Monday, May 2, 2011


Alright, I'll admit, this is another one of those assignments. This one, we went to Wimbledon which is sort of a part of London but small little section with it's own "village". And of course, tennis. Instead of tall buildings, there were actual houses and expensive looking houses with gardens too. It was hard to believe we weren't that far out of Central London. There was also, in somewhat random placement, as in out of nowhere, a Buddist Temple. It was really pretty on the outside but no one in the group I was with seemed to want to go in so I, well, didn't go in.

After that, we went and saw the Tennis Lawn, or sort of. We couldn't actually go on to a court of anything. The closest we got was asking one of the security guards if we could go into the shop, which they allowed us to do suspiciously (the whole thing is surrounded by tall fences and there's a gate with two guards). We went in, looked around at over-priced tennis stuff and left.

Then we went into the more "town" part which looked a bit like downtown Ames (only with older buildings). There were a lot of very different purposed shops, most of them small businesses.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


So, just as an FYI I have discovered that museums are a thing it's pro baby best if I go to alone. See, I like to stop and read things and go slowly which could be entirely annoying. Which is why I went to the Imperial War Museum a second time, the second time on my own, and was pretty glad I went to Tower of London on my own.

The Imperial War Museum is a really big museum mostly over World Wars I and II in Britain but there's also exhibits on the time in between the wars and the cold war, etc. One of the most interesting things for me was the Children's War exhibit which was about the children in Britain during WWII. It talked about how a lot of them had been sent to the countryside (and some to other countries) during the bombings. They also talked about rationing and had a replica of a house from that time period. There was also a Trench Warfare exhibit which was dark and smelled badly where they made it like you were in a trench. There was also the Holocaust exhibit on the top floor which was- well it was about the Holocaust. Enough said. It wasn't cheery.

On a lighter note, I lately went to the Tower of London. I've had to go there since I decided to come to London because my mom and I have a bit of an obsession with Anne and Mary Boleyn. I even went and got the audio guide which was actually really well done. Obviously, the whole thing wasn't about Henry VIII. I mean, the Tower of London has in parts been around a LOT longer than that. And there actually wasn't too much torture that went on in the Tower but that's the main thing remembered about it. But they had displays of armour and the royal jewels (which was actually the most boring part if you ask me) which I went and saw and there was the fact about the ravens (there always has to be ravens at Tower of London or supposedly the Tower and monarchy will fall). All in all, I spent the better part of a day wandering around like a dork with headphones and an audio guide and camera.

Bath (No Rubber Ducks Involved)

As a group we went to Bath. Back in March. The middle of March. Right... Moving on.

Bath is a city in England which, I admit, the majority of my knowledge about came from Jane Austen novels where people often go to Bath as a cure for minor diseases (which means of course I went to the Jane Austen museum but more on that later). Although, having not even a cold at the time I went, I can't speak for the miracles of Bath.

Before we got to Bath, however, we stopped at Dyrham Park, which is actually an old mansion that the family gave up to be a museum of sorts. So we went through and heard about life back when they had a ton of servents, etc. Pretty interesting overall but more fun to walk around and try and imagine people actually living there. But the best part was that we got to walk around the park afterwards. The back was all gardened and pretty. There was also a church (because there are old churches everywhere) and an old graveyard in the back (with a Great War memorial because there's a Great War memorial everywhere around here). The front was big enough to just walk around a "get lost" for a while. And I got to see deer up close (the deer the park was named for).

We were in Bath that evening, all the next day, and the next morning. The first thing we did was get a tour of the Roman Baths, which are still there and had a pretty good audio tour. It was really interesting but I won't bore you with a ton of facts and things. The first night, we ate at a pub where there was a group from a stag (bachelour) party there too.

Next day, we went on a bus tour to see around Bath and then went wandering about in the town. I went with another girl and saw the Jane Austen museum which was brilliant. I got to learn about her family and see actual letters she wrote to her sister and dresses and hear about her life in Bath (which wasn't entirely pleasant). Later that night I went to my first and only movie in the UK. Cinemas are pretty much the same here, not going to lie. Although they did have a section selling ice cream and milkshakes along with popcorn.

