SO LONG LONDON, HELLO AMSTERDAM

IMG_20190531_113012.jpgI decided to dedicate my last day in London to one of the world’s greatest poets John Keats. If you aren’t familiar with his name perhaps you are familiar with “Ode to a Nightingale” or “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” If those two still don’t ring a bell, it is really likely that you have at least heard the infamous lines from the latter: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”
When I learned that his house was turned into a museum, I instantaneously had to check it out. Located in Hampstead, Keats House was one of the coolest and the least packed of tourist attractions in London. On my way there, I stumbled into the World Peace Garden right by the Hampstead Heath Station. I took a whiff of the flagrant roses, posed with some flowers for a selfie, and marched on. As little selfies as I have taken in the past few years, I sure as hell am making up for it on this trip.
As I finally walked through the gate at Keats House, I was quickly impressed with how green and gorgeous the garden is. With the birds chirping away in a colorful melody, I finally understood why all the literature books emphasize where “Ode to a Nightingale” was written because it was written in that very garden. A couple people enjoyed their solitude and peace sitting on the benches surrounding the area. If I lived in London, I would totally come read and write poetry here too.
Unlike most museums just about anywhere, Keats House invites you to go ahead and sit down in various places; sit down in the basement kitchen, sit down in an arm chair, sit down in Keats’s… sick sofa? Yep… You can even take a seat in one of those. The poet struggled with tuberculosis and died when he was only 25 years old. It was only after his death that his poems were discovered and that really kind of sucks. The man abandoned his medical career to pursue the love for writing, yet he never got to enjoy his rise to fame. He died thinking that his poetry had been a failure.
I was truly surprised at how hands-on the Keats House is. There is a magnet board that features various words from “Ode to a Nightingale.” Everyone is welcome to rearrange the words and so I happily left a little verse too. Downstairs in the basement you are prompted to write a poem about your favorite or most hated food. I love bone-in pork chops, so naturally, I wrote about a bone-in pork chop. So yeah, I had a rather poetic day at the Keats House.
On my way back, I had a little hiccup at the Underground. I was supposed to take the Thameslink towards Rainham, but it was delayed due to a medical emergency for someone on the train. Once the train finally arrived some 20 minutes later, I was duped to believe it was the wrong train! Instead of “Rainham,” the destination read “Three Bridges.” The lady that worked at the station said that due to bad WiFi, the wrong location was showing on the train. She gave me a free water for my troubles, and I hung out at the station for yet another 20 minutes.
Currently, I am on the train to Amsterdam going 242 km/hour and I am blown away by the seat I got. Apparently, I booked Standard Premier for the right price at the right time. I was served dinner and was offered a drink. This feels more like a four top at a restaurant rather than a form of transportation. Just a quick side note, if you choose to travel by train out of London to other European cities across the channel, you will be in a tunnel 75 meters below ground for about 20 minutes. That’s INSANE if you ask me!
I’m sitting across from a lovely English lady that told me to visit Rotterdam if I’m already staying in Amsterdam—and perhaps I will. It’s crazy that I finally feel free being away from home. I’m staying curious and my anxiety has hit an all-time low. I keep thinking that I’m gonna do this way more often. Plus, I’m learning a lot about myself. I’ve worn the same articles of clothing all week, I’ve showered in less than exciting conditions, and I could care less about all the frizz in my hair. I care about who I’m meeting, what I’m seeing, and where I’m going next.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s