Friday, September 23, 2011

11 hours on a plan +1.5 hours on a bus + 20 minutes in a taxi cab = My arrival in Stratfrord

What seems like days ago, I hugged and kissed my Mom goodbye at the airport. It was a bitter sweet moment for me. Obviously I am very close to my folks, but I also have a dream of living in the UK and studying Shakespeare - A dream that will be fulfilled this weekend. Luckily I have my good friend Jessy with me to ease the journey.

I diligently tried to sleep on the plane flight, but was unable to do so. In between naps I watched a few movies in flight: X-Men Origins, Red Riding Hood, His Highness. All were extremely disappointing.

Jessy and I arrived in Heathrow at a little past Noon, UK time. I easily slipped through customs with my Student Visa and Offer Letter, but Jessy had a little more trouble as the customs agent seemingly found her suspicious and asked her a variety of questions. Of course, all was well and we made it through just fine.

At the baggage claim we picked up out luggage. Note: in the UK they call it the "baggage reclaim", which is probably more correct. We then made our way in an underground walking tunnel to the Central Bus Station to pick up our National Express.

After a long bus journey in which my body finally decided it wanted to sleep, we were me at the Warwick Station by Peter, our taxi driver. Peter took us to our Bed and Breakfast, Green Gables. There we met Jean, the owner of Green Gables, who quickly showed us around. She is a charming and good-natured woman and I think we will like our stay here.

Next it was off to visit the ATM to get cash at Barclays. Then off to meet Jude, my roommate, at my new flat (they call them flats rather than apartments). Our apartment is very clean and newly refurbished. I am very happy with what Jude has pick out, although one bedroom is much smaller than the other, so I suppose there will be some negotiating at a later date to determine who gets what room. It all looks very bare and empty right now.

Unfortunately my mattress, which I ordered online, has not arrived. However, the bed frame and duvet are sitting comfortably in the hallway. This was sad news, as it probably will not arrive until Monday, which means an extra day at the B&B, or a nice sleep on the floor.

I then took Jude to the Dirty Duck for dinner and drinks. We were met later by another student at the Institute, Liam. Everyone is very pleasant and personable. I am eager to meet more students and make new friends on Monday at our first meeting.

Jessy and I are now settling into bed. We have an early start tomorrow as we need to get her to her University in Coventry by 1PM tomorrow. Sweet dreams everyone!

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