Settling In

Here’s the big clock tower at the Parliament building, where the famous bell, Big Ben, hangs.

They told us everything would be smaller here. The flats actually aren’t as small as I expected, even though I am sharing a room with two other Santa Clara students. But, the showers are very small, and I’ve already learned how easy it is to bump into the temperature knob and make the water freezing cold by accident. The grocery stores are smaller too. There are a lot of Tesco express stores around, which sells a lot of basics like cereal, pre-made sandwiches, soda, eggs, milk, beer, etc. They don’t smell very good, though, and the food isn’t even very good so we usually take the slightly longer walk to Sainsburry’s which is like a small version of Target. And they have a Starbucks inside. I went with a group from my flat because we all learned that towels are not provided and we needed to buy them. Unfortunately they were sold out of bath towels, so I ended up having to use a hand towel after showering for a couple days. Luckily my room is right across from the bathroom.

One more odd thing about the bathrooms here is that they don’t have any outlets, whatsoever. The light switch isn’t even inside the bathroom, which can make for some funny pranks, I mean accidents, while somebody is showering. We have a hairdryer in the flat, and it pretty much always stays plugged in out in the hallway where there is an outlet. Maybe they don’t have those outlets that shut off when they get wet or something.

My first ride on the London Underground. It’s usually much more crowded.

It wasn’t until my second day that I took a ride on the Underground, but I’ve ridden it every day since. I can’t believe how fast it is. There are trains every two minutes or so. Way better than Bart, Caltrain, VTA, etc. You never have to wait more than a few minutes. My first tube ride was to Westminster. I didn’t know what Westmister was until we walked out of the station and saw Big Ben, the UK Parliament building, right across the street with the big clock all lit up. Then we turned the corner and could see the London eye on the other side of the Themes and it looked awesome. We walked over to the bridge to explore a little bit, tried to find a pub for dinner and failed epicly.

A view of the London Eye across the river Themes. The London Eye was a project to commemorate the new millennium.

We ended up getting back on the tube and went to dinner at Piccadilly Circus. Piccadilly Circus is like the Times Square of London. There are all kinds of lights, theaters, and most importantly, gelato shops. I should have taken a picture of this to post, but in Piccadilly Circus, they have these outside public urinals that basically allow you to relieve yourself with your back to the entire city.

Thanks for reading, I have a bunch more photos and stories that I will post later.

One thought on “Settling In

  1. hahahahahaha! I love the part about bumping the shower nob and making the water cold. so great.
    Also, way to be a boss with public transportation, and those were two VERY BEAUTIFUL women on the train with you! You should get their numbers 😉
    Lovely pictures/blog!
    Miss you!

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