schools aren’t the same- used Wes’ most recent stats (class of 2018) and QM’s early 2010s because I couldn’t find more recent.

On Saturday I went to Brighton and it was fantastic! Very hipster in a fresh way. Brit-ster? Anyway, here are a few highlights without pictures ( 😦 ) because my digital camera is on the brink of death (but fear not! I scored some snazzy disposables and covered them with stickers.)

  • Passed a store that specialized in bonsai trees
  • Experienced life-changing cake* and my first coffee art! The entire experience (food and atmosphere and hilarious decorations) WAS AWESOME
    • This place reclaims the word “eclectic”. I wish the Eclectic frat at Wes were more like this and not so intimidating and hard drug-ridden
    • Here’s a fun review. The best part is the description of the decor:

      The walls are packed with pictures, from the kitsch (Tretchikoffs, landscapes with UFOs, other tawdrily sentimental portraits with googly eyes stuck on, and the über-tastic Wings of Love by Stephen Pearson – two naked lovers encircled by the wings of a massive swan in a fantasy landscape – famous not only for its appearance in Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party but for being a favourite of Saddam Hussein) to zany film stills and pictures of old-school movie stars (and Rolf Harris, Michael Jackson and Tommy Cooper) as well as wartime directives – “Keep it under your hat: careless talk costs lives”). There are hand-painted skateboard decks, taxidermy, tailor’s dummies, posters, toys, old computer hardware, flashing fairylights, even a vintage mincing machine and a butt-naked Action Man zip-wiring across the ceiling, past toy helicopters. There’s a bright pink ArtVend machine that, for £4, dispenses an artwork by the local artist Imbue, and a cute red 1950s kitchen cabinet. Man, do I feel sorry for the cleaners here…

  • Loved my first Cornish Pasty
  • Went to this crazy outer space/rave/futuristic themed shop called Cyberdog and tried on an insane dress (again, wish I could post a picture but can’t yet so this’ll have to do:)
ready for takeoff

ready for takeoff

  • Upon my return in London, a gaggle of costumed couples made their way off the same train I’d taken from Brighton. I discerned a knight, a clown, and a ladybug.

Another travel update: May be going on a Scandinavian tour come April!