Justin flew into London on his way to Budapest! We brought him around Westminster and went to an awesome diner called the Breakfast Club! It was so good to see him, I can’t wait to visit him in Budapest!
London! What an amazing city!! I have been here for just a week now and already been having so much fun!! My first few days were spent with Mara by my side as we helped each other get situated and settled. Our dorms are in different areas of the city, just a few stops away from each other and being the independent girls that we are, it has not been an issue!
Besides my area by Elephant & Castle station, I have ventured to Camden, Chelsea, Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Notting Hill, Westminster and Soho. Every area has its own unique feel and is different than the next.
Although it is pretty cold here and gets dark around 4pm, I still have managed to get a few runs in and am looking forward to more. I ran from my dorm up to the London bridge, which isn’t too far away, just about a mile. From there I discovered the Thames Path and ran along that until I hit the Tower Bridge. The Tower bridge is so beautiful, if I remember correctly its the bridge that the Spice Girls drove their bus over when the flaps were in the air!
It’s funny because everyone I talked to have said how much indian food there is here. I do not disagree, I just haven’t gotten my hands on any yet! I have however had amazing sushi up in Camden. We have a chinese restaurant attached to our dorm that gives us a discount since we live right above. Strangely enough, I managed to find the one thing on the menu that was raw/sushi like. I got sashimi scallops as an appetizer and then some thai fried noodles.
I had my orientation/welcome programme yesterday with UAL. We got informed about what our classes will be like and things like that. I got a chance to meet some of my dorm-mates — if thats even a word.. and see some friends from USF, my home University. I am the only student taking the Film&Video course at LCC this semester, and after speaking with other study abroad students, a lot of them seem to be the only abroad students in their programs as well. I am excited to be put right into the program and treated like a normal student.
I have my meeting on Monday morning with my course director who will inform me on what and when my classes are. The school system is very different here. We got to pick what course we wanted to enroll in, (the term course is more like department for what U.S. schools go by) and from there they tell us what classes we will be taking. Although they put us in classes, we are allowed to choose how much work we want to do, which is pretty sweet. I am going to take full advantage and get as many credits as I can, without being overwhelmed of course. One of the main reasons I came to LCC @ UAL is because my home university’s media studies major is more theory based over production based compared to a school like S.F. State. I want to get more involved and have more experience with hands on production work, so besides London being an awesome place to live for a while, the program I am about to begin will be very beneficial towards what I am focusing on.
Here is the view from my dorm room, 607D! I get to watch the planes fly over the skyline. As I write this, I can see two planes, one over my head and the other off in the distance. It is so peaceful. I believe in the picture if you look close enough you can make out a plane far away!
I have arrived in London, finally!! When Julie, Mara, and I got off the plane we headed toward the Heathrow Connector train and took that to Paddington Station where Mara and I grabbed a taxi to my dorm. So far I have met one of my flat-mates who is from East London. I think I will have about 4-5 more that will return/move in in the next week or so.
I do not have internet set up in my room yet, (I am sitting in a Mcdonalds right now using free wifi). I did get my phone set up which is nice, yet haven’t used it much since!
So far we have been running some errands and getting used to my area. Our first night out Mara and I walked around and found a cool place to celebrate New Years–The Oyster bar. It was a friendly environment we met some fun people. 🙂
I’m going to help Mara to her dorm today and then explore the city and figure out how the Tube works. I’m sure it will not take too much time to get used to the tube since I am used to city living.
It’s hard to narrow down your life into two suitcases, but living across the country from where I go to school has helped me to be a better light packer. 🙂
A good tip I have learned when packing light and being able to still have options is to pack scarves! Scarves can go a long way and really liven up an outfit and change it from dull to fun!
Mara arrived today! Me and Sara picked her up at the airport and after a little shuffle & buffle with parking we captured her and brought her back to Plymouth! Poor Mara though, her first interaction with an east coaster–a Marylou’s Coffee worker–wasn’t the nicest to sweet Mara as she aggressively demanded Mara to tell her how she wanted her coffee, can’t win em all. Anyways, Mara is upstairs fast asleep, we put on Twilight as soon as we came home (a little obsession we developed over Thanksgiving break…) However, ten minutes in I had to turn the volume up to compete with Mara’s snoring. Just kidding, but I did notice that her eyes shut and I know it wasn’t the movies’ fault. I’m almost done packing, I weighed my suitcases and so far they are 35 and 30Lbs which is perfect because if they are over 50 I have to pay extra. I let Julie borrow my scale so she could weigh hers as well and her suitcases are right on the ball. Go Julie! Anyways, I’m off to get a fresh new haircut, I think I’ll leave Mara a note to continue dreaming of London until I return…
Earlier today, I wasn’t sure if I was able to go to London anymore. In November, I realized that I hadn’t seen my passport in a while. I thought, it’s gotta be around here somewhere, or at least in the city of San Francisco, as I had it when re-entering the states from Japan. After searching for days I finally found my passport in a storage closet that I opened probably three times this semester. After that mishap, I have been very careful with my passport, until today. I guess it could of been yesterday, or today… Regardless, I lost my passport, AGAIN. My poor mother was in the garage with me, on her hands and knees picking through the trash that I threw out a few days prior after cleaning my room out. I was so happy to hear that the trash man did not come this week, however, looking back I wish he had come so we wouldn’t of wasted our time. My mother urged me to look everywhere, after we didn’t find it in the garbage, even though I already checked everywhere, twice. I’m a little embarrassed to say I found my passport in my dirty laundry basket below my desk, however, very VERY happy I found it, as now I can officially go to London!!–unless of course I lose it again… [stay positive tara!]
I will be departing out of Logan Airport in Boston to Heathrow Airport in London in just four days! Lucky for me, two of my best friends will be joining me on the flight, as well as in London for the semester. Although we did not plan to study abroad together, we did plan our travels together once realized we were going to the same place. One thing an outsider might find a bit peculiar, we decided not to sit next to each other, for the sole purpose of all wanting window seats. I do feel we will end up in the same row at one point of another. Let’s hope me and Julie don’t have another Bahama flight incident [2006 flight home from Bahamas we got a little rowdy and made quite a ruckus with some complimentary Munchies chips and the palm of my hand, we were just kids back then.]
Julie, a best friend from my home town, will be attending the University of London: Birbeck, located right up by Hyde Park, just 5 tube stops away from where I am staying. Mara, another great friend that I met in at college in San Francisco will be attending the same University as me, but at a different College. 6 Colleges make up the University of Arts, London. Mara will be attending Central Saint Martin’s College of Art Design to explore her graphic design major, and I will be attending London College of Communication for Film & TV, to gain more production experience. 🙂