Finally, I have arrived. That was certainly the feeling 24 hours ago, after an excruciatingly long flight. I managed a few hours sleep on the second leg, and watched a few good movies. But I’m glad I don’t have to endure that again for another 6 months!
My flight got in at about 6.15 am yestreday. After I had been through immigration and got my luggage (which conveniently came out precisely when I arrived at baggage claim) it was time to negotiate London. I took the Heathrow Express, a train from the airport straight to Paddington station, a fairly central London station. It only takes about 15 minutes, but it isn’t cheap. Then I had to take 2 more trains to get to the area where my accommodation was. Finding where to go was pretty easy, because I was in London only a year ago, so I remember it. And, the London tube system is just really good! Metro certainly doesn’t compare. The hard part was schlepping my almost 25kg suitcase and my backpack on and off these trains. From the train station, I had to take a bus, but I got on the wrong one. Well it was the right one, just going in the opposite direction. Lucky I decided to ask someone!
I arrived at my accommodation about 9.30, and after taking care of some forms in the office, I was taken up to my room. I’ll be honest, it’s not as nice as in the pictures. But it’s certainly liveable, and most importantly, is has an effective heater! My room is on the top floor, and there’s no lift, which will be good excersise! (It’s 5 floors) There are probably close to 20 people living on our floor, and we all share a really big kitchen. It’s pretty messy, which I don’t like. And we have to all bring our own dishes and pots and pans and stuff. Everyone has their own food, and everyone cooks for themselves. (Or heats microwave meals, anyway) The bathroom is right across from my room, and it has 2 toilets and 2 showers shared between a few girls. Sharing a bathroom was one of the things I was most worried about, but it looks like it will be OK! Plus, I have a sink and mirror in my room, which is really handy.
The people I’ve met so far are really cool! Only a few of the students living on my floor are actually British students. There are students from Ireland, Spain, France, Poland, Malaysia, and more. Most have been here since the academic year started in Spetember, so I’m the newbie. And there’s already a Phoebe! So I’m Phoebe 2.
Yestersay we had enrollment, where we got our student card etc. I met a girl there from Montreal, and we became friendly. After enrolment, we had about an hour and a half until we had to be at an orientation lecture, so we had a look around the campus together. The library is the most beautiful old building, it’s incredible! It’s really funny, Sabrina (the girl from Montreal) was telling me that it’s actually warm in London for her. In fact, she says she had to buy a thinner coat to come to London! Ha.
Today we’ve got a session for orientation about living in London, so that should be good. Hopefully I’ll stay awake today – during yesterday’s sessions I was fighting to keep my eyes open. I went to sleep at 8.00 last night! Woke up at 5.45 though, that was annoying.
I’ve figured out how to get to the campus – it’s not too hard. A bus, the tube – the trip is a little more than half an hour including walking time. Tonight there’s an event at the bar on campus for new students which will give me a chance to meet some more people.
That’s probably enough for now. I’m going to go and unpack now. Perhaps if I do that it will sink in that I’m actually here!
Hope everyone is well.