London

Norwich, England (and some photogs)

The weekend in Norwich was pretty good. My host family was wonderful and I shared a room with Katie, another girl from our flat. We were fed full, hearty, delicious meals and got to enjoy the town. Some of the structured events were more frustrating than interesting or educational. I’m pretty glad it was a weekend event instead of a semester. It’s good to be back at the flat. Half the group went to Norwich and the other to Peterburough. I missed them. But all in all we had a good time.

Photos:
Norwich, England

Orientation Week

Victoria & Albert Museum

Videos (sorry the sound is still delayed):

Crazy Dancing Man in Norwich

Victoria and Albert Lights Exhibit

Vlog 2.0, the end of this one is the coolest part
2.1 Continued
2.2 Continued,
short vid, showing the music/color intensity
2.3 Continued

London

The Hairy Truth

finally got a straightener. Split among 4 girls it’s still 5 pounds a girl. That’s $10. Do you realize this cheapo straightener cost 20 pounds. That’s $40. That’s London for ya, baby.

Going to Norwich for the weekend with for the homestay portion. Liz, one of my flatmates is also staying with the family. This should be pretty good. We had a lecture about family lifetsyles today at City University. I like the campus, it reminds me of a British De Paul. Commute is about 40 min on tube though.

London

Orientations

I’ll be honest, the orientation meetings are kind of a drag. Mostly waking up at 8 and still overcoming a bit of jet lag and listening to speech after speech. They’re done now and we’ve done some cool stuff in between.

Yesterday we spent some time at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The fashion and photography exhibits were pretty interesting. Remembering that London is an old city, “local art” is not really a novelty. The best exhibit was an audio-electronic exhibition in the courtyard of the museum. Ourdoor there was an arrangement of about 15 slim 10ft tall blackcased LED light displays. Then from speakers some electronic music (including some Massive Attack jams) were playing. Then the LEDs were programed to be responsive to the sounds around it. So depending on the intensity, rhythm, bass, etc the lights would change color, shape etc. Sometimes each light post would respond individually and sometimes all displays worked in sync with one another. I took a video, but YouTube is delaying my sound to the video.

On our way out of the Museum I saw my new friends Allison and David (from the Airport) just on the corner. It was the most random meeting, but it made the city not feel as big. I am still trying to get in touch with some family that I have here. Soon enough.

We went to a sports bar/pub thing called Sports (which reminded me of IU) and hung out because it was student night. It was alright, actually… it was pretty americanized. Surely there are plenty more places left to discover. Orientation has been in High Kensington which is just lovely and we ate at Wagawama (positive eating + positive living) Japanese restaurant. It was delicious and amazingly efficient (and hot design).

Tonight we’re going to see The History Boys, compliments Arcadia. Tomorrow we only have one meeting and hopefully I can spend some time enjoying London. Friday, I leave for the weekend. I’m going to Norwich to stay with a family (whom has no pets and one 9 year old son). Another girl from my flat is staying with this family also. Norwich is in NorthEastern England. It should be nice to see the countryside and somewhere outside of London. We signed up for sponsored events today. I’ll eventually be doing one day trips to Stone Henge and the other is to Canterbury&Leeds.

All in all its pretty good, I like a good bunch of the students in my program including my roomie. All in all, thats about it. They’ve been keeping us pretty busy so I haven’t had much free time. I skyped my rents and Shilpa once and barely had time for that. I need to buy a normal people sized towel and proper bedsheets (one which I’m borrowing now). As soon as we get some more free time I’ll be able to from Argos. Argos is a store where you go look through their catalogs (at the store), then choose what you want, and place an order, and pick it up elsewhere in the store? …Maybe I’ll just go to IKEA.
Commuting is no problem, the Tube is a breeze. Work should be pretty close and school is about an hour away.
Thats about it for now kiddies. Time to get ready for the evening!

P.S. no hair straightener yet. ouch.  (Jami, I know you can understand the distress).

London

Arrivals

My VideoBlog entries are messing up the format so until there here are the links:

London Vlog 1 – The Air India Delay

London Vlog 1.1 – Air India = Crazed Staff, Crazed Passenger

We arrived at O’Hare terribly early. Only to find out the Air India line was miles long and the flight was ridiculously delayed. The girl in front of me ended up being in my program and on my flight. We realized we would miss the busses that would take us from Heathrow to the Apartment, so we’d have to take the Tube. Until, there was an open standby spot for her on British Airways. Tears and complaints later, a nice couple in line in front of me said they lived near my apartment and would help me get on the right Tube. I knew there was a possibility of one more student who could be on my flight.

I passed through security and began waiting for the flight. Only to find out the original 8:45 pm departure was bumped many times and eventually till 2:30 am with a 1 am boarding. I asked (the few) caucasian males amongst the Air India passengers if they were Nick. Nope. I found some other students my year going to London to study and hung with them till the flight left. Later someone at the desk affirmed for me he was checked in, we met, and continued the long journey to London together.

