First of all, I was up for 36 hours straight.
When the plane landed in London I first had to stop and get my passport checked. All “students” were put into a separate line that I thought would be nice, but they actually did every other traveler before letting students go. Aka, it took almost 2 hours just waiting in a line that didn’t move, all because we’re students. Luckily Nathan (from CofC) was there and so was another American girl named Preesma, from Connecticut.
When we finally did get through, found our bags, and found the Nottingham Univ. representatives, we saw a massive pile-up of other Nottingham international students all waiting on buses. Nathan and I did the very American thing and went straight to the front, THEN asked what we were supposed to do. When we finally got a bus, we were able to get front row seats on the SECOND LEVEL OF THE BUS!!
The ride was about 3 hours long. I saw a lot of cows and sheep. Also, we passed many mack trucks and what was interesting about them was they seemed to have a cloth-like outside instead of metal. The plasticy-cloth was roped down and waving in the wind. I have never seen that in the U.S.
On our first day into the city center, we wanted to find some authentic British food. So many signs said “2 Courses for £8.95” and Nathan’s like “I could do that! That’s not too bad!” And I reminded him that that is almost $15! So we went into a more chainey looking place, I assumed by the looks of it it wouldn’t be that expensive as the outside looked a bit cheesy. Low and behold, our authentic British meal was not so…. one look at the menus and….
it was clear we had failed. But trying to not be tacky, we didn’t just up and leave the restaurant but stayed and ordered. Still trying to save money I just got a minestrone soup which surprisingly had cabbage in it…. though I can’t say I’m surprised the British put cabbage in an Italian soup!
We did some shopping at Wikinson and I got some bedding and supplies. A lot of supplies actually; I filled a bookbag, Vera bag, and had a giant shopping bag. Then we caught the bus back to school. A round trip costs about $3.20, by the way.
This week I’ve been attending functions the school put on for international students, registered for the NHS, set up my cell phone, explored campus, got lost on campus, almost collapsed on campus carrying 100 pounds of stuff to my new room across what felt like 5 miles, almost collapsed on campus while climbing up a hill (about 4 times), been shouted at to stay in the “queue”, and met friends from Nigeria, Jamaica, Oman, and Hong Kong. It’s all very freshman feeling, meeting a millioin people at once in a strange place, eating stranger food and missing your family (yes parents, I miss you).
Here are some photos from around campus and town:
A big drumming circle. The best part was when the leader got some people up into the center to African dance. They ended up shying away from that though, and winging it, it was really funny.
Here is a classic piece of British litter - a tea bag.
The view outside my window during Int'l week - only temporary.
This is the Trent building on campus. I’m not sure what really goes on here besides Kareoke and NHS registration during Int'l Week, but it’s an iconic building for Nottingham. They have themed buildings after it on their two foreign campuses in Malaysia and China.
This is a shot of Beeston, a very cute little town next to campus that is walking distance from my hall!
A big grassy area on campus.
A classic example of British graffiti - Harry Potter’s initials carved into the cafeteria trays.
A British snail.
The city center!
Guess which one I tried!!!!!
Kangaroo! I tried Kangaroo! It was kind of gamey.. though I say that thinking I know what gamey tastes like but if I do then THAT was it. I liked it at first then actually walked back to the stall to add some condiments! Next time it’ll be the ostrich burger…. or this!
I was SOOOOO happy to see this stall downtown. I actually started explaining to the man what a pig pickin was and about barbeque buffets, though I don’t think he was very interested. I also have never been to a legitimate pig pickin, but I have eaten off a full pig before….. mmmmmmmm
This guy made fun of us because we were lost, but his fruits are pretty.
BOUGHT A 3-PACK OF BUENO BARS FOR ONE POUND AT POUND WORLD!!!!!!!!!! They cost like $5 in the States, and are the best candy bar I’ve ever had. They’re an Italian treat of hazelnut cream inside a thin wafer coated in chocolate. again, mmmmm
Mom, this one’s for you! This ice cream truck in the city center is advertising 99’s! I didn’t get one but I will!
I went back to Beeston this morning with a friend from Arizona and one from Australia (who thinks it’s so cool when I say y'all!) and we spotted this adorable baby owl. It was part of an exhibition of owls and hawks to get donations for bird rescues.
Grandma - I have spotted the jacket potatoes!
Dad - there’s a great deal on tattoos and I can’t remember if you said to get one while I’m gone or not?
Another pretty shot of campus to round out this post.
I have just moved into my permanent housing this morning. Not through decorating, but will post pics when I am. The school did supply us with a free duvet and pillow so that’s very helpful. There’s a welcome dinner for international students in Willoughby (my hall) tonight and then tomorrow the British students move in.
Slowly getting less and less tired, and more and more acquainted with campus.