My Year in London, Uncategorized

On Facebook and David Beckham

This part of my London adventures really deserved a whole post of its’ own, because this was a turning point in my first couple of months in London– or my life, your call. Of all the people in this world, I certainly was not expecting to meet David Beckham. I just randomly entered this contest on a whim on Facebook, and hell I even forgot about it. As I received that first email that I had won the opportunity, at first I was like huh? What the..

Back to where I left off from the last installment of My Year in London series–the 49ers vs Jaguars game, which was on a Sunday. Now that I think about it, I made a mistake in my previous post, I believe I checked my email that Friday night and got the email about responding to the David Beckham event a day or two too late, but it was Friday or Saturday that I responded. I don’t know. The point is, I had missed the deadline in responding and I remember sending two emails back to back to the sender asking if they still had a spot open and that I had wanted to still attend. It was the football game that I saw that I got a confirmation email saying that it was OK and that they still had a spot for me, and that’s why I was so distracted.

…And because I don’t understand American football. That’s besides the point though.

That Wednesday was the day of the event. It was the first, and to my knowledge the only time, that Facebook was testing out this particular technology where they had a digital book signing all around the world. How it worked was that, they would have David in a studio in London signing autographs to fans’ Facebook timeline digitally with a tablet, while fans from other parts of the world would be able to video chat in with him live and ask questions. The autographs will be posted to fans’ timeline automatically. As for the fans in the audience, we got to stand in line after the taping of the event was over to meet him and ask him questions, one by one.

So the day comes, and I arrive to Air Studios in the northwest area of London, which was in the area where I lived but a much fancier part. The place was actually relatively close to me in mileage, but it took forever to get there by bus. I’m surprised I got there in time and didn’t get lost. God must has been on my side or something. Ha. So anyway, I get there, check in with security and everyone was directed towards a reception room with lots of food. In this room we watched the first part of the interview, and I remember wondering if that was it and if we were actually going to be able to meet David or not. After being there for a while, I whipped out my phone and started Facebooking– you know up until that point not a single person knew where I was or what I was doing. I like being full of surprises–or just secretive, your call.

Finally, after a couple of hours we all got escorted into this studio where David was and we got to be the audience during his interview. Following the ending of it everyone was lined up and got to talk to David and get a picture with him while he signed autographs. You know– I imagined a lot of things to say to him as I was standing in that line, I really did. I practiced in my head over and over because I was in the tail end of the line so I had some time and then he was in front of me and all I could muster up was “Hi”.. and then I proceeded to drooling on him and smiling like an idiot the whole time. I was so frozen, it was ridiculous. And footbal/soccer was actually the only sport I’ve ever played and the only sport I really understand so you would think that I’d have something to say to him but nothing came out. Hell, we even played the same position! Embarrassing.

See, this is exactly why I can’t date hot guys.

Anyway, he was really nice and seemed pretty used to the drooling. If you think he looks good on camera, in person he is unbelievably beautiful. I can’t. I couldn’t even, y’all. I wish my camera was more focused. I wish there wasn’t much space between us in that photo, but I was so disgustingly shy that day, he’s lucky I didn’t pass out on him. I had no words, and I didn’t know what to do with myself afterwards either. What do you do after that?!

We got copies of his new book and a copy of our autographs. Then that day I just remember going to a pizza shop by my flat, got a whole pizza but only ate half of it (like that sounds any better) and a glass of red wine. Because really, what could I possibly do after that? What is life after David Beckham?

Spoken like a true fan girl.

The significance of this though was that afterwards, I started liking London. Finally. I mean honestly, who wouldn’t?

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My Year in London

On Chris Hemsworth and Football

Like any major city, we have this impression in our head of what it was like, and then there’s the reality. Truth be told I never really.. imagined London as a city I’d ever visit prior to applying to grad school. I have a lot of places on my list, but for whatever reason it lacks English-speaking places. It just happened to have a program that was not to be found in the US, or at least not one I could apply to in time. There was a very short time between me finding this program and finding out I got accepted, so I had little time to process the thought of what living in London would be like.

Thor Premiere - London - Leicester SquareI had no experience in living in another big city for a long period of time, but I did live in Madrid for five weeks in 2010. This was my first time being in an environment like this and I can say it was not for me–not for forever at least. Nothing against London, but I just realized I’m not a big city person. I’d feel the same way about living in any other huge city like that. I much prefer a slower pace of life. I do love big cities to visit, because there is no shortage of things to do–and more importantly, good food to eat. Since I only had 6 hours of class time per week for each term, I had a lot of time to explore.

The beauty of living in a big city is that there is no shortage of surprises like walking in the middle of Leicester Square (FYI– it’s pronounced “Lester”) and seeing a movie premiere. This happened in October 2013, I was just walking around Chinatown foraging for food as usual. I ended up walking right behind a stage and I look up and not even 20 feet away was Natalie Portman. No big deal. Then I see this huge hammer and quickly realize it’s the Thor premiere. More importantly, Chris Hemsworth was there. And while he wasn’t close enough for me to get a good photo, I did see him. Besides, I’m convinced if I would have gotten too close, next thing you know I’d be a home-wrecker– and my conscience couldn’t allow me to break up a family. You’re welcome, Chris Hemsworth’s wife.

Later that month, some American friends flew in from Spain for the weekend to see the 49ers and Jaguars play in London. Now, I know nothing about American football, but I wanted to go to the game. It also gave me a good reason to feel somewhat American again. It was weird going through central London and seeing NFL signs everywhere. Apparently, they’re trying to make the NFL a thing over there. I don’t know. So anyway, my friends were visiting, which also gave me a good reason to do touristy things. I had been there for a month, and I believe this was the first time I actually went to see Big Ben and the London Eye. I’m not a huge Harry Potter fan, because I mentally check out of movie series’ when they space them out too much, but I did go take a picture at Platform 9 3/4. The odd thing is, I passed by that all the time because I had to switch at Kings’ Cross to get to my university or most places. There was never a shortage of tourists there.

So fast forward to Sunday of that weekend, we’re at the football game at Wembley. I was surprised at how many people were there, considering it’s American football, but there was no shortage of fans there. I’m at the game, I think I looked bored, but like I said before, I had no idea what was going on– and I really don’t think I’ll ever get it. This was my second NFL game I had been to that year, by the way. One of my guy friends at the game did explain something to me, and at that moment I did get it, but now I can’t even remember what it was. Happens every single time. Ne-Yo sang the national anthem and for whatever reason I randomly checked my second e-mail account. By second account, I mean the one with so much crap in it it’s not worth using but I still have it. I got this message from Facebook saying I won this contest that I randomly entered to meet David Beckham and that I needed to respond by Friday–it was Sunday. Panic ensued silently as I stared at that email, and I quickly responded to that person pleading that I missed the e-mail and was still interested in going, I even e-mailed the person twice back to back.

I didn’t say a word to anyone I was at the game with about that e-mail, but it was probably the only thing on my mind for the rest of the game. Talk about distracted.

In case you wanted to know, the 49ers beat the Jaguars 42-10.

As for the David Beckham thing, I’ll save that for next the next installment!

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