Chiyo: We’re from America, we didn’t know any better

August 31, 2011

The plane ride was probably one of the best/easiest rides I’ve ever had. I slept a majority of the flight, and by the time I woke up, there was only about another half hour until we landed in London. Getting off the plane, we were all disoriented and shuttled to the UK Border, where we handed our “landing cards” to security, and were ushered through to grab our luggage. After Sunshine and I grabbed our bags, we went in search of the taxis, and met up with two other girls in the CAPA program and shared a taxi to our flat, Newman Court. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a British CAPA advisor, and an American advisor, who gave us a packet, and an envelope with our Oyster Card (for the Tube), and our class schedule. 

Our flat is a two bedroom, two bath flat, with a living room, balcony, and kitchen. It’s very cozy and has plenty of space, however the beds are not comfortable at all, so this should make for an interesting four months…My roommates are all very nice, and we immediately went in search for food because we all were hungry from traveling and not eating the airplane food. My roommates and I went to Sunshine’s flat, because he lives in the Penthouse flat, and grabbed all the guys to go find food and beer. We found a pub, and soon discovered they don’t serve food, so we were ok with beer and only beer. Zach, a guy from New Jersey and I came up with the saying, “We’re from America…we didn’t know any better!” to use if we make a mistake while we’re here. Which, let’s be real, we will be making lots of mistakes along the way. After taking pictures, and mingling with the locals, we were off to the grocery store for some real food. Now this is not your typical grocery store. They sold lingerie alongside the groceries, which was just strange. Food is so much more expensive here, and they definitely don’t have the “college” diet of Ramen and Mac And Cheese that Sunshine and I were frantically searching for. The walk back from the store to our flat is quite the walk, and my roommate Diane and I quickly learned that we’ll be taking the bus from now on when we want to get grocery items. 

We just had “flat orientation” where we learned how to use the appliances, and I learned that for a small load of laundry, it’s going to take a whopping four hours from washing to drying. Looks like I’ll have to just keep buying clothes! The oven is a lot different than the one’s in the states, and I was too tired to pay attention on how to actually use the thing… On a brighter note, we have heated floors in our flat which is lovely, since it is constantly cold and foggy in London!

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