We left in the morning and made a stop in Lacock which is this town where they've tried to preserve the historial look of an English village and they have Lacock Abbey. What's so special about Lacock Abbey you may ask? Well part of Harry Potter filming took place there! We went through rooms guessing which classroom it had been for filming and took pictures of part of the halls. I felt like a nerd (which I always am) but this time I had loads of company. Yay!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

How I Mastered Airport Security

Right, I'm slow at posting, I know. Which means I have a lot to talk about (especially when my usual rambling is factored in) but for now, how about the trip from two weekends ago: Dublin, Paris, and Prestwick. Yep, three cities, one weekend, all transfers on planes. The title, I assure you, is true.

By the way, Prestwick is a town in Scotland, which is part of the UK. If you don't know where Dublin or Paris is, I beg of you to take a geography course.

Alright, that being said, Prestwick was the last stop on our journey, so you can forget about it for now. The first stop was Dublin. To be honest, I rather expected it to be a lot like London except a bit smaller and with different accents. I mean the UK and Ireland are quite close, right? Well, I was wrong. The best example I can think of is asking for directions in London versus in Dublin. In London if you ask for directions (which okay I haven't done because I hate doing that even back in the states) people will generally help you unless they don't know or don't have the time or don't speak English. In Dublin you don't ask for directions. Instead, you begin having a conversation with someone you're traveling with about which way you think you should go and a Dubliner eagerly jumps in and gives you directions. Or multiple people do. All in all, people are very friendly.

In Dublin our main agenda (there were four of us who went on this weekend) was to eat lunch in a pub and have Irish stew. Which we accomplished. And also brings me back to the friendliness of Dublin; we were the only ones in there (eating lunch at 11 = abnormal in Dublin) but the lady was very friendly the whole time and towards the end, two police officers came in and said hello to everyone in the pub (by then there were some other people), including the four of us. Besides the pub, we wandered around the main bit of Dublin and then got on a bus to try and get back to where we were supposed to meet the shuttle to the airport. We got on a bus going the wrong direction. Which was interesting in itself, if you ask me. We got to see more of a residential area. And I got to observe that Irish ambulances look a lot like United Kingdom ones, bright yellow. Yeah, probably not interesting to anyone but me...

Eventually, however, we got back and ended up heading for Paris. Oh, and you thought they spoke French in Paris? Well, actually the do. But most of the signs are also in English! I feel as if we've dominated the world. Although I can't tell if it's British or American or Australian or New Zealand or... whatever kind of English. Anyway, we got to our hostel rather late after going on the French tube (where I had a game of guessing how the next stop would be pronounced; usually I was wrong. My French extends no further than ABBA's Voulez Vous). Needless to say, we crashed as soon as our heads hit our pillows. Keep in mind we had woken up at 2:00 to catch a plane from London and then spent the day wandering Dublin.

The next day, one of the girls in our group who had spent a month is Paris before, led us on a tour. First we went to a really high church to look over Paris and then walked to the Moulin Rouge which was actually very near our hostel. From there, we went on the tube and started a route through Paris where we got to see the Effel Tower, the outside of the Lurve, and Notre Dam as well as other gorgeous things I have no idea what the names of are. A lot of them are in my pictures that are on Facebook but I won't bore (or confuse you with my recollections). After Notre Dam, we got back on the tube and headed to the place where we were supposed to meet the airport shuttle.

Now about the tube in Paris versus London. There are no saxophone players on the tube in London. Despite everything else, I think that makes Paris beat London on the underground. London tube carriages are quiet and everyone does their own thing. Paris has noise; people get on to play music for tips. I can't in the slightest bit see this happening in London.

