This morning I was awoken by my lovely suit-mate, Ember. We got dressed and headed downstairs to meet up with some other GLSers and get our new mobile phones and try to get some other odds and ends finished.
We walked to the Carphone Warehouse and it wasn’t even a 5 minute walk. We walked inside and just kind of stood in the cue (that’s what they call a line here) trying to figure out what exactly we were supposed to do. We we’re greeted by this amazingly nice young man named Tony. Tony took us downstairs so that we could all sit and hear each other and get our phones at the same time.
He was so nice and funny. After hearing all the horror stories about some people in London I was worried, but he was a blast to talk to. He asked us all kinds of questions about the US and we asked about London and the UK. It felt like there was even a language barrier just because of all the different lingo they use here.
At one point he asked us to “tick” the paper. Lauren looked at him and said,”What does that mean?”
He made a gesture with his hand that went down and then came up in a diagonal line.
“Like a check mark?” asked Lauren. We all nodded and said, “Yeah, I think he means to check the boxes.”
He started laughing histerically and said, “like “check please”? That is so weird.” He proceeded to then ask another attendant whether she would tick or check the box. She looked at him and replied, “What is a check?” Which only made him laugh harder.
He asked us where we were from and if it was near the ATL (literally he spelled A-T-L). Then asked if the Red Socks were big there. It was our turn to laugh, “No, no, that is further north.” After a short time he then asked again with new enthusiasm, “Kentucky? Like Kentucky Fried Chicken?” We laughed again and said yes very close to that.
It’s interesting to think about the fact that not everyone knows the states like we do. I’ve never really thought about it before now. And it’s hilarious to think that we are only known for our Fried Chicken and Rap lingo pertaining to cities.
After we got our mobile phones we walked back to the flats to meet up with some more people and kill some time before our orientation. I ended up getting some really amazing tea at this little cafe that is right next to our building called, Eve’s Cafe. Samantha and I got some “white tea”(what brits called tea with cream, if it’s black then it is just tea) and some amazing bagels with cream cheese. I feel like I need to go back probably tomorrow. 🙂 Yummy!
We then went to orientation for Alcohol Awareness and our basic knowledge for getting around London. Afterwards we went out to get our Oyster cards and run some little errands to get our selves established.
We went grocery shopping at this place called Sainsbury’s and it was a little different, but a lot of the same. The biggest difference was the fact that everything was way smaller and obviously fresh. The grocery store itself wasn’t that large really, but it held the basics of what you would need. Since, London is such an expensive city I am doing my best to try and budget myself and cook in our flat, but it seems I am the only one who somewhat knows how to cook. So that has fallen on me, which is fine because I love to cook, but it’s a little nerve-racking because I haven’t really cooked much on my own.
Tonight though, I did.
That’s right, I cooked an entire meal (with the help of Taylor). We made pasta and chicken and put some tomato basil sauce on top and munched away. Unfortunately I didn’t think about the fact that we didn’t have salt or pepper in the flats so the chicken was kind of bland, but all in all, it was a pretty decent first-flat-meal.
Before dinner though we had one of our first visitors, Lane Morris. It was lovely to see him and we quickly invited him up to see our living arrangements and for dinner, he declined dinner, but stayed and talked while we cooked.
After dinner though we sat around talking and laughing while watching really weird television and commercials. After a little while some of us decided that we wanted to go out and see some more of London. We headed toward Trafalgar Square and after getting a little disoriented eventually ended up there. The sight was so beautiful. All of the architecture was so old and so detailed, I felt like I could stare at it for hours-days- and never get bored. The fountains were beautiful in the night changing colors and reflecting light all over the square. And of course the main focal point of the square is this very large obelisk with a statue on the top, was a sight to only look upon in awe. I wish I was a giant so that I could actually see all of the details of that statue.
My favorite part though was the view from the stairs facing away from the National Gallery. You could see the statue on top of the obelisk, the big metal lions, the old articture of all the buildings surrounding the square and of course, Big Ben, all lit up and shining like the mascot of London that it is. And even from far away, it took my breathe away to know that I was actually seeing it. I wish I had my camera, but I realize that it probably wouldn’t have been able to capture the fullness of that moment for me.
I feel like those moments may be more common here in London and on this trip, and I pray that they don’t lose their effect.
I’m already in love with London.