I am in London! I guess it’s finally sinking in that I’m doing this? I guess it would have to by now, right? Ha.
I got in yesterday morning, and was horribly stressed to find my stupid mobile phone didn’t work anymore. I thought the SIM would hold out until now! But no. My flight also got in very early, border crossing and baggage claim took no time at all, so I was early for my ride. The company said they’d send a text with details of the car/driver, including the driver’s phone number in case there was a problem, but as the number I gave didn’t actually work, I was sort of lost. I found the right meeting spot, but I still didn’t see anyone with my name on a board at 10:30 (my pick up time), so one of the other drivers waiting around let me use his phone. Driver was found, I made it here.
On the way, we passed Earl’s Court, and I saw a TARDIS!!! It’s the one on that Google map thingy where you can go inside it.
I spent yesterday searching for pillows and hangers and various home things. I learned how Argos works and got some pillows. It’s a weird catalog store–you go in and there’s just terminals with catalogs. You go through the catalog to find what you want, write down the code number for it (you can also search on a computer terminal and check the stock there), pay for it, and then they go back to the stock room to get it for you. It’s sort of fun! But you don’t get to actually see the thing before you buy it. So buying pillows that way was weird, and the ones I got are sort of thin. But they were cheap, so they’ll do for now. I fell asleep somewhere around 8 and slept a solid 11 or so hours, but I am still tired today. Silly jet lag.
Today I wandered around in a constant state of vaguely knowing where I was, with random bursts of a-ha! I know exactly where I am! I meant to go to a specific store to look for hangers but missed a turn somewhere and ended up in Vauxhall. From there I just decided eff that, and walked over a bridge, eventually getting to Ben’s Cookies, OF COURSE. It was magical, as usual. The fact that I can now get them delivered to me is somewhat troubling. I walked on from there, intending to maybe find the British Museum or something equally enlightening, but got distracted by Primark on Oxford Street. No one ever let me go to Primark again. I mean, it’s ok, I needed a bunch of things, but it could get dangerous. They had hangers and towels and a bathmat and various little things I needed. I think I have exactly enough hangers, which will hopefully be a deterrent from buying clothes.
I had sort of planned in my mind to walk about a bit more from there, but my bag of stuff was too heavy, so I took the tube home. I took the Northern line (I can either to that or Victoria), which was confusing…the Northern line runs in two branches, so I guess sometimes (or depending on where I get it?), I may have to transfer at Kennington to a train that goes further.
Now that I have hangers, I unpacked all my clothes. I still have to unpack the stuff that was in my carry-on bags and organize it all (organizing it is the bigger task), but I’m making some progress! My room is very very white, so I’d like to have some color around soon.
My building is weird! I’m on the 7th floor, but I have to access my room by walking all around the 6th floor and taking the stairs. There’s an elevator right outside the flat door, but I have no idea how to get to that elevator from the ground floor. I took it down once, and had no idea where I was and couldn’t get anywhere. SO. That’s weird. Maybe one of my flatmates understands the building. I have…5, I think? The flat itself is strange. There are 6 rooms, a-f (I am in a). Each room locks (we have these weird fob things that open all our doors, no keys!), and has its own bathroom (with shower and all). But they’re sort of all on a corridor, it sort of feels like a hostel. There’s a pretty big common room/kitchen area. Kitchen is nice and has all the basics (toaster, kettle, microwave), a seating area, and then there’s a couple couches and a TV (I guess someone brought that?). It’s weird in that I never really need to interact with/see anyone who lives here. I still don’t know who they all are/if I’ve met everyone. Which is sort of good but also sort of bad because I think I need to get my own kitchen stuff (plates, utensils, etc.) and I was hoping not to.
Still don’t know much about the flatmates. There is one girl of some Asian nationality (one other flatmate told me Taiwanese?), and there are two boys I’ve met, but that’s all I know. Boys! What is this! More progressive university living than America, I guess. I think they’re all in undergrad/non-masters programs, but I am unsure about their ages. So we’ll see how this goes…