Alright, after Paris was Prestwick meaning we were back in the UK (and had to go through UK's border control). We probably spent the least amount of waking time in Prestwick and yet I'm pretty much in love with the town. It's a LOT smaller than the other cities we saw but it's still definitely not Gilbert. There were actual houses visible, not just flats and apartments but there were also businesses and at least 3 pubs down the main road. Crowded pubs too! We ended up going in one and listening to karaoke (adults doing karaoke too, not just University students). We stayed in the cutest guesthouse and the next morning three of us went for a walk down to the sea (did I mention it was right by the sea? No? Well, I ought to of) and I got to walk along the beach a bit. It didn't feel half as rushed as London but there was still life to it, people were outwardly friendly (versus London where their all quite reserved), there was no need for driving and yet there was room to walk and space out a bit. Honestly, if I had to chose somewhere in the UK to live, it would likely be Prestwick, at least from my limited scope at the moment.

Anyway, that was a short summary of our crazy weekend trip and keep in mind, we went through all of this on budget airlines. So every trip except the flight from Prestwick to London was an international flight meaning passport stamping and every one required going through security. Thus the title because trust me, I am now an expert.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

In class today, I heard a lecture about how Americans have taken over html programing with out own words and how we need to spell color as colour. Honestly I can't help wondering if it's simply a pronunciation difference. In the States, most people pronounce color with an "er" type of sound rather than the more "or" type of sound used for words like "your" and "pour" so maybe the spelling changed to reflect that? It certainly holds for behavior/behaviour and rumor/rumour. I don't know. I think perhaps I should refrain from any theories pertaining to languages and spelling. I was always horrid at spelling.

On a slightly more entertaining note (at least I should hope more entertaining as spelling was always one of those subjects I wanted to fall asleep in), we went over to Greenwich as part of British Experience Seminar on Friday (and it was assignment 5 too, just saying). We took a boat there in the morning where there was a voice over the loud speaker pointing out things as we went, including where the Mayflower launched and another glimpse at the Tower of London (I have got to get there sometime; I've read too many historical fictions involving the Boleyn family not to).

When we were there, we went up a huge hill to the Royal Observatory which sounds really thrilling and there was a very pretty view of the city from up there but overall, I found the Queen's Gallery (also called the Queen's House) more interesting because even though it's now an art gallery, I like old building's like that where I can try to imagine how people would have lived in them when they were first built. Granted I'm not sure how often the Queen was actually there but they probably had someone people there at all times to keep the grounds and such, right? And it's such a huge, maze of a place. Anyway, a few of us went to the Queen's House after we went through the National Maritime Museum which was interesting I suppose and made a bit more fun by the fact I had just finished reading Treasure Island for the first time. Pirates always make seeing boats more entertaining.

After that, we went around to cute little shops and things until late afternoon and then came back on the DLR (Dockland's Light Railway). To be honest, I had to look up what DLR stand for just now because I keep remembering it as being Driver-Less Rail because there's no driver and, being unable to figure out what DLR stood for when I first heard it and being me I made something up. Funnily enough, my version has stuck better than the truth. I wasn't a big fan of the DLR but that might be because as a light railway, it's more flexible and we ended up standing on one of the bendable points in the carriage, which basically meant we were standing on a circle on the floor that creaked as it moved about from side to side while the walls around us kind of got shorter and longer, especially around curves. It was fun for about a minute and then I started longing for the tube or buses. We got off on Canary Wharf, went upstairs to Tesco (grocery store) for a bit and then went to the Canary Wharf Tube station to get on the Jubilee line (which is the most robotic tube line every if you ask me since it has these doors at the station that a come open at the same time the doors onto the tube do; a very Camazotz feel to me and if you can catch the reference I applaud you.

We've now been to a church service for Religions in London (one of my Central classes) and it was at part of the Church of England, one of the more Evangelical churches (since they range from Anglo-Catholic to Evangelical). It was a lot like the E-free church at home and yet a lot different too though I think a lot of the difference was that it was smaller. There was less than a classroom full of people. I beginning to think, however, that going to the pub after church is a bit like going out for Sunday brunch after church back home. I think I may have to go to more church services to tell for sure but that's the way it seemed at Hillsong as well when I went there.

Anyway, hopefully I'll post on Monday after this weekend. Three cities in three days, not counting London of course.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


If you want to know the explanation behind this particular blog, read the next paragraph and if not, skip ahead as you see fit.

