Just around the block from our flats is a store called Sainsbury. It’s essentially the British version of some blend of Target and Walmart. It’s got a full grocery store, electronics, some basic clothes, household appliances…you name it, Sainsbury has it. After a trip there, I’ve got my flat essentials: granola bars, fruit, peanut butter, jam, bread, and of course, a few Cokes. And all the toiletries I didn’t bother to pack because I knew I could get them here.
P.S. in England, “jam” = the stuff you put on sandwiches or serve over top warm brie cheese. “Jelly’ = the sweet gelatin kids eat for dessert.
After being here for less than 12 hours, I’ve already decided the tube is the greatest thing in the world. While spending almost an hour and a half on it between Heathrow and the flats wasn’t exactly ideal, I enjoyed that much more than I would have enjoyed paying for a taxi or taking a minibus. And after exploring a little bit of the area around the flats and some of the “big spots” in London, the tube is definitely the way to go. The maps look daunting at first–seriously, at first glance it looked more like a color-coded spider web than a transportation map–but I’ve been told it’s easy to learn and I’ll know my favorite tube patterns like the back of my hand in no time.
Tonight we had our welcome dinner at the Sussex Pub. I had a delicious meat pie–made with potatoes, ground beef and carrots–which is pretty much a staple in British diets. Or at least pies in general are. Along with my pie, I tried my first cider beer.
“You’re JUST NOW having your first cider?”
Yes, I am. I’m generally not a beer person, but I will say that cider was tasty.
After dinner, one of our professors, Fred, who grew up in the London area, took us on a walk toward the River Thames so we could start to get a feel for the city and what we’re in for these next four weeks.
I’ve been to London before, so I had a little bit of an idea of what the city is like. But these next four weeks are going to challenge me to become a better student, to be more independent, and to learn to trust my instincts and feelings about where to go, what to explore next, and more.
And I can’t wait.
I’m going to try my best to blog every day while I’m here. I don’t know how much of that I can guarantee, but I will promise my best to keep everyone updated and to share all my stories and experiences here.
So for starters, here are a few photos I took during our post-dinner “taste of London”walk:
|London and the Thames with a slowly setting sun|
|St. Paul’s Cathedral behind the Millennium Bridge|
|An extremely zoomed-in London Bridge as seen from Millennium Bridge|
|“The Shard” building. They’re creative with names, aren’t they?|
Tomorrow we’re taking a walking tour of the city, during which I intend to take a ton more pictures and come back with some great experiences to share here!
And now my Advil is kicking in, so it’s good night from London, until tomorrow!