University of Wisconsin–Madison

London Calling

Well, so far the trip has been an interesting one… I flew out with two other girls, but it was not smooth. Surprisingly, I managed to not have to pay overage fees on my bag after rearranging things. We boarded the plane, but it had mechanical issues and we ended up sitting on the plane for two hours before we took off. I got restless and was very excited when we finally started moving. There were a good amount (sorry for the improper use of amount Dad) of kids on the flight, which could be annoying, but they all had adorable British accents so it was okay. I swear there’s nothing cuter than a small child talking in a British accent. However, we got two meals and they were better than expected! (Trying to find the silver lining to a long, semi-sleepless flight). Once we got there, it was easier. We got to use the luggage carriers and I felt like I was in Harry Potter. Getting on the tube was easy and was interesting introduction to London.

Getting off the tube was something else. There was a huge flight of stairs which we then lugged our huge suitcases, carry-ons and backpack up these stairs (mine totaled around 65 lbs.). There were many locals that got their comedy for the day watching us. Then, the 2.5-mile walk with said luggage started. The program didn’t give us directions from the tube to where we had to check-in. Fun tid-bit about London: every street has the same name with a slight adjustment. I’m pretty sure we found every version of Queens Gate possible. After about an hour and a half we found our actual building. In the meantime, we provided much more entertainment for Londoners and discovered that they’re not rude and in fact very helpful. One lady even went in to her flat and looked up where we were going on Google Maps. She was my favorite person that day. We only got lost once more between the check-in point and our flat. As anyone who has driven in a car with me probably knows, I tend to get lost. However, this was a whole new level. So, the lesson being, if you’re going to take the tube, know where you’re going after!

The rest has been a little better, but slightly less eventful. We found a local pub last night where I had my first legal drink (a cider, of course) and fish and chips. I definitely didn’t feel like a local, but it was pretty delicious! I managed to make it till 11:00 without falling asleep and then was out like a light! Unlike my roomies I managed to sleep through the night and I’m feeling fairly adjusted.

So far, this has felt a lot like welcome week of freshman year. You’re in a new place and there’s a lot of people who are trying to find friends and don’t really know how to go about it. You’re figuring out how to live with new people, too. There’s a lot of sitting and getting talked at as well. On top of that, just like all other students can spot a freshman, all locals can tell we’re not from here. We travel and flocks and clearly don’t know how to correctly cross the street. It’s a weird feeling and honestly, I’m hoping it goes away soon. No one wants to be a freshman.

Classes start Monday, although I only have classes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I am not upset about my schedule! We also start taking field trips tomorrow; the first one is at Parliament and then to a musical. They schedule a lot of stuff like this for us (including the Harry Potter studios, excuse me while I fan girl) and I really enjoy that about this program! I’m excited to get to know the neighborhood and to start a regular schedule. It’s definitely going to be a crazy semester!

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