Right, well, seeing as I'm studying abroad through Central, I'm supposed to keep a journal to turn in once in a while (so obviously not a really personal journal). Blogs can be used as journals. Anyway, to get to the point, one of the things I'm supposed to include is about these assignments we're supposed to do which are actually a lot cooler than most normal assignments. Generally they're sightseeing assignments and while I've written about them elsewhere (in a personal journal where I revel my true meanness and scariness...) I probably ought to add them here.

Our first assignment was one I sort of hinted at before but only a little so you probably didn't notice. It was to visit two markets. The best way I can think of to describe them is to have you think of the Varied Industries Building during the middle of the State Fair. Now substitute the booths of random things for people selling food, handcrafted things, and some clothing. Now make it outside. There you go.

One of the markets I saw was the more Ritz-y Borough Market. It had food that was already made, more gourmet things and more expensive prices. So in general it smelled delicious. But I saw it on a Saturday and it was super-crowded. Way beyond my liking. I haven't been back to be honest.

The second market I saw was Brixton Market. Brixton Market, I ought to tell you, had the same qualities as I mentioned above for markets only add in the smell of the old Fareway. That's right there was meat hanging in the windows of stored that lined the area where stalls were set up. The odd thing was how little it bothered me. I mean I'm not about to eat it but I really don't care if I see dead pig and cow and such dangling. It really doesn't phase me Probably a large part of the reason I won't become a vegetarian despite the fact I have a good deal of people convinced I am one. Anyway, Brixton Market... They had fruit. It was cheap. Yay fruit! It wasn't as crowded but still more crowded than I'd like but worth it for cheap produce.

For the second assignment, we were supposed to take a specific walk around the East End of London. Well, I'll be honest. I didn't take the specific walk. I did however, get lost around there twice so I consider myself having seen all that I was supposed to just not in the specific order.

How may you ask did I get lost in the East End of London? Well my friend, that explanation is very simple; I can not tell north from south. You see, I have a class there, along with another Central student, through London Met. Uni. On the first day of class, we arrived, thankfully, about an hour early because we could not find our class. We did, however, see where a market normally was and see Christ Church. We also saw a lot of shops and some residential apartments and some other stuff before we finally found our class.

The next week (because classes are in general once a week here) I meant to leave with the same person but somehow didn't manage that and, well, did you know tube stations have more than one exit? I do. Actually I did. But I still got out at the wrong one, thought it was the right one, and ended up wandering the wrong side of the street for a while. Lovely times.

Anyway, one of the more interesting things to me was the Whitechapel Bell Foundry which is in the East End of London, mostly because I was rather an American Idiot and assumed that the Liberty Bell was made in, well, the United States. Shoulda known better. It was made in London. Liberty Bell from London. Liberty, Statue of from France. Who knows what else we have used as a national monument and isn't actually made in the United States? Perhaps George Washington even once considered himself a citizen of the British Empire.

Oh, also saw part of the East End again on Wednesday when we went on a Jack-the-Ripper tour. Women killed in the East End. Missing kidneys. All that stuff. Really quite creepy. Won't go into it but recommend the tour and what not.

The third assignment was to go to this museum on the History of London at the Barbican tube stop (oddly enough I'd heard of the Barbican before I came here but for the life of me I can not remember who or what from.) At any rate, the museum was actually pretty cool. Very interactive sort of place (think if the Science Center of Iowa was actually a History of Des Moines Museum and the history of Des Moines was actually interesting).

The exhibits went back from BC times to "the future" in which there were photoshopped pictures of how London will look when the sea levels rise and disaster strikes, etc. They had stuff about when the Romans were here, and the Saxons, and a bit about the Tudors. There was a room with a couple movies about "Pleasure Gardens" and this cool picture thing where you could touch the name of somebody and read about their life. They had a Victorian town all laid out. Pretty awesome.

