London: An Introduction

If you haven’t noticed, the blog has not had much love recently.

But I have a good excuse for this, because I am currently in London for a semester abroad! It is very exciting, but there were a few hurdles to overcome.

Well first of all, I got absolutely no sleep on the plane ride over–nothing. You know those comical bits in sitcoms where the person in front of the the character leans their chair all the way back into their personal space? Well, the person in front of me might not have been a TV fan, because I was jammed up in a squished seat the entire trip over! Completely awful, but the plane ride was seriously the easiest I have been on: there were no delays, I ate ALL of my food and I was not too dehydrated when we landed. A decent start I would say.

My experience is really shaping up, I finally figured out the internet (I was practically internet-less for the past couple of days, hence no posting), I have an oyster card, a library card, and a working cell phone. The cell phone, by the way, is hilariously shitty, but it reminds me of the old days with my horrid flip phone. It takes about two minutes to construct a coherent message, so a lot of people will be receiving texts that seem like a fourth grader wrote them, but communication is key while abroad. The transition is always strange, but it has almost been a week and I am very comfortable here.

The living situation is nicer than I expected. We all have single rooms, with our own bathrooms. It is kind of like living in a below average hotel. I have the perfect amount of storage space, yet my room looks like a disaster zone, but I don’t have to leave my room to take a quick shower. The shower is not even a foot away from the toilet so the bathroom is always a bit swampy. My window overlooks a pub, which curiously serves decent Thai food, and I can see the local tube station as well as the larger buildings just over the Thames in central London. The entire flat shares a kitchen, which is really nice. We all have our own shelves in there, and we share the fridges and the ovens. I kind of wanted to cringe when purchasing cooking supplies, it is a tad bit expensive, but the food here is ultra cheap. For example, a huge bag of apples will only cost a pound, and I found pasta that was buy one, get one free. I also don’t have a proper fork, Sainsbury’s sold out, so I have been using a giant slotted spoon for meals–there is no such thing as functional fixedness when you are studying abroad.

Now the fun stuff begins! This past week I celebrated my birthday, which involved meeting up with two very good friends at their uni, going out for 2 dinners (margaritas and tacos, and then sangria and tapas if you want me to get specific), eating frozen yogurt for dessert (and if you know me, I am a froyo fiend, and this stuff was GOOD), and checking out the London Aquarium. I have learned that the tube is awesome, I will definitely get lost walking around the streets of London, but the public transit is stellar. This afternoon I signed up for the dance club at the “Freshers Fayre”, which I am pretty stoked about. They offer ballet, contemporary, street dance, and burlesque classes. An interesting mix there, but at the very least I can try it out.

In the coming days there are a lot of day trips planned, including one to the Harry Potter studios…but classes begin on Monday. It seems like I only have class on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursdays, but I might have smaller tutorial classes at random times. I am waiting for the first class for more details, but for now my schedule seems very ideal. It is a bit daunting that just one or two essays determine your grade though, but really, I just hope that my classes inspire me more than anything.

I will be posting when I can during my time here, hopefully I will be able to post the kind of content I normally do, but if not, be prepared for photographs and tiny tidbits of the quirky abroad experience.

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