Flashback: Alohomora (06/17/2013)

In anticipation of my forthcoming next adventure across the Atlantic, I will be regularly revisiting my first foray into Europe and into the blogosphere two years ago through my Flashback series. Enclosed below is an excerpt of a blog post about the magic of London.

est magicae.

It only seemed fitting that after visiting the enchanted studio where the Harry Potter books were transfigured into films, I would dedicate my next blog post to magic.

But the magic to which I am referring is not, as some might expect from me, the magic of hexes and jinxes, of Quidditch and Quodpot (the most popular wizarding game in the United States. See Kennilworthy Whisp, Quidditch Through the Ages, Chapter 8).

This magic does not come with flying sparks and exploding leather balls. Granted, it does come with the occasional ability to defy gravity, as these levitating Covent Garden-dwellers demonstrate.

It is the magic infused in acrid pipe exhaust belched out of double-decker buses and the curried notes of fragrant Indian street fare; the same magic that rings with the pounding of feet on pavement, that stings and smarts with the chilly blast of air channelled along the river. It is the magic embedded in and intertwined with all things tangible and intangible in this sublime city.

Continue reading

Flashback: Fortuna Major (06/07/13)

In anticipation of my forthcoming next adventure across the Atlantic, I will be regularly revisiting my first foray into Europe and into the blogosphere two years ago through my Flashback series. Enclosed below is an excerpt of my first blog post about interning and exploring in London. 


Hearts, stars and horse-shoes, clovers and blue-moons,

We drove to the airport by alabaster moonlight.

In the preceding twenty-four hours, I had shed my dusty dorm spring cleaning garments, crossed the forty-ninth parallel, embraced family members long unseen, run to the ravine bathed in sunshine, and repacked my suitcase (just over fifty pounds!) for a flight that would take me even farther than had the last.

It was twilight when I boarded the plane and, in a sense, I felt as though I were occupying a sort of twilight zone, as if by stepping onto the plane and taking my seat, I was leaping off the precipice into a realm of great incertitude, but also of great adventure. Perhaps I was conflating the mild psychosis induced by sleep deprivation with unprecedented nerves over travelling. Or perhaps it was just the gravity of this event – my first voyage across, or rather over, the Atlantic – weighing down upon me.

Ironically, a flight involving as little English as possible was precisely what reawakened my excitement for England. My seatmate was an elderly woman who did not speak a smattering of English. She sat in a permanently forward posture, as though she were clinging to every word uttered by the cartoon characters dancing across her screen, affording Tarzan and his jungle companions her undivided attention. That is, until the child in the seat diagonally across the aisle from hers began wailing, at which point she affixed upon him a withering glare of which I was grateful not to be on the receiving end.

Continue reading