Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Day 1

We arrived at Heathrow airport this morning safe and sound and ahead of schedule! We stopped by the AIFS building to learn a few things and get our oyster cards which allow us to use public transportation such as "the tube" and bus lines as well as some water way transportation. We then got the privilege to ride in the infamous (and by infamous I mean ridiculously expensive) London taxis... free of charge! or so we think I rode "shotgun" but when I realized there was a steering wheel in front of me I knew I was officially in London.  The roads are crammed and narrow - I have come to the conclusion that unlike America, pedestrians do not have the right of way, cars do and pedestrians no matter the circumstances better get out of the way.
Upon arriving at our homestay family's "flat" in Tufnell Park we were warmly welcomed by our "father" Charlie.  He gave us tea and the tour of the home that he says "may look like a pile of rubbish but is rather expensive".  We then had some time to arrange our rooms and get situated.  Did I mention there is no shower? oh yeahhhh only a bath. That will take some time to get used to but after my first bath I rather enjoyed it! My roommate Kayla and I did some "exploring" (walked one block in each direction from our house......) we managed to find a lot of houses.... as well as a sweet shop, park, hair dresser, and small grocer where I bought some dark chocolate digestives which cost about 2.17 GBP so roughly $4.... for cookies. Sorry mom and dad.
We then sat down for drinks with our neighbors who are friends of the family and who are also hosting St. Thomas students.  Our host "sister" and "brother" prepared a traditional English dinner which consisted of chicken, sausage, bacon, green beans, carrots, potatoes, and cherries for dessert.
It has been quite an overwhelming day and I am about ready to finally get a good night's sleep because tomorrow we have to ride the tube for the first time to our campus for orientation at our new school, University of London Union aka "ULU".  I promise to post pictures of my unique home and much more soon!

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