Friday, September 30, 2011

Orientation and Exploring Central London

I'm going to start combining some days when I forget to write or don't have a lot to write about...

So Tuesday. I would start off my Tuesday the same as Monday, with at 9am meeting. This time it was to meet the music department people and hear about how things are run there. We also got the timetables for music classes, however my class is split up into two different sections, so I need to wait and see which section I'm in. After that, I came back to my room and finished unpacking and putting things away. I had a lot of time to kill until my 4pm meeting for the theatre department. Same thing there as the music department. We got the timetables and information about our classes. Tuesday night was the same as any, everyone met up at the local pub and had a good time. 

Wednesday was the first day that I went in to central London on this trip. My friends and I decided we just wanted to walk around by parliament and whatnot so we hopped on the overground to the tube and headed to Westminster. Right as we walk out of the tube station, we see parliament along with big ben (well the tower that has big ben...cause really it's a bell....that you can't can only hear it). That's when it really hit me that I was back in London again. My friends and I ended up walking in to St. James Park which runs alongside the Mall. It was a beautiful day in London and the park was FILLED with people sitting on lounge chairs, feeding the birds and ducks. It was not what you would expect out of typical London weather. Oh yeah, it hasn't rained ONCE since I've been has been SO WARM!

Thursday was another central London exploring day. Thursday a few friends and I went to see the London Aquarium. For all the hype that I've heard about it, it was ok. Don't get me wrong it was a good aquarium, but it felt like we kept seeing the same tank over and over from different levels. Although, I will say, the penguins were particularly cute. 

After that we debated going on the London eye, but decided against it. We wanted to wait. Instead, we decided to go to a pub and grab some dinner. But, not before we walked by Buckingham Palace. My friend Tom has family here in London. His cousin works at the pub we went to and his uncle was there too. We all had a fantastic time. 


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day and Night Two

So day two. Woke up at 8am. Got ready and met up with my friends at 8:45am and went to our first meeting during orientation week at 9am. It was a three hour meeting where they gave us tons of information about basically everything. After that, we made our way back to our dorms and then headed to lunch. We ate at a great Panini place. Then we all headed to lewishem to go shopping for things like bedding, phones and other things. First thing I took care of was getting my blackberry working which I finally did at Orange Mobile. Then we went to Argos to get sheets and towels. Argos is really interesting in the way it works. You go in, walk up to a catalogue and look through to pick out what you want. Once you’ve picked it out, you write it down and go to the register to pay. Then you take your receipt and wait for your number to be called when your stuff is ready. It’s kinda cool, but it was hard to find exactly what I wanted. After that, we came back to our flats and then went grocery shopping just so we could all have some snacks and what not. And then dinner and fun times at night. Overall it was a great day, but tomorrow will be even better.  

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Flight And The First Night

So the flight. Arrived at JFK airport. Made it through check-in and security in record time. Sat at the gate for 3 hours. But, I did manage to get my guitar on the plane. The flight attendants stowed it in one of the coat closets. So that was nice. The flight was long, as expected. But we got in on time and it was a pretty smooth flight.

So we arrive in london. Immigration was a bit confusing, because we didn't realize that there was a separate line for student visitors. Once we figured that out, we got our bags and headed out to the arrivals hall where we meet the person from Goldsmiths who was there to get us to our bus. Here's a picture of the trolly with all my bags and some of my friends in the arrivals hall of Heathrow:

After a little bit of waiting, we made our way outside to the bus, got our luggage on, boarded the bus, and I was out. I didn't get a lot of sleep on the plane so I took this opportunity to sleep.

When we arrived at Goldsmiths, my reaction was "I can't believe we are actually here". We went in a grabbed our keys and swipe cards and made our way to our flats. My flat was only one flight up which was nice. I have a single room with my own bathroom. It's pretty nice to have my own space. I don't really have anything to make it my own yet, but I'm sure with a few touches it will be good. My friends and I spent the day unpacking and exploring. I took the time to get my internet up and running which was not an easy task.

Later, I started to meet up with most of my friends, and we all went out to a thai restaurant for dinner. The food was really good and we all had a good time. After that, we headed to the local pub, The Hobgoblin. It's right around the corner from my flat. Everyone gathers there all the time. So me and my friends sat around and toasted to the next three months.

It's going to take a lot of getting used to being here in London. There are a lot of differences, but we are all helping each other out with bits and pieces of everything. I think it's going to take another day or two until I feel totally comfortable.

Time to go to bed since I have my first meeting at 9:00am!

Oh, and even though I've been to London twice, I still can never get over the fact that they drive on the other side of the road.....