Today was quite the adventure!
It began with a journey into Bloomsbury, we traveled as a group to the IES centre there. This is four stops on the tube from my hall, about 20 to 30 mins trip but it seems shorter. As we went I had another feeling of ‘why am i here?’ and was uncomfortable because many of the students were quiet. We arrived by taking the Central line to Holborn from Liverpool Street Station. First we took a detour and walked a half an hour to the University of London, for one meeting, then went back to the IES centre. I was okay with the group being quite while I just looked about. There are more Starbucks here than in all of New York! Normally, however, we will go to the IES centre only for class-which is a five minute walk from Holborn station. Sounds so confusing! But I am taking to it like a fish to water! The morning lecture included a safety presentation from a quite funny British policeman. He told us about dippers, bumpers, and huggers-types of thieves and how they go about being amazing at their jobs. But that our biggest worry should simply be to make sure not to get run over by cars or cyclists when crossing the road (I am still looking the wrong direction-habit is SO much harder to break than I though). For lunch, the buffet was disappointingly just small cucumber or egg salad or tuna or ham and mustard sandwiches. I took to a small ham and mustard. Finally we had a tour of Blooomsbury, then an academic meeting, and finally our field trip and events meeting.
These are what I received at the last meeting. We get to go to the Paraolympics and through the Olympic park and village on Saturday!! So everyone watch as I will be in row 75 seat 662 :). And a play ticket for Friday, I have an original oyster card, limited addition for the olympics, and my Nido student card. Everything here seems so much more fluid and updated than back at home. Using the tube is so quick and efficient! America is behind? The buildings are surreal, as if I’m in a movie, so detailed and beautiful with little shops stuck in them.
Finally! We got some free time around 5 in the afternoon. This is when I had another ‘Oh this is the best choice I have made in my life’ moment. People were opening up, a girl from Long Island, Maine, DC and Charlotte, were the girls I spent the evening with. We went for some school supplies (5 pounds, 3 notebooks), a towel thank God! (five pounds), hairdryer (9.9 pounds). We shopped at John Louise on Oxford Street, it was so busy! And learning that the tube closes at 12:30 pm. We decided to take a bus home so we would be more accustomed had we ever need one in the future after hours. I must say that I now appreciate fully the Night bus that Harry Potter uses in the third Harry Potter book!! It really does weave in and out of traffic, feels like it will tip over and hit every biker and taxi sharing the road. Everyone kind of just does their own thing, no real rules, very different from the states. Such a crazy experience!! From Oxford city we were about 40 minutes from Frying Pan Alley (my street). I was amazed how close I am to that cone building and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Also, there was a wedding at the Justice Palace and some amazing torches were lit. There was some Olympic event and we could see the score boards. I got a glimpse of the Thames river and the London Eye. I am so excited to go out to the pubs socialize! Living in the financial district of London, everyone I see is dressed in suits and business casual. Whereas on Oxford street it was more….dressed nicely but not business. But there are a great amount of pubs and restaurants just out our doors and some girls went tonight. The rest of us were far too tired, for now.
Fun facts that I have picked up… When they pronounce Vitamins the first “i” in the word is pronouced the same as in the word “fit.” They say proper and brilliant often. The ER is also referred to as Casualty, so the word has a different meaning in British English. Also, they never use the word call, it is “i will phone you.” I have also gathered that, those who are from London believe that London is the best place in England, or rather the world, while those in Northern England, etc. believe London does not depict the best of England. Was an interesting perspective.
The football match, or soccer, that I will be going to is Fulham FC vs Everton! Also, I have made contact with Jane, will hopefully go for a homecooked meal either the 15 or 16th, and hopefully soon will be in contact with Sammy! Was great to skype Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Bob, although Grandpa jsut teased about having homemade cookies! Also got to skype Amber, Alex and Heather!
Love to all!