Tuesday, January 31, 2012

This England

I'm here! After what seemed like endless traveling and too many hours sitting, I am finally settled in my house in Bath.  I met up with a girl from SMC (Jordan) at the airport who is also going to ASE and we had the same flight itinerary so we were able to travel together which was so nice.  Our plane was empty; my section had 16 seats and only three were taken so I got to sprawl out and relax, although I could not sleep. I think my nerves were getting to me. I read a book on my new kindle fire, which I'm obsessed with. We arrived in Dublin around 4:30am and connected our flight to Bristol around 6:40.  It was a little commuter plane that we actually took a bus to. I had never heard of that! When we arrived in Bristol we took a bus to the train station and passed 3 sheep farms, which was very British.  The landscape is amazing and the architecture of the houses is so beautiful. The train station was on a little cobblestoned road and was actually very beautiful.  

Kings Mead Train Station 

When we arrived in Bath, we had to wait outside the train station for ASE to pick us up, and we ended up waiting 40 minutes because our train arrived early. We found other ASE students and were able to chat and get to know each other.  Then we were taken by van to our houses! Mine is very cute and in the most perfect location.  The set up of the house is strange, however.  There is a basement that includes a classroom(interestingly enough) our washer and dryer, our oven (our real kitchen is 2 stories up), and a bathroom.  The main floor holds 2 double bedrooms, the 2nd story holds our common living space, a dining room, and the main kitchen, the 3rd floor is where my bedroom is and the other twin and the 2 showers.  The actual bathroom is actually another story up in the tiniest, narrow winding staircase ever. Its a little strange. 

I love the girls in my house! There are 8 of us and we all get along really well.  For dinner last night we went to a thai place literally 5 steps from our house called Salathai and it was delicious.  New take out place for sure.  Then we went to get necessities like shampoo and razors, and came back to the house to play traditional bonding and get to know you games. 
Today was our first day of orientation and they kept the day jam packed with various talks on the program overview and social and cultural interaction, walks, and meetings with internship/education coordinators.  They disregarded the fact that we were all seriously jetlagged and sore from the day before. 

Tonight we are all cooking dinner and laying low and having movie night. We are all so exhausted! 
I will write another post at the end of orientation week to fill in the rest of the days but now you all know I have safely arrived in Bath and absolutely loving it.

Here are some things I have learned so far: 
  • plane food is awful. 
  • don't carry a heavy backpack when traveling. my back is super sore. 
  • wheeled luggage on cobblestone is recipe for disaster. 
  • pants mean underwear in british. 
  • british primary (elementary) students don't know what moose are.
  • the bus drivers don't announce what the stops are so you really have to pay attention (another recipe for disaster)

This royal throne of kings, 
this scept'red isle, this seat of Mars, 
This other Eden, demiparadise...
This blessed pot, this earth, this realm, 
This England.
--Richard II- William Shakespeare 

Keep Calm and Follow the Moon 

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