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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Settling In

The journey to London was long-7 am departure from Madison, three hours to Chicago by bus, planes to Atlanta and finally, hours later, I arrived at London-Gatwick at 7:30 this morning. It was a crowded flight, and I didn't plan on doing anything except reading and attempting to nap. My seatmate, though, turned out to be a genuinely fascinating, smart woman (tours in her own band, seasoned traveler, jewelry designer, and overall just friendly). I'm not really used to meeting people so randomly, but talking to her made the journey go faster. Miss her already.

Took the Gatwick Express train into central London, which was a nice introductory journey into London. Hedgerows, small farms, towns and villages at high-speed. I quite liked Victoria Station, too, with its array of shops and neat little Parisian-like food stands. (A lot about Britain's food reminds me a lot of the places in Paris, like the varieties of sandwiches and pastries.) Upon getting to the FSU London Study Centre, I met Taylor, a student who runs tours for new students, the FSU librarian, and students from my program as we all started to arrive from our journeys. Really, I've been amazed by how quickly I've been able to click with some of the fellow library students, who are mostly from Tallahassee and Miami. Hearing about their library program compared to Madison's is illuminating, mostly because I think their program sounds more strenuous than mine. A brief orientation, a practical walking tour, a trip to an overpriced Indian restaurant, and a quick stop to Boots filled up the rest of today.

I'd love to write more about my general impressions of London, but I haven't had a full night's rest since Sunday? Monday? And my brain is turning into soup.

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