So perhaps the title is a little bit misleading. But I am in shock, and it has something to do with Harry Potter.
Just two hours ago, I attended a conference on gender and politics in central London. It was held at the Australia House (home of the *surprise surprise* Australian High Commission), opposite LSE. The building itself was imposing enough, with its large cast iron and gold gates, cold, imposing granite and marble floors, high ceilings, chandeliers, and Victorian drapes. Adding to the impressiveness and *slightly* intimidating facade of the House was the fact that the Exhibition Hall was occupied by parliamentarians from all over the world, overachieving students and successful men and women from politics and the like.
There was inspiration at every corner during the conference. A nice lady who introduced herself as a politician (nice politicians do exist) came to say hi and made me a very happy camper.
What’s a lowly undergrad even doing there? I’m still wondering about that myself. But that’s a story for another day. Or, if you know why, do share your thoughts with me.
But returning to the building. Remember I mentioned it was large and imposing? It was also cold. And I was slightly fearful of the chandeliers falling on me. Especially when it was my turn to get up on stage to deliver my presentation. Nonetheless. I return home, set myself loose on the internet and decided to google images of Australia House. What I found was this:
This is Gringotts.
The Exhibition Hall was home to Gringotts Wizarding Bank. From Harry Potter. *This photo has OBVIOUSLY been CGI-ed but you get my drift*
I was in Gringotts. I ate dinner there. I stood at the [slightly less elevated] podium where Griphook (was that his name?) took Harry Potter’s key.
The week could not have been crazier. Scratch that. This April I thought life could not have been crazier. But obviously I was wrong. These moments definitely make me treasure my life and opportunities so much more.
I’m still stunned. Maybe the effect will wear off tomorrow.