20 June 2015
I made it in London!! It’s been a lovely first couple of days in London. This city is amazing. The first day I arrived around 2pm London time (6am PTS) and my first challenge was finding the uber that I requested in the airport. After searching for what seemed like an hour (but probably was only 30 mins) and going up and down the elevator (they call it lift here) 5 times, I finally found my uber driver. He explained to me that they don’t have any pick up locations at Heathrow airport – which is very strange but oh well.
I arrived to my room around 4:30pm and met my roommate Leyla from Canada and later my roommate Carly from Pennsylvania. They’re both extremely chill and nice, we get along no problem. We then decided to find some food and we opted for a quintessential pub/restaurant. I wanted authentic fish and chips, which I didn’t finish because they literally gave me a whole half of a fish.
After that we went to a grocery store called Tesco’s and it’s pretty affordable. The nice thing about things here in London is that everything is healthy (no preservatives) and affordable (one or two pounds per item, usually). We got some essentials and then headed back home, since most of us were exhausted even though it was a Saturday night.
21 June 2015
After sleeping for 12 hours (from 11pm to 11am) I finally decided to wake up haha. Jet lag is no joke, I thought I was sick or nauseous or something because this time difference is really intense. Leyla and I had our orientation time at 2pm, so we walked together to the place where we met all of our Global Experience leader/guides/helpers/etc. They were explaining the rules like, “don’t show up to your internship drunk” and “don’t get fired from your internship or else we’ll send you home” type stuff. While this was going on it was sooooo warm in the room and I started to fall asleep (not because it was boring but because of jet lag + warm rooms + having to listen = sleepy time for Melissa).
Leyla and I then decided to shop for more essentials. We decided to take the bus to the department store our RA suggested we check out. It’s called Argo’s. We first walked in and looked around, confused and unsure. It looked like an Apple store, with counters of iPads and electronics as the only things in the store. Finally we figured it out: you order what you need on the iPads, pay, and the workers find the items in the warehouse and give them to you. So confusing, but brilliant, why don’t we have something like this in the states. It can reduce theft, promote convenience, and save you a shit-ton of time. I will post the video later of how it worked (if I learn how to upload a movie on this thing), it is actually amazing.
When we got back it was time to get ready for the party that our GE’s were throwing us as sort of a welcome party. I met Drea, my other roommate from Maryland who is also very chill and funny! So all of the roommates (except one, Drina, who is from Kyrgyzstan) & Drea’s boyfriend, who also is studying abroad from the same school Drea is attending, decided to first go out to eat then arrive fashionably, fashionably late to the party. We decided on Jamie’s Italian restaurant, which I guess is an Italian chain. They’re food was really good (probably because we were all hungry).
The cool thing about London is that they serve actual portions (unlike America’s extremely huge portions) and I can actually eat all of it. While I can never finish a meal in America, I can actually finish my whole plate in the UK. Their food is also mostly organic or healthy raised, which might be the reason why they don’t have ridiculous health care, diabetes, and obesity problems (hmm…America). Even they’re “fast food” or “take away” (it’s not to-go, it’s called take away) is prepared that day, organic, and sustainable. Why can’t we be like this America…WHYYY?!
Anyways, we arrived to the party about 2 hours late (oops). But it was at this place called Barrio North. It’s so interesting to see how they portray Mexican restaurants here. Most of the people there had already drank a lot, so we had to catch up. We ordered this cool skull head that had a LOT of alcohol in it. Then everyone wanted to be our friend and ask us where we got this awesome skull head that we named Señor Beady. Yep, after that me and Carly went home since we wanted to wake up early for the Tour Bus event and to get our SIM cards for our phones, while Leyla, Drea, and her boyfriend wanted to get more drinks!