How was my first weekend in London you may ask? It was amazing and I cannot wait for the next 10 weeks. Let me just tell you what I’ve been doing these past few days.
Wednesday 22 March, 2017 (I feel like I should format my date the same way as they do here instead of MM/DD/YYY, haha):
I arrived in London, took a train and the tube to my homestay, met my homestay mum’s partner who was very kind enough to pick me and one of my roommates up from the tube station. I then unpacked some of my belongings and knocked out on my bed for the next three months. I napped way longer than I wanted to, and woke up to sad news. There was a terror attack in London shortly after I took my nap, so of course I also woke up to several concerned messages from friends and family from the states asking if I was alright. I think it was quite terrifying for this event to occur, but it made my arrival even scarier for my loved ones especially since I had just landed the same day. My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected at the attack. Despite this event, I feel very safe in London, as it is supposed to be one of the safest places in the world.
Thursday 23 March, 2017:
First day of orientation! Yep, I totally forgot I came to London for school, but this quarter will be unlike any other quarter I’ve had. During the first couple of hours, one of the British faculty members, Dr. Peter, gave us a London 101 lecture. Triple check both ways before crossing the street since they drive on the wrong side of the road over here and Brits only have three meals a day aka don’t look around the kitchen for some snacks because you will most likely not find anything. There were so many other reminders, but I cannot remember (oops). After lecture, we had lunch. A group of girls and I ended up at one of the many pubs in the area and it was yummy. After lunch, Dr. Peter took us on a very long walk. We basically walked all around the city (I’m not lying). Okay, I might be lying, but we did walk around the entire West End of London. We walked about 7 miles, but I guess it was the professor’s way of helping us all get over jet lag and tire us out so we can get a good night’s rest (how nice of him, and it worked!).
Friday 24 March, 2017:
Second day of orientation! It was a beautiful, sunny, yet still cold day (sounds like Seattle, huh?) and during this orientation, our professors went over their courses. This program is pretty cool because instead of sitting in a classroom, London is the classroom. We will be attending plays in various theaters, looking at different architecture from multiple pasts, and visiting all kinds of cool places. I am so excited to talk more about what we do each week, so look forward to that!
Saturday 25 March, 2017:
DO NOT GO OUT TO CENTRAL LONDON ON THE WEEKENDS. I thought downtown Seattle was busy, like around the Pike Place area, but nope, that’s nothing compared to Oxford Street. It was incredibly crowded on every block. My roommates and I went into Primark, which is a massive store with four or five floors, and we were so stressed out. Primark is basically a Forever 21 (cheap prices and cluttered spaces), but the clothes seemed like they were good quality. I have terrible willpower when it comes to shopping. I literally wanted to buy so many things, even things I knew I didn’t need. I should have half packed my suitcase and then buy whatever clothes I need at Primark. Primark changed my life. If you ever need anything, find your nearest Primark and I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for…and more. After being sucked into cheap prices, we walked to Zara (which was also incredibly huge), Urban Outfitters, and Topshop (also massive). Our energy was drained after walking to Zara, but somehow we managed to hit two more stores. Fast forward to 9pm, one of the girls in the program wanted to pub hop to celebrate her 21st birthday. We started near Piccadilly Circus and went to a pub called Sherlock Holmes. I am personally not a drinker, so I just decided to get cider, which tasted so good (straight up apple juice). The pub was alright. Upbeat music, but I think it was more for the older crowd, haha. The next stop was inside a hotel. Three girls shared a bottle of rose, and the rest of us got cocktails. It was funny because right after my roommate, Hailey, ordered the bottle of rose, I nonchalantly said to the waitress, “I would like a pornstar martini, thank you.” You had to say it with confidence or else it would have sounded awkward. I’ve never had a pornstar martini, and I don’t know if that’s a wide known drink, but it was pretty good. At this point, I think most of us were buzzed, so we just started talking. There were probably around ten girls and we all didn’t know each other before this program, so I think we can all agree that one of the best ways to get to know someone is over a couple of drinks. All in all, it was an absolutely great night to meet new friends and to just hang out. There are a few more girls in the program that have birthdays coming up…so there will be more GNOs 🙂
Sunday 26 March, 2017:
My roommates and I didn’t get home until 1:30am, plus it was daylight savings on this side of the world, so we actually lost an hour. I wasn’t too worried because I slept like a baby and didn’t get out of bed until noon-ish (no ragrets). Today, we went to Covent Garden and didn’t expect to spend our afternoon eating. Yes, we basically ate the entire time we were in Covent Garden. At first, we wanted to try this place that sold yummy looking ice cream macarons, but unfortunately they were sold out. We then found this place called Milk Train that sold diabetes in a cup or cone. The line went down the block, which looked normal for the ice cream shop, and we waited for about 45-60 minutes. Before we stood in that crazy line, we decided to grab something to eat (because we didn’t have breakfast and basically skipped lunch). We walked around the block a few times, then we came across this pizza place called Franco Manca. Hailey said she saw good reviews on the place, so we decided to give it a try. The pizza was actually really delicious and we all finished a whole piece by ourselves. After that, we then dared to wait in line for ice cream so our stomachs can settle. By the way, the dessert was totally worth the wait, but I wouldn’t want to wait in line for it again. It was mostly for the Instagram pictures 😉
It is now 22:55 and I need to head to bed. Tomorrow is the first day of spring quarter and I am beyond excited. If you made it this far in the post, THANK YOU FOR READING! I know I won’t write every night just because I suck at it, but I will try to write every few days.
Until next time!