This one was another walk but it included this really strange museum, Sir John Soane's Museum. Basically this man back in the late 17, early 1800's had a thing for collecting artifacts. Like back when you're a kid and you have ten million collects (pretty rocks, old pennies, strange buttons, etc) and take it up a few notches. That is what this man's house was like (only he had stuff like an Egyptian sarcophagus, random stuff from Roman times, and a whole ton of books). Basically, I think, though he may have been brilliant he probably was the kind of man people kept their children away from when he was alive. No offense.

The rest of the walk, we went by a memorial to Canadian airmen from WWII in this really pretty park (London's littered with pretty parks. It's pretty amazing.), and basically a huge, for lack of better term, legal section. There was the High Courts of Justice and the area where a bunch of barristers (court representatives) work. I do remember there also being a wig shop that we passed which was highly amusing since several of the wigs were placed on small animal figures (like a pig) and we're talking those formal old fashioned wigs that you see pictures of the forefathers wearing. Apparently their lawyers wear them into court.

We also passed by the Temple church which apparently was pretty big in the DaVinci Code which I admit to never reading. Couldn't get passed the first chapter because of the belt thing. For some reason that bothered me endlessly.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

And I Really Can Update... Eventually

Well, since I'm rather behind on posting anything I'll try and remember some of the key highlights and all that stuff. No promises on coherence and organization.

As a group, on a Friday, we went to the town of Cambridge which was pretty cool but fairly cold (okay, cold by the standard here. By the standards back home it would have been a windy but warm for a winter day). Anyway, we were taken on a tour of the town that went by different places that were part of Cambridge University, the Eagle, and this really creepy clock that was supposed to be eating down time. Part of the University we got to see was the chapel at King's college which I found pretty awesome, mostly because my mom and I have an obsession with historical-fictions focusing on the Tudors (particularly the wives and other partners of King Henry the VIII).

Anyway, he apparently added the organ cover with Anne Boleyn's initials and other things to symbolize that he put it in for her in the chapel (the organ cover separates the chapel and the ante-chapel (which is mostly used for non religious purposes). There's also really pretty stain glass bible scenes all around on the windows and the carvings in the stone were gorgeous as well.

Another schedules trip we went on was to a restaurant near Brick Lane, also near the Bell Foundry where the Liberty Bell was made, didn't know that was in London did you? Well at least I didn't. Anyway, we had what was generally called Indian food. It was actually really good although I kept thinking of Dave Lister from Red Dwarf who has a huge love for curry. I suppose I have my dad to thank for that. He's the one who introduced me. Indian food here is kind of like Mexican food back in the USA, at least in popularity.

I've also started classes, finally, two at a local university (which has a very DMACC feeling to me although it is a bit more complicated) and three through Central (two of them required.) The none required one is a religion course which I think is going to be pretty interesting since I get to learn about the Anglican church (which the Queen officially heads) as well as get to see a bunch of churches. Last week, we went to Westminster Cathedral which was filled with mosiacs but only half done on the decorating front despite the fact they started over a century ago. There are boxes everywhere you look asking for donations. I have to admit, I found the idea of a holy gift shop a little amusing but I really shouldn't laugh seeing as how so many things I do may seem odd. The idea of so many side chapels devoted to the different saints was strange to me. I guess I really don't know all that much about Catholism in practice (though I know a bit historically).

Another of my classes, one of the ones through London Metropolitan University, is mostly made up of other study abroad students, one of them from Thailand. I'm fairly sure there's at most five people who are actually from the United Kingdom (United Kingdom=Wales, England, Scotland, and North Ireland; Britain= Wales, England, and Scotland; England does NOT = Scotland). London has a very diverse population, much more so than the rest of the country. Heck, it's making Iowa State look pretty bland and that's saying something.

Oh, for anyone wondering, I have seen platform 9 and 3/4 and frankly, it was pathetic. It was a picture of a brick wall against a cement wall with part of a trolly attached. Apparently they're building a new area but part of the problem is that when they filmed the movie, they did so in St. Pancras (which is right next door, same tube stop even) and when she was writing, JKR was picturing Euston, which is yet another train station (there's also Victoria which is really near Vandon house. Trains are a big deal here, including international ones).

