Monday, January 28, 2013

Spilled Tea and Ginger Beer

Spilling tea all over the floor in the London Heathrow airport in front of the international director and a Brazilian exchange student is not fun. On the other hand, ginger beer is awesome. This pretty much discribes my first day in the UK, so if you get bored easily you can stop here.

Or here.

Or here.

Still with me? Alrighty, let's do the obligatory first day in a new country post! The plane ride over was your generic 9 hour international flight, although I did have a window seat, which was really nice.

Sunrise over the UK

By the time I got to London, all I wanted was a nap and a shower. Unfortunately, neither of those was in my immediate future, but I was perfectly happy to be placated with tea and the promise of a taxi. Until I  managed to spill the tea everywhere. I was then carted off to a taxi with two other American girls who are staying in the same dorm as me. They are both from the same college in Virginia, and came over together to study. We ended up in the same flat, and after some much needed showers, we headed out to find food, explore, and find some of the necessities, such as toilet paper. Supposedly, bedding was supposed to be delivered while we were out, but it's 9 now, the office is closed, and the bedding never arrived. I packed some bedding because I thought we wouldn't be provided with any, but the other two are out of luck. Then again, they have working heaters, so I would call it close to even.

Overall it was a good day. The neighbourhood we are in is really neat and vibrant, and there are a couple of really neat shops nearby. (Fresh fruit!) One of the shopkeepers got really excited about me being from Texas which was pretty funny. There is also a really neat hole-in-the-wall pub a couple of blocks from us, and the bartender was kind enough to only tease us only a little about clearly having no idea what we were doing, and gave us some advice about the area and London as a whole, which was cool.

Earlier tonight I discovered the rooftop terrace of our building. The view is incredible. (pictures to come- it was too rainy tonight). My room has a pretty neat view too, of train tracks and a building being built across the way.

I was a little worried about the train being super loud (even Hendrix's trains aren't right outside my window), however unlike the trains at Hendrix, these trains don't blow their whistle, so you just hear them going by on the track, and the sound is more soothing than anything.

Tomorrow I am headed to one of the campuses (Docklands) for orientation. Hopefully I won't lose my way while attempting to navigate the tube!


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Last Minute Panic Attacks

I leave tomorrow. In twenty-four hours, I will boarding a plane to head to Dallas, to catch my connection to London. My plane lands in London at 8:40 AM local time on Monday, and as of yet, I do not have housing confirmed. Gulp. I found out on Thursday that the housing situation was not, in fact, taken care of, and there is no space in the on campus dorms. So, now I am living in a private dorm off campus. Hopefully. We'll see when I get there!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Eleven more days.

I found out in November that I will be studying abroad in London this semester. I found out in November, and it doesn't feel real. I have bought a real winter coat, exchanged money, scheduled my flight, even planned a trip to Dublin in March, and it still doesn't feel real. I leave in eleven days.  Hopefully it will finally hit me by the time the plane touches down in London, but we'll see. Regardless of when the fact that I will be living in London for six months finally hits me, I will be keeping this blog, and I welcome you to follow my international escapades here.