I landed in the Heathrow Airport in England on the morning of January 3rd. It was SUNNY, which I hear is a rare thing for this place...maybe its a sign! I made it through customs with no problems and got my luggage very quickly! One of my bags was HUGE and when I went to pull it down I almost nailed some little British girl... great first impression right? After that I walked with my two suitcases and carry-on through the airport, which is massive, and I did not pack lightly! Finally, I made it to the "meeting point area" and realized no one was there to get me! So I had to get a taxi by myself! Scary! Turned out the guy knew a ton about London and loved "futball" so that turned out to be a good little taxi ride! I made it to my hotel, which was really nice! But of course with my luck, my reservation was made for the next night! Luckily, they had extra rooms so I just bought one for that night, but unfortunately, it was not cheap! I was exhuasted at this point so I just relaxed and watched some tv. The next morning I got up and went down to do some shopping! I found a place called Boots, which is like our Walgreens so I got my hairdryer and straightener! Eventually the rest of the kids from our program showed up to the hotel so I met my roomate and ate a good dinner! The next few days we just went through orientation which was interesting, but got kind of long. We went to a local Pub down the street but found out the Pubs close at 11:00 pm!! I thought that was strange! On Wednesday night we went to a musical called Blood Brothers. It was a low budget musical but SPORTY SPICE, from the Spice Girls, was in it! I can die happy now! I was so excited! We had pretty good seats too! After that we went to Subway for dinner (the only thing still open). The food actually tasted kind of different, and they didn't have a lot of the same subs as we do back home! We were in there and a man asked me if I was from Australia... which isn't the first time I've been asked that! Our Minnesota accent must sound similar to that! Half the local people don't believe I'm from America right away! Apparantly London is having it's coldest winter in 50 years (it's about 20-30 degrees this week) and has the most snow fall in 50 years! (We have about one, maybe two inches!) I just laugh when they closed down schools and no one could get to work! It is obviously very different from Crookston, MN!
We moved into our dorms on Thursday. I live in a Flat with 7 or 8 other people. We each have our own room and bathroom which is really nice! It took me forever to find a place that sold comforters but I found one at a department store on Oxford Street. I hung up about 70 pictures of my friends and family from back home too! So it turned out pretty cute! On Saturday I went out and became a tourist! I saw Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye and House of Parliament! It was all so beautiful! At night we decided to go to a club that one of my friends suggested to us. It was definitely different than in the states. It was huge with about 4 different areas you can hang out and 2 different dance floors! The dancing is very different than home too which surprised me! There are a lot of illegal taxi drivers here.. just random men that pick up people from the clubs. I guess they do a lot of bad things to some of the riders... so if a man asks if you need a taxi you are supposed to walk away quickly! It is illegal for a taxi driver to ask you if you need a ride, you have to approach them. I saw a lot of the illegal ones outside the club!
I LOVE the accents of everyone from around here, but it gets tricky understanding everyone. They have a lot of different words with different meanings, (ex: Pudding = Dessert)! The money is hard to figure out too! I spend more time counting my money than actually doing the shopping... which is probably good for my budget!
School starts tomorrow so today I am going to relax on campus and watch the UMC Basketball games! Good luck to the girls and guys! I will be watching!
Lots of love from London!