As for upcoming events, a couple of other people and have booked the tickets for a weekend trip to Dublin, Paris, and Scotland. The trip from Dublin to Paris was $15. Yay budget airlines.

Anyway, back to watching an elephant get eaten on channel four. It's really quite interesting. This elephant died and they managed to set up cameras to see how it feeds the ecosystem and you really probably don't care a bit. My apologies. Have a lovely day or night or whatever time frame is most appropriate when you read this.

General Statistics:
Times gotten lost: too many to count
Times gotten unlost: same as above so really doing quite well (including getting lost during Chinese New Year event)
Times asked for directions on the tube: 3
Times actually able to help: 1 (and she seemed surprised when I spoke with an American accent so yay for surprising French tourists)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Things I Have Learned Since Leaving

Because I figured they ought to be recorded somewhere.

*How to turn my i-pod fully off. I didn't even know there was a way to turn it fully off but apparently there is

*There is no comfortable way to sleep on a plane. Do not count on being able to.

*I have taken for granted the lovely road plan set place in Iowa. Roads are not in general straight. To paraphrase someone else, when certain immigrants got to Iowa, they said, "We shall build roads and they shall be straight, with a square mile in the middle. If there is a hill, we will go over it or under it. If there is water, we shall go over it and if we absolutely can not, we shall deviated as slightly as possible and then go straight back to the original plan." London does not follow said plan.

*The lesson of looking both ways before you cross the street is better spent on 5-year-olds in the UK than in the USA. In the US, pedestrians have the right of way. In the UK, they only do at special crossings. Overall lesson? Cross when and where you can and do it fast (although running across makes you look rather idiotic).

*There really isn't a difference in music or movies between the USA and the UK except that the music and movies currently in the UK are ones from a couple months ago in the USA (Tangled just came out in cinemas on Friday).

*I can indeed be taught to read a map.

*I can indeed decipher north from south... if it is written on a wall which way is north (or south, I'm not that picky).

*The rule about two seasons, construction and winter? Yeah, does not apply or else I wouldn't keep getting woken up by the sound of construction.

*Having the tax included in the price of things is lovely.

*Having to mentally take every price by 1.6 to figure out the cost is not lovely.

*I really need to learn more languages than English and Spanish. I swear I've heard ten gazillion since getting to London.

*People will generally give you directions if you ask for them. However this would imply me getting the courage to ask them and that's something I would have a hard time doing at home...

*I should learn to start cooking BEFORE I'm hungry as I keep making things that take no time because I'm hungry.

*Poundland is a far more awesome name for a discount store than Dollar General or Dollar Tree.

*Pigeons are everywhere.

*My dog should be here to teach the squirrels in the UK a lesson. And the pigeons too. Although keeping him away from the swans would probably be a wise idea...

*Market's are awesome. Brixton market smells like meat but it's not that much worse than Fareway and there's cheaper fruit.

*Wash hats you buy from a market before wearing them or you shall spend the next day wondering if your head is itching (thankfully not a lesson I learned first hand).

*100 years is not that old for a building despite the fact that most of the homes in Ames are younger than I am.

*Outlets can be turned off and this is a lovely idea.

Alright, that's it for now. Have a good day and all that.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Not So Stunning Adventures of a Not So Stunning Superhero!

Alright, well hopefully this blog will be a bit more interesting than the last. At very least I've seen more so I think life in London is a lot more interesting than life on a plane but maybe you don't think so. And if you don't think so, it may be time to consider a career in aviation. Or for me to work on my writing skills which is a definite possibility.

Anyway, massive thing I have discovered is that for the most part I love the tube. Seriously there's no driving; once you get the hang of the tube map, very little thinking; and, also once you get the hang of the tube map, if you can find a station, you can eventually get back to someplace familiar enough to get back. The only thing I don't like is when it gets crowded, which it was on the Victoria line today because the Victoria line is connected Victoria station where there are trains to one of the airports and the national rail service.

