Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What a day!

Well I'm finally settled into my room on my first night in London. Everyone warned me that the first day/week would be overwhelming and exhausting, but I had no idea it would be quite like this!

Of course I absolutely loved walking around the busy city, noting the fashion trends and the fabulous accents. Of course I am thrilled to be in this new and exciting place with so much history and so many opportunities. But I think all the excitement was a little much for today...

After lugging about 150 pounds of crap through the Heathrow Airport I was ready to call it a day. My Purple Punch Vera Bradley caused quite the stir with the Londoners on the tube system, and I'm pretty sure I tore some ligaments in my shoulder trying to lug it up and down the stairs while transferring lines. But, even with the hassle, Bennett and I easily found our way to the residence hall and were quite pleased with ourselves!

We were greeted at the door by a very nice English woman who told us to quickly drop off our things because a walking tour was starting in about an hour (and after checking in, receiving our key cards, and going through the security check we had very little time left). The walking tour was quite helpful, as we learned locations of the local CVS (here called "Boots"), grocery store (I'll go to Tesco), and also some amazing restaurants close by. While learning these things, however, I was thrown into a whirlwind of Oyster cards, cell phones, meetings, and my goodness I'm exhausted just writing about it. Needless to say I now have a quite worthless UK cell phone that I'm still not sure how to use or even why I need it. But the program says I have to have one, so there's really no going back.

After all this stress and overwhelming information, Bennett and I went exploring just the two of it. That was just what I needed. No time frame, no destinations, just he and I exploring what our new home has to offer. We checked out the options at the grocery store and began to plan grocery purchases, and, while searching for a place to eat we stumbled upon the famous Spitalfields Market. It was so lively and chic! There was a giant ping pong tournament going on, alongside some investment bankers relaxing after a long day. The dynamics of the city are unbelievable, and I cannot wait to experience more of that throughout my time here!

Bennett and I settled on an upscale yet inexpensive burger joint in Spitalfields Market that turned out to be pretty good! We were both so tired and hungry that I think eating garbage would have been satisfying, but it was nice to have a quiet meal together. Poor Bennett has had quite the day, first his security badge for our residence hall went missing (which I later found under his suitcase), then his converter did not work correctly, THEN his credit card got declined at the cell phone store! After all of this, sitting at my computer I receive this facebook chat from Bennett: "I can't figure out how to make a phone call to Capitol One because I don't know how to use this stupid phone and I can't make a phone call via Skype because I can't remember my password and every time I try to make a new account it charges me for it in pounds." With all that had happened I couldn't help but burst out laughing. It's really not funny...but in light of our long day and mere exhaustion, it was quite hilarious. I began laughing and couldn't stop...suddenly I found myself sobbing for absolutely no reason at all! I couldn't stop the waterworks and it was a good 10-15 minutes before I calmed myself down.

All I know is that I am EXHAUSTED and ready for a good night's sleep (hopefully)! I have a lot to do before I'll feel completely settled in my new home, but I think a night of rest will do wonders. I'm off to bed and will be up bright and early tomorrow at 8 am for orientation Day 2! I love and miss everyone back home.


p.s. It is absolutely FREEZING here!!!!

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