London

London Cooling

t snowed today, a few inches.. nothing horrible. But my room mate from LA, who goes to school in NC is buggin out. It’s 75 degrees for her at home.

It was hard for me to explain that having snow means it’s at least above freezing. Anyhow, the English have an obsession with discussing weather*, then discussing how much they despise the Tube because of it.

Anyway, I’ve gotta get to work, and later trudge through the slush to get to Parliament. See ya!

*Studies show, discussing precipitation causes tooth decay.

London

By Chance

Photos updated in Westminster, Tate Modern, and Londoning!

The past few days have been a little more ‘lax interrupted by some classes (+ the obnoxious hour commute and delays on the tube). Stephanie Guigou, one of the SND Interns from Florida is studying in Tourre, France this semester. We’ve been emailing and supposedly planning to get together tonight. Yesterday, I was talking over plans at City (my Univ) with my flat mates to do some touristy things while she was here.

Last night I was walking to get dinner with some friends and I figured I would try to text Stephanie but it failed. A block from the tube station, I look up and see her following my directions to the flat. Bewildered and surprised, we compare notes on how this happened, and broke off from the group. After dinner in SoHo, she came back to my flat to pick out some London hot spots for tomorrow. We totally geeked out and had a big design talk. It was glorious to see her, hopefully tonight will be a little more organized and equally fabulous!

However registering for our classes, offline was pure chaos. All of the students running about a large conference room getting class approvals signed, and had to make schedules match and courses transfer. I’m pretty sure there’s a Saved By the Bell episode where they choose colleges like this. WHERE IS THE INTERNET?USA

I am taking all Political Science classes. I guess this is good, you know, so I can graduate, and they are interesting courses from a different perspective. But there are so many fun art classes and courses offered at the London School of Fashion. It will be good for my internship though and I have a lot of resources there.

Monday: Class from 11am to 5pm
Tuesday: Internship 9:30 to 5:30
Wednesday: Internship 9:30 to 5:30, Class 6pm to 9pm
Thursday: Internship 9:30 to 5:30
Friday: Free
Saturday: Free
Sunday: Free

In case of emergency break glassAfter registration a few of us wandered to a small gallery where Banksy, Jamie Hewlett (Gorillaz), and Standley Donwood (Radiohead, Hail to the Theif art) has been featured.

Today was the opening day for Ben Turnbull’s U.S. vs Them exhibition. I found some of the pieces very compelling and all terribly anti-American. Politically, it has been very inspiring to be an American the past few weeks. I was prepared for negative and/or hostile attitudes to the Americans. But even aside from Bush, the War on Terror, Iraq I am finding that the perspective is hugely shaped by television and loud American foreigners on the Tube.

For some, there is a genuine perception that our families are like the Simpsons, the teens behave like the characters from the O.C., and the moms like on Desperate Housewives. How awful.

London

Interview Review

I almost got blown away via wind and umbrella Marry Poppins style!

Aside from weather mishaps, I had a good interview experience.  The office is just across the river and Parliament, the view is glorious.  Everyone I met was very enjoyable, as was the environment/atmosphere.  It seems like there are infinite opportunities and I am going to learn and grow so much from working here.

I’ll be working on InDesign on a PC.  I learned today Quark is the Euro software of choice, eek. They put out more than a few magazines and a newspaper.  I really could go on and on, but I’ll save you the trouble and affirm that it feels like a wonderful fit (I think they like me too!).
I predict it will be hard to leave after April.  Once classes begin (Monday), the semester is also going to blow by–Marry Poppins style.  I remember to hang on for the ride.  That’s all I got for now.  Signing off with a smile…

London

urban planning

Tate Modern Photos

A perfect city day! We awoke at about 7:45 to get to ‘lecture’ at 10am. Our quick lecture at City (University) mostly prepped us for our interviews in the coming week. After that we had our personal appointments to get directions and more specific information about our jobs. I’m interviewing tomorrow and am most glad that Westminster is my tube stop :)

After class a small group gathered and tubed to the Tate Modern (art museum). It was really quite wonderful and very fulfilling. I think Val and Jami especially would have enjoyed it, no doubt. Not to mention there were works by Pollock, Miro, Picasso, Monet (yes, the Lillypads), and Mattisse like it was no big deal. Seriously. And. The Tate Modern is ENORMOUS. Just to mention.
A blessing in disguise, we didn’t get to enjoy the whole museum so we have to go back. Most importantly, we need to return there to ride down the 5 story slides that run through the center of the Tate. I can’t wait to go back!!

We split up and planned to meet again at Notting Hill. However, “signal failures” at Embankment slowed us down at Westminster. By this time in the evening, it had been a long day. Transfers later we made it to Notting Hill and met the girls at the grocery store. Shopping for good deals, planning our shared meals, and remembering everything has to be carried a few stops through the tube, I finally have real food!

I think Londoners have numb feet. My muscles and feet are less sensitive to the trekking, but on our walk to the flat I joked, “I wish there was a hot meal waiting for us. That WILL NOT happen.” But of course, our dear friends from flat 2 made pasta, salad, and warm garlic bread. One deep nap later, here I am.

commute, school, commute, Tate, commute, grocery, commute, dinner, nap, blogging. good day! I’m going to make a mild attempt to write a paper tonight. Interview tomorrow, though. eek!

Oh. Grosses chip flavors EVER.  That’s right, Prawn Cocktail and Lamb&Mint.
Gross Chips

London

Duffy was right!

I’m up a belt loop. All the walking is another reason to love London.

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.