First official entry

This is pretty much my first official entry besides a few smaller ones.

So I’ve been here over a week. Life is good. The workload is heavy but manageable, I am on track!

Last Friday I went in to London; by that point I had been in the UK 2 days. My friend Emily came in with me, but only for the day–I was supposed to be staying until Sunday. The plan was to drop my bag off at the hostel and head in to central London, however things didn’t go as planned. I had a hostel booked in Clapton Junction, a part of London I had never been to before and with a fairly diverse population, because the company that I always stay with had a new hostel–their fifth overall–in the area.

We spent more than two and a half hours looking for the hostel without success. Eventually it was getting later in the day and it was time for Emily to head back to Harlow, because she wanted to get back before dark and rush hour. I went with her as far as Victoria Station, then headed back to Clapton Junction and on my second attempt I finally found it. By this point I was so poisoned with the situation that I hung out in the pub for the rest of the evening, taking in and enjoying the atmosphere while using my iPad. I ordered a pork pie and salad for supper which was delicious, and then a pepperoni pizza later on. I then enjoyed myself by sitting in the pub and watching a movie, White House Down–one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. If you had asked me before, I would have said Olympus Has Fallen, but White House Down blows Olympus Has Fallen out of the water totally.

The next day I was still rotted about having taken so long to find the hostel, so I decided to just head back to Harlow. Luckily by this point one of my classmates had arrived so I had some company. We went walking around Harlow and came across several amazing pubs.  We eventually ended up at a pub called the White Admiral or White Horse or something along those lines. The perk of this was that it had a pool table, so we shared several wonderful rounds of pool. On Sunday another classmate arrived, and we showed her around Harlow and ended up playing pool again. Monday the rest of the group arrived, and things started to fall into place. Tuesday was the first day of classes so we are well into the swing of things. Wednesdays are typically field trip days. The first field trip wasn’t that impressive: we went to a Harlow Museum, and the man who gave us a talk is someone who is an expert on the area. He was a very nice man but he talked really quietly and it was a very long talk and very difficult to hear him. He failed to express himself properly in his presentation and his facial expressions.

The plan for the weekend is to head back into London. This time I’m going with a buddy, and I’m staying at a hostel I’ve stayed at before, and I actually know where it is so I won’t spend two and a half hours looking for it. We’ve punched a London Pass; it’s a fantastic deal, getting you into a ton of attractions that you would normally have to pay for individually and it also allows you to fast track the queue. So the plan for Saturday and most of Sunday is to do the tourist thing. As most of you know I’ve done a lot of this before, but it’s been a while and most times it’s been on my own.

Next weekend we are looking at doing the trip of a lifetime: going to Switzerland by way of flying to Italy then taking the train down to Zürich, and finally flying back to London from there. It will be a pricey trip but it is so worth it, as I said it’s the trip of a lifetime. Nothing has been finalized yet as we’re still trying to sort out the details.

That has pretty much been my life up to now.

Things are great: the food is fantastic, the town is amazing, the pubs are amazing.

Stay tuned for future entries.

First Blog: I have arrived

Hello everyone! I have arrived in beautiful Harlow, Essex.

The flight arrived a little early and was very uneventful–I slept for most of it. Arriving early didn’t really make much of a difference once you got your things together, got off the plane and walked for what felt like 10 miles to the immigration/customs points.

The longest part of the trip was after I arrived: the car ride from Heathrow airport to Harlow took about an hour with early morning traffic. It was not as bad as I expected, but still busy. Traffic going in the other direction seemed like it was backed up pretty far.

My room is small but the perfect size, plus I have my own bathroom so I’m happy with that. A shout out to Steve and Kayla–miss you guys!

Plans for today: get adjusted to the time difference and maybe take a nap. Then perhaps start in on some school work to keep ahead of things.

I’ll post some more pictures later today.

That’s all for now.

Andrew

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