Passed out on the airplane I nibbled at the chicken curry and thanked holy ganesh that Val took me shopping for snacks earlier that day. We landed in London and surely missed the 4:00 orientation meeting. Grabbed our surprisingly not lost baggage and made our way to the Tube. 3 pounds and 20 minutes later we exited at Earl’s Court and tried to follow the directions to our Apartment. Rest assured my parents and Shilpa successfully called my cell phone!

As Nick and I got to a cross street that was unexplained in the directions, we agreed to ask for directions. We saw a group of students our age, then one yelled out, “Hey, Big Nick!” So we ran into the whole group and then the leader took Nick and me back to the apartment. I Gtalked with dad and got unpacked. I think we’re going to take a quick tour of the area and then headback soon, early mornin tomorrow!

I’m here, I’m safe, and London is Wonderful!

HCId, London

Of course there’s a Facebook group

I can’t imagine how different the world was 10 years ago. Studying abroad would be a completely different experience. I would be living and working in London without email, a cell phone, or even this blog. My travel agent would not be available in my apartment at 3 a.m. Postcards would serve more than novelty and who knows what kind of international news I would be reading. And of course… the social network.

London

London Calling

It’s really coming together. I’ve been assigned to a pretty nice apartment building in West Central London. Over summer my friend Lauren did the same program and live in the same flat! It’s set up with a kitchen, common area, a triple bedroom, and a a double. My roomie goes to Davidson, I’m glad it’s not someone from IU. I’m living with all Americans and thus far all of my classes are at the American Univ. Cross your fingers that there are course openings at City– my affiliate British University.
Tonight, Kasia, arrived from her London semester and has been giving me the dish. 21 days till London. 2 days till 21. I’m glad I’ll be in the Americas for it.

London

Will I be designing in Metric

Naturally, I have about 3 million questions.  I was hoping to score a few copies of House Magazine before I leave to purge the anticipation. We’re instructed to send all questions through our adviser and not directly. I’m finding that if the answers to my questions aren’t online, I’ll just have to wait 38 days or so to find out.

Fun fact: House Mag is independent of The British Parliament; I’m pleased about this. However, that will make it either easier or more difficult to hang with TBlair.

Less fun fact:  I am not officially their intern till I complete and pass the interview process.  This will take place during my first week abroad.
I’ll be scheduling classes and work around the same time to make a good fit.  l work 24 hours a week at the mag: 3 full working days. They told us we will be pretty busy with the internship and classes. For someone who has offered their soul and first born to the IDS newspaper, I will have a wonderful wealth of time in London!  Thanks IU Student Media, I love you!

London, Travel

Fifty Days till London

The London Countdown:

2 months
7 weeks
50 days
1,200 hours
72,000 minutes
4,320,000 seconds(ish)

Fifty days seems like a long time… I assure you it’s not! The timing is perfect really. As much as I love Bloomington, I couldn’t be more ready to go abroad.

From January to April I will be living, studying, playing, and interning in London. I am among the 3 non-business students coming from IU on this program. I will be housed with other students in the same program and relatively close to my office.

My internship is at the House Magazine (www.housemag.co.uk), the British Parliament’s weekly mag. However, it’s not official till I arrive in London and complete the interview process.

[Quoting Advisor’s Email]
Your coordinator said the following about your placement:

“My game plan here was to take all the elements gleaned from Nina’s application ie: Journalism & Political Science; Journalism & Design; Magazine design; News Magazine Visual Designer; Design & Politics – and have managed to combine her field work choices for both first and second choices listed on her application. , ie: (i) journalism & artistic skills (ii) work in the political field (plus some web-work) and she is to meet with the senior editors at the unique weekly publication for The Houses of Parliament, that deals with interviews and articles about senior government figures, policies, etc. etc. – The only magazine publication to be endorsed by your friend and mine – Tony Blair

“The House Magazine has become an important source of information and a great asset to Westminster life.” – Prime Minister Tony Blair, MP”

HCId, London

Why travel when Google Earth will take me everywhere?

I mapped up my apartment, office, and University on Google Earth. I even found a nifty feature that marks all the underground tube stations. This is out of control. I’ve been doing research on technology, news, and the future for a class. I believe GoogleEarth will be part of the framework for a info-social-network-sharing-hub.
Nonetheless, I went on a pushpin binge and found marked branches of my bank, the US embassy, and so on. In my mapping haze, I found some home away from home comfort: 6 of my friends will be in Europe next semester, I’m friends with 2 IU kids in my program, and Ashley Dinges is booking a flight during her spring break. If you’re looking for a party in spring.. it’s across the Atlantic! 45 days and counting…