But the tube can get you about anywhere pretty fast. One of the best things so far has been to discover that the cheap grocery store and a market are right outside one of the tube stations. Yesterday was the first time we went to the market, which was a bunch of booths selling clothes, fruit, meat, and even one had bedding all along this one street. It smelled kind of funny but I got some pretty good tomatoes and plums. There was a lot of noise around it and a lot of different sorts of people. It was one of those places I wish I could hover above and become invisible so I could stay and people watch for ages.

We've also been, as a group, on a couple of walking tours. The first started near the Tower of London, which I thought was pretty cool to see as I've spent way to much time reading the books in the Other Boleyn Girl series (I know, I know). But it so strange to see the actual place. It's huge and has a whole lot of towers in actuality. Apparently their even used to be a zoo in there (okay, I think it was three or four large animals but still). We then moved on and looked at the river where there were three bridges we could see, Tower, London, and Millennium. Millennium is only a walking bridge and yes it is the one torn apart in the Half Blood Prince movie, don't think I've abandon my geekiness. I've also been looking for a cafe on Tottenham Court Road. I had an excuse for being there though; the British History Museum is near there (with an Egyptian display with mummies I might add). So far, I've been their twice and still have only covered maybe half the building. It's huge. Though surprisingly enough, not very much of it is actually British history.

We also got to see Wicked on Thursday. To my friends who have seen Wicked before my comment is now "yeah well I've seen it too and Fiyero and Boc had accents so ha ha". Well the rest of the cast had accents too but Fiyero and Boc were my favorite. Okay, I'll stop being a snob. Or at least I'll try. But I saw Wicked, finally!

Classes haven't started yet; I found out non-Central ones don't start till next week which is a little annoying. I surprisingly enough want to study. I guess next week, I'll have to sight-see a little more or something. I have Central classes on Thursday and we have a day trip to Cambridge on Friday.

Anyway, hope I haven't bored you too much. If you've read this far, I'm afraid you don't win a prize. We were told if you felt a sway while on the Millenium bridge you won a prize but I tend to doubt that (especially since this was the same tour guide who pointed out the dedication to St. Arbucks in London. Very amusing tour guide).

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pretty Snazzy?

Right, so I told quite a few people I'd start a blog so I suppose it's probably best that I try and start one now that I'm actually in London. Specifically in my room at Vandon House, on my computer in my room. Pretty snazzy? Sure, let's go with that.

Anyway, so far, I've been in London for about seven hours. One of those was spent sleeping and almost three were spent getting to the place where I would be sleeping. Probably a good thing I went with a group of people. My sense of direction has not magically improved by crossing the Atlantic.

Anyway, summary so far, I went to Des Moines Airport, got on a plane to Atlanta after meeting up with some other people studying abroad in London this semester through Central, got to Atlanta and eventually got on this huge plane. I mean, really huge. And there were television touch screens in the back of the chairs where you could choose between a bunch of movies and some games (including Bejeweled and Zuma) and, what I spent most of my time on since my headphones weren't working with it very well, this map that shows you the flight route and estimated time to arrival, ect. I think I've picked up two words in French from that thing.

Right, guessing you don't care a whole lot about the plane, right? I wouldn't either (although I did find the games part down right fascinating). Eventually we got off the plane and went through border control (where out of our group of six, the process ranged from some of us getting two questions to some getting twenty to some getting fingerprinted. I was just asked two). Eventually we got on the Gatwick Express and went to Victoria before walking to Vandon House.

We saw a lot of houses and things on the Gatwick Express. Maybe I'm the only one who find it cool but then I'm not used to row houses. They looks so cute to me and there's so much made with brick. I'm used to most things, especially houses, being made with wood and covered by siding. It's different. Really pretty if you ask me and since this is my blog, I'm going to assume you did.

We walked through a more commercial area to get to Vandon House, lots of shops and things. I haven't yet seen Big Ben but I have now seen a British edition of the Biggest Loser. There's a television in the room and I may have turned it on and fell asleep for about an hour. I have since wandered out though with Kristen because I wanted my computer to charge and needed a converter.

Anyway, that's it for this fairly boring post but I thought I should probably say something. Overall summary: I'm here and I'm alive.