A quick introduction for those of you who don’t know exactly what I’m doing this semester and a little bit about me. I’m Lydia, 21 (although almost 22), I’m a senior at Hardin-Simmons University graduating in May 2014, I have 3 sisters, I love Jesus, elephants, travel, purple and my mini dachshund Lily. I am currently living in London for a study abroad program and will be back in states mid April. I’m taking 4 courses while here: British Life and Culture, London Theater, Britain at War, and English Reformation. I live in flat in bustling central London with 4 great flat mates and my roommate Emily is wonderful!
So to begin this I took a flight on British Airways, about 9 hours, from Houston to London and arrived here about 9am. Needless to say I was exhausted when I arrived due to little sleep on the plane and it being 3am in Houston. Once I had made my way through Heathrow Airport and frustrated the customs officer at my lack of understanding of his accent, I finally met my group and we left the airport to our flats, we then had a briefing meeting on some general guidelines and then eventually moved into our flats. Also, we are all going to be in tip top shape after the semester due to us living on the 4th floor, not to mention to daily hikes through the city! Seriously though this place makes Houston and New York look like a calm walk through a park! Anyways, by this time in the afternoon I was feeling really rundown and wondering when I could catch the next flight back to the states, you laugh but I honestly considered it. I’m not much of a person to be alone and while I’ve come to meet great people over the past 24 hours, I didn’t know anyone but my professor when coming here. My sweet father wrote me letters for the plane, for when I got here and there is one letter for every subsequent week that I am here and while I love reading his letters they make me cry every dang time! (Thanks Dad!) So back to yesterday, we moved in and then headed off to a pizza place very near our flats and practically fell asleep on the tables, there were some who actually did, haha! Once dinner was over I headed back, and didn’t get hit by a double decker bus or cab (although I’m sure it’ll happen sooner or later) in the UK cars have the right of way, not pedestrians! I got to briefly facetime with my Dad and then it was off to bed!
To start the day off we all met up with the group at 9:30 and made our way through the busy streets passing the British Museum and the classrooms that we will use and then divided up by schools to go buy our mobile phones so that we can all keep in touch for these 3 months! I ended up buying a little Samsung pay as you go type deal (very high-tech ;)) and paid 30 pounds. Then it was off to find the grocery store and stock up on a few essentials. The store is very close to our flats and is called Sainsbury, basically just a small Kroger, I got bread, milk, British tea :), peanut butter, and a few other tid bits. Then we came home and had lunch while a few others of us did...well I’m not really sure what...but anyways the professors aren’t really keeping tabs on us, we just kind of go wherever. At 1 we met for a walking tour of our neighborhood let by our British tutor: Professor Rumbalow, he is the greatest and knows everything you could possibly want to know about London history. On the tour that lasted about 2 hours, we saw Covent Garden, St. Paul’s church (for any My Fair Lady fans out there, that’s where Eliza is sitting at the beginning of the film selling flowers), the national portrait gallery, had our first glimpse of Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Trafalgar Square, even saw a statue of the great George Washington, and the HUGE theater district. I’m already in love with this city and its only day 2! I’m still getting used to the lingo here but it’s all relatively self-explanatory! Tonight we’re seeing Billy Elliot the musical and most of the day tomorrow we’re having a Tube Rally. Tomorrow should be interesting, ask anyone in my family I have NO sense of direction and I’m guessing it’ll be worse underground. Literally I could probably get lost walking across the street. I’ll be wishing for my own personal GPS tomorrow, Kellie I need you!! The professors keep saying that we’ll be experts soon enough and I’m hoping to even be semi capable, expert not required. Anyways, now it’s time to get ready for the theater tonight and get some dinner, in traditional college student fashion PB&J it is! Pictures to come later.
Missing you all,