and i love it so far. oxford is not as much of a culture shock as i thought, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
first, the flight. i thought 8 hours would be bad, but it really wasn’t. i watched a lot of movies, slept. food was pretty good, i was surprised. all in all, i highly recommend flying virgin. it was a great experience. customs was great, we flew through, which is amazing, considering all i heard was how horrible it was at heathrow. finding the bus, now that was an adventure, simply because heathrow is LOONG. so we walked on a million moving sidewalks with our four giant suitcases, following the signs for the central bus station. we finally found it, and got on the bus. got to oxford early, which was nice. then we couldn’t find the study abroad office… that was an experience. asked some locals, none of them had any idea what we were talking about. finally found it, got our keys, found a taxi, and got to our houses!! our roommates were already there so they helped us lug our suitcases upstairs.
i am in a little room, just slightly smaller than my room at home, but no walk in closet. it’s just me. there’s also another single room and two double rooms, so six girls in our house. our house was built in the 1800s, so it’s… patched together. the heating, plumbing, and electricity was all added after it was built, so it’s not exactly the most cohesive house. apparently there’s another house that students are staying in that is so old it has no concrete foundation – they assured us that it’s being held up by the houses around it. great…
it’s getting late, almost 1 AM here, but a little about the city: it reminds me SO much of san francisco! the architecture