Post number one in England! I will just skip over all of the boring parts of me eating my first ever in-flight dinner, trying to lug three suitcases when I only possess two arms, and then having to tear apart a cardboard box without my multi-tool, which was confiscated by the TSA when I went through security. Oops. haha
Today, I woke up and looked out the window. Half of the people were wearing T-shirts and shorts, and the other half were wearing heavy parkas and scarves. Huh? I checked the weather on my laptop and it said it was 54 degrees. So in my opinion, no one was dressed correctly. I put on jeans, a long-sleeve shirt, and my Columbia fleece jacket. Which was fine, until I started walking around campus. Turns out that no matter which direction you walk, it is somehow an uphill climb. My leg muscles are burning, so if they aren’t super toned by the end of this year, I did something wrong!
Let me tell you about the rest of my day. I went to some boring information sessions, did my documents check, blahblahblah. The exciting part was when we took an escorted trip to the center of town to buy groceries. You could either walk or ride the bus, (which cost money), so of course I chose to walk. Couldn’t be too bad, right? It rained for a bit on our walk, but it was fine other than that. However, once I got to the store, I realized that I did not know what to buy. I have purchased kitchen and bathroom supplies and cleaning products for the past three years, but food? I bought cereal for the mornings and some snacks, but otherwise I relied entirely on the cafeteria.
AHHH I AM SO ILL-PREPARED FOR THE REAL WORLD.
I paid one pound to use a cart, only to find out at the end that we were supposed to get that deposit back. UGH. While in the store, I wandered aimlessly and bought things that were familiar: milk, cereal, bread, butter, tortillas, cheese, sliced ham, grapes, and some frozen meals. That’s acceptable, right? Just say yes.
Well with that food plus all the cleaning supplies, toilet paper, shampoo, etc, I filled up the entire cart. I didn’t realize the problem with that until I tried to leave the store, and physically could not carry all of the bags. And there was no car to load them into. WHAT?
I was with some other nice international students and we decided to take the bus back. That helped with the walking bit, but not the carrying part…so I went into the home store next to Sainsbury’s and bought a big laundry basket–I needed one anyway. I loaded up my groceries, and one of the guys with us offered to take a few bags. I’m telling you, I probably bought 50 lbs of stuff! So naive.
Anyway, Kate, (who is from Taiwan), had to go to the bathroom. And the store didn’t have public restrooms, but they said there are some on the street, So we went in search of the bathroom, which was supposed to be by the Apple store. I needed to go there because I stupidly forgot my iPod touch charger at home, rendering it useless. Needless to say, we didn’t find the bathroom and the Apple store was closed. Did you know stores here close at 6pm? During the WEEK?! Unacceptable. Kate and I fumed with outrage at this heinous inconvenience!
When we finally got on the bus, everyone else from the University had left. We then realized none of us knew where to get off. We got off when we saw signs for the University, only to realize we had still so far to hike to get to our apartments…oh man. My arms should be incredibly muscular by the end of this trip, too! Or I will learn to buy less. We shall see.
I would like to end this post with a weather report: it rained. And then was sunny. And then rained. And then was sunny. Seriously, everyone says Michigan weather is temperamental…try coming to England! I finally gave up taking my fleece and sunglasses on and off and left my umbrella up regardless. This learning curve is steep, but I refuse to be daunted.
Until next time, loves