I’ve just now decided to start to keep a blog while I’m abroad here in London, a little late in the game, but better late then never. I’ll do my best to fill in the details of what I’ve been up to the past week, but I’m sure I won’t be able to account for everything. Also, I’ll be the first to say my writing is not perfect, I should probably have my mom edit my mom edit my work before I publish it, but whatever here goes.
I arrived at my flat last week with three other of my room mates about six hours behind schedule because of an oxygen leak on our plane. We were the four room mates from Pitt, and the last of the eight room mates to arrive. Everyone in our flat is nice and we all seem to get along pretty well, which is good when you’ll be spending over three months with each other. We live in a neighborhood in the northern part of Maida Vale, called Kilburn Park. Our cab driver back from the airport gave us an honest answer to our question about how nice it was, and it wasn’t the answer we wanted at all, explaining that basically it isn’t the kind of neighborhood you want to be traveling alone in late at night. From the week so far though I think we may have overreacted to the harsh words some people have said, and I’ve grown to really like all the places around our flat. A plus side to our neighborhood (which is a bit farther than most flats of students in CAPA) is that it is a much cheaper neighborhood to live in. There are a lot of pubs and restaurants on a busy road around the corner which are more than sufficient places to spend a night. We live in a complex with six other apartments, all containing American students, and two of which are CAPA apartments. The other four are all students from Ball State who are studying for the semester in London. From the times we’ve spent with them so far, we’ve bonded well with the other kids, and have realized we have quite a big group of people to go out with at any given notice.
A few days ago as part of our orientation we went on a bus tour of London. Though early in the morning, it was easier to sit on a bus and get off it at the “touristy attractions” than it would have been to ride the tube or walk everywhere. It was a good way to get a lay down of the city and be able to map in my head where everything is. We would stop at places like Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and St. Pauls Cathedral for only about 10 minutes at a time to take pictures, and then hop back on the bus to our next destination. Our tour guide was nice and lively, but by the end of the bus with a bunch of college kids who were still spending their first few nights in London, it was easy to tell it was time for a mid-day nap for everyone.
Yesterday was a day of sports, and it started much better than it finished. I began the day waking up in the early afternoon, which is an ideal start to a Sunday, and within about an hour or so heading over to a local pub to watch a couple of football games (yes I’m going to call soccer football for the next few months for my own safety). We were at a pub whose team it supported, Everton, was playing their local rival, Liverpool, and we arrived just in time for most of the excitement of the game. It was only 1-0 at halftime but we managed to see a thrilling second half which left the pub in a fenzy and the game tied at 2. Watching it made me desperate to attend a match while abroad, even though after some research I realized not only was it extremely difficult but also expensive. The end of the day was not nearly as fun. To sum it up, I went to a huge sports bar in Picadilly Circus to watch the Patriots playoff game, only to be very disappointed to say the least about the outcome. It was a horrible way to end another season of the Patriots choking in the playoffs. The bar however was filled with almost only Americans (primarily Jets fans) which was the first time I had seen that since being in England.
Okay, I know this is starting to get kind of long, and I promise this will be the longest post I ever have since I have to summarize my whole first week, but thank you to all 5 of you who have made it this far and truly love me.
Today I was scheduled to start my semester abroad, but fortunately got to extend my vacation one more day. After changing my schedule around at school I decided to head over to Harrods, which is only a few blocks away. I was blown away by the size of the store and the amount of belongings I know I’ll never be able to afford. Our tour guide on the bus tour told us that they promise you can buy anything at Harrods and even referenced a story about a man who once asked to buy an elephant with the clerks response being, “Will that be Indian or African?” After visiting, I am now not surprised at all by the story.
After Harrods I decided to take my first trip to the Natural History Museum. All that I can say so far is that it will definitely be a place I will see a lot more times while here. Not only is it one of the biggest museums I have ever seen, but the amount of information at every exhibit is overwhelming. At a certain point I felt like I had already started classes and couldn’t take any more for the day. One thing I realized is that I think my obsession with dinosaurs may have been delayed about 15 years. The only people more enthusiastic about the exhibits of dinosaurs were kids that could barely walk and probably thought that they still roamed the Earth in some distant land. Well I don’t want to write any more, I’m going to sleep with my vacation finally ending tomorrow. Hopefully my next posts will be much shorter, and much more interesting than me trying to fill in what my hectic life has been so far. Until next time. Cheers!