Sunday, 31 January 2010

Football and Celebrities

After a long week of school and work, yesterday afternoon we went to a football match (QPR v. Scunthorpe) which was interesting. QPR, the home team, is not very good but they have very dedicated fans (as a Minnesotan this is not a foreign concept). The difference is that these fans, of all ages, are constantly yelling, chanting, and cussing- which is how we all (quietly therefore obviously Americans) knew what was going on. Today we went to Madame Tussaud's wax museum. Basically a bunch of public figures as wax statues and even more tourists from around the world pushing each other out of the way to get a picture. After the celebrities, classic Hollywood figures, athletes, singers, and politicians there is a haunted house- which seems a bit out of place but was entertaining (only two of the four of us had the guts to go through), next you go on a short "tour" (basically a ride) giving a very brief history of London during which they stopped the ride to yell at us for something we did not do. Lots of fun. The ride then ends at the gift shop. Any ways I currently do not have any exciting plans for this week (besides a field trip to financial district of London) but you never know where you'll end up here!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

On friday we all went to Stonehenge and Bath for the day. It was quite cold and raining, which our driver said is the best time to go to Stonehenge. In Bath we explored the city then took a tour in the Roman Bath, which was amazing to think about how old every thing was. Unlike the older cities and towns of the US (which are nearly as close to the age of the old cities and towns here) Bath has many shopping chains and fast food joints (the main two being Burger King and KFC, which is big here in the UK), although there is one rule- that I know of- which is all buildings must be built in stone. Yesterday afternoon a few of us went to the Portobello Market in Notting Hill where I finally found a pair of boots enabling me to fit into the London culture. The market has fresh foods, many antique and craft tables, as well as music up and down the street. I want to go back to actually get some groceries, but yesterday I just got a bratwurst for lunch (it was really good- they put it in a baguette with sauteed onions). Today we tried to catch up on some sleep and ended up at the biggest Apple store I have ever been in... and the worst customer service, one of my professors said customer service has not reached the UK yet and so far this has been true. Any ways I just booked my spring break to Italy (flying into Venice and out of Rome) and looking forward to it! This weekend we learned that it's not cute for Americans to yell out British profanity such as wanker, just because we don't get it or find it offensive does not mean we should say it.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Today I write to you from CAPA (between classes). On Sunday I went to find my internship site which took a while since the two major tube lines were down for the weekend. Luckily it did not take me two hours to get there monday morning, when I had my interview- which went well. I'm excited for the internship although last night, after the course that goes a long with it, I had doubts. The course work does not seem too difficult but one of the instructer spent the first hour talking about how Richard Branson (Virgin mogul) and Ronald Regan are true leaders unlike Ralph Nader and Hillary Clinton. But he might not be my teacher. Hopefully. Any ways between classes and work (20 hours a week is required by law for work) I will have little time to travel. Luckily my boss seems really understanding of the whole wanting to travel idea and is flexable which is good since I signed up for a 3 day trip to Bruges and Amsterdam towards the end of Febuary- don't worry mom and dad it's more of a scenic tour. Today I learned that the tubes are a bit more then unreliable- and an understanding of the bus system seems very important in this city. I hope to have more pictures up soon!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Today we went on tour buses around London and saw all of the major attractions. I really used it as a way to figure out what areas I want to go back to and do more then drive by on a bus. We got off the bus at Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, and St. Paul Cathedral (although we didn't get to stay long). We've been attempting to learn getting around on buses although it's not that easy. Any ways tomorrow we get to relax and explore then we begin our semester on Monday! The street in this picture was used in Harry Potter for Diagon Alley (we also went by the building used for Gringotts Bank).

Thursday, 14 January 2010

OK... so I don't have a lot of pictures YET but I will soon. Today I had an orientation which is not entirely interesting except I took the tube and a double decker bus for the first time and went to Harrods (I bought a keychain which was probably over priced) and then my roommates and I got lost in London which may seem scary although it's not that bad... the transportation is SO much better here then in Minneapolis although the roads are not- I have no idea why anyone would want to own a car if they lived here. Any ways I promise to have much more interesting posts over the next week (we're going to Stonehenge and Bath next Friday). Today I learned not to talk to or look anyone in the eyes on the tube... they actually told us this during orientation which explained why the ride over was so awkwardly quiet.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Just Arrived

I just arrived (about 5 hours ago) and jet leg sucks! We were told not to nap but I was falling asleep sitting up so let's just say I have not been unpacking for the past few hours. Next time I will pack less, I can barely pick up my arms from my two bags.