Summer Camp on SteroidsLondon Study London , Fall 2010
Whelp, it’s been almost a week here in London, and it already feels like a lot longer than that. My roommate is a swell guy—a percussionist, actually, and we did get matched up by our music tastes.
I’ve ridden the underground (also known as the tube, not the subway) about twice a day every day, and I’ve ridden one bus or the other (the 11 and 19, predominantly) almost as much. The buses take longer than the tube on average, but they’re more convenient. Fifteen minute walk to nearest tube station from my room, five second walk to nearest bus stop. Also, the tube workers will probably keep striking on and off due to the proposed budget cuts, so buses will no doubt be more reliable. And they have a much nicer view.
Airport security didn’t confiscate anything, actually, which surprised me. I had a comb shaped like a switchblade in my luggage (not carry-on, I’m not a fool) and it survived unmolested.
The first thing for orientation was when they took us out to the tube station and made us all buy Oyster Cards (remember?) and showed us where to get mobile phones. So I really didn’t need to panic and buy my mobile ahead of time, and I probably could’ve got a better deal if I’d just purchased one here. So it goes. Getting the Student Oyster Card in advance was good idea, though, because everyone else had to get regular ones (fewer discounts).
Orientation was a whirlwind of activity. Each day included at least one walking tour of somewhere (Chelsea, Bloomsbury, etc.), and a tube ride with forty people (never again), and a talk about expectations and whatnot. We confirmed our class and field trip schedules. We went to The Globe and saw The Merry Wives of Windsor (standing for three hours) which was, actually, incredibly good. And I’m not a big fan of Shakespeare’s comedies.
Speaking of Windsor, we spent a day at Windsor Castle and the nearby town of Eaton (famous for the boys’ boarding school of the same name). Unfortunately, we didn’t see the Queen, since she’s up in Scotland for the summer holidays, but she’ll be back eventually. Buckingham Palace, her primary residence, is on the agenda for next weekend.
Everyone’s figuring out how to prepare enough food to survive and all that. I’ve been living off rice and sandwiches (tuna and sweet corn: the best), but hopefully I’ll be in the mood to make something substantial in the coming week.
Also, I’m afraid there aren’t any photos this week, as I need to trim down the 353 that I took into a much more reasonable number, and pretty them up for you. Next week will bring fantastic pictures; I promise.
Feel free to ask me any questions on any subject—study abroad-related or otherwise. I will (hopefully) answer everything to the best of my ability.
Tune in next week for these exciting adventures: Holy Smokes I Have Homework Again, The Play’s the Thing, The Bookshop Brigade, and much, much more!
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