Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Days 1 & 2

Hello all, from across the pond!

I wasn't originally planning to keep a blog while I was here, but once I got here, it was too hard to resist. There are so many things I want to tell people back home, and it will be nice to have something I can always look back on. (Assuming I get used to this blog writing business). Quick overview: I'll be studying at the University of Glasgow for 4 months this fall semester! I'm planning to travel in the UK and in Europe. I start at orientation in Edinburgh, go on to a short homestay, then onto Glasgow for 2! weeks of orientation, until I start school there!

Day 1 LA to Edinburgh: 

Good-bye's were hard; let's not talk about that. But I breezed through security, and was super early for my flight. My first flight was delayed upon landing for probably 30 minutes; Newark had experienced some thunderstorms, so other flights needed to come out before we could get to our gate. Once we finally got out, I tried to find the two other girls from my program on my flight, but didn't find them before we flew out. This flight was also uneventful, but I did sleep for the majority of it. I think all those different naps on my flights were what helped me defeat jetlag over here! 

I finally found someone in my program after we got off the plane, Kaitlyn! It was really nice to have someone else to go through the border with, find the bus, and get to the hotel with. It probably would've taken me twice as long to do it by myself, and it was nice to finally have company as well! We lugged our suitcases up a hill before we figured out it was the other way, down the hill. And these sidewalks aren't made for pulling suitcases behind you. We met some other girls in our program on the way over, and got lunch with them after! I was able to figure out my phone situation really quickly as well. We also explored a main street a little. By that time, we were exhausted and headed back to the hotel to finally check in and shower. Next was orientation- boring ish but useful. We walked from the inn to the Arcadia Edinburgh Study Center, which was a long walk, but by now I'm used to it. Then we walked back to the inn for dinner, and some people went out to the pubs but I just headed back to my room to relax and talk to the bf (Hi Jon). I'm pretty proud of myself for actually going to sleep at 10 and waking up at 5 ish, then falling back asleep until it was time to wake up for breakfast! Hopefully that fixes any time difference problems. 

Three funny things that happened in the hotel room: 
Figuring out that you had to keep your card key inside a slot near the door for the electricity to work- this took me awhile to figure out.
Figuring out that the shower water and the bath water worked on two separate systems-I kept on turning the bath water on and looking for some kind of knob to turn.
Showering in the NARROW bathtub- Not only do the sides slope really early, but of course the curtain is on the inside of the bathtub, so it makes it even narrower. To top it off, the bathtub sides are really high, so when I slipped on the side, I almost fell out of the bathtub.

Day 2 Edinburgh:

We had a pretty nice free breakfast at the inn, and walked back to the Arcadia center for more orientation. A University of Edinburgh professor came to talk about Scotland in cinema which was really interesting. We also got travel packs that showed where our homestay was going to be, a membership card, and other useful information. We, as in the group of students from Aberdeen, St. Andrews, and Glasgow, signed up for events that Arcadia puts on for us, and talked a little about the referendum.

We had a long break for lunch, and myself and 4 other of the Glasgow girls did the Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt, including having lunch at the cafe that J.K. Rowling wrote the first book at, Elephant House! We walked everywhere, and I actually got to know the city more. It looks so big on the maps, but is actually really manageable. I also figured out my phone data situation again, so I'm perfect with that. (Contact info below). We all went to an arranged dinner at a pub, where I had my first drink! Passionfruit and apple cider, for £4.30, which was perfect-not too strong, and nice and sweet. The food was okay- not that impressive but I got to know a couple of other people in my group. Again, people went out to the pubs, and I was going to go also, but once I flopped on my bed, and was on my phone for 5 minutes, I fell asleep for the next hour. I figure I have plenty of time later to go out to the pubs. And here I am now, showered and finishing my first blog post. I still have to pack my stuff up for check out tomorrow, and by 4, we'll be moving on to our homestay. Tomorrow is a little more orientation, and a visit to the National Museum before our homestay families pick us up. 

Pictures to come soon & here's contact info:

Emails for longer convos
UK number for emergency calls and texts (or it's up to you, you pay for it, not me!) 44-075-189-25098
Regular cell number for imessage ONLY! My plan is suspended so I can only reply on that when I'm on wifi, and I won't get normal texts at all
Whatsapp: I have a data plan with my UK phone, but to talk to me you have to put in: +4407518925098 to add me to your contact list. This is the best, fastest way to get to me for normal conversations. 

Greyfriar's Kirkyard, an old cemetery where JK Rowling found inspiration for some of the names in HP!
She supposedly left a clue to the ending of the books in the bathroom here!
In Edinburgh on the Royal Mile but can't remember the name

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