At 4:40 EST my body realized I landed; 9:40 London time I landed. Three hours of light sleeping in cramped plane quarters certainly helped me realize that today was going to be an interesting day. It surprisingly wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Bristish Airways provides quite semi-comfortable ammentaties. Albeit, the seat was cramped, I was lucky because the middle seat between me and what I am sure was a Russian neurologist was empty which meant for a little more room to shuffle around. They also had a stack of movie releases, tv shows, satellite audio, which were available to watch on the plane, overall pretty sweet. I watched Black Swan (disappointing, I don't recommend it) and the King's Speech (highly recommend) while they passed out dinner which was some sort of pasta and bread both of which I was too queasy to eat and a strawberry cheesecake. I tried to get some sleep around 2 EST; life lesson: take some sleeping mess before doing that again. Anyway woke up and they served breakfast to us; some muffin and yogurt and something else which is not worth me remembering. Shortly after we landed.
I was so happy to touch land; I think my body doesn't enjoy flying anymore, what a shame. Heathrow airport both impressed and elicited a few tears form me. I thought Atlanta's hub was crazy; it's got nothing on Atlanta. Heathrow is impeccably clean and modern but insanely confusing. Trying to just find a sign that could clearly tell me where I was going was like a certain HEB store I recently went to in Austin (Sarah will get that); it was confusing. I somehow managed to get from terminal 5 to terminal 3 (I still don't really understand how I was able to do that though) and through customs where I made friends with the custom officer. I then headed to bus central where I hopped on the U3 bus to Uxbridge. I was told I could pay the bus driver when I got on, so I told him my destination and proceeded to pay him the two pounds twenty pence when he just shook his head at me, denying my ten phone bill. He refused to take it after I told him I was heading to Brunel University saying "students have no money." I laughed and insisted I could pay him something when he wrote out a card saying I had 5 days to pay my bus fare. I was so confused. I tried desperately not to be the confused semi-lost American student that I was but I think that bus driver saw it written all over me when I got on. I settled into a seat close to him in case he should change his mind about my paying; I think I came to terms with the fact that he didn't want me to pay however in an effort to make sure all his i's were dotted and t's crossed he gave me that slip of paper. Nice man. I think it was then I realized I loved London.
The bus dropped me off right in front of Brunel University; I felt like I was in a scene in a movie, like right out of the movie Anne of Green Gables with the actress Megan or something. The particular scene where she gets off the train with just her broken luggage and waits for Matthew Cutberth, I felt like I was living that scene out. The area was so picturesque and I felt so foreign, but I had my luggage, just like Anne. And like her I couldn't believe where I was at. I think it hit me then: I am in England.
I scrounged up some help to find my dorm from at first an unwilling English student. He was more concentrated on enjoying his lunch than assisting me, but I won him over in helping me locate my bearings and dorm. I say "won" when I think really he just pitied me.
Dr. W buzzed me in and showed me my dorm. Two words: sweet digs. My own bed, desk, bathroom, and ID badge to get in....all for 25 bucks a night. Seriously, that is really good.
Me and Dr. W started to head to the store to get me some groceries when I ran into Carlos, a friend I knew in my UF days. So after getting Carlos settled in we ran off to the store, we met up with two other girls during the trip Hannah and Dana, both of whom I like immensely. While we shopped they told me I reminded them of a friend they both knew, Danielle. I can't count the times I've been told that I've reminded people of someone they know. Apparently I'm generic.
The entire time Carlos' and my goal was to find free wifi. In America this is not a hard thing to find. In the surrounding London areas, it is. So after realizing we would not free wifi anywhere we gave up and headed back to the dorms to get some shut eye. Two hours later feeling refreshed and more alive and cognizant we went out to a pub three blocks away. I paid 3 pounds for my beer and tried to take in the atmosphere. I still don't think I've grasped where I am. The houses are so English and picturesque and the people so British, I think my mind thinks I'm in Disney world. The cobblestone streets don't seem to really be a part of my environment somehow. They seem to me something that is part of a theme park.
We walked back to Brunel University, enjoyed the weather, the effects of the beer on all our zonked out minds and talked about tomorrow's plans. Still seems strange for me to be here. Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and be in my bed, something I wish only half-heartedly would come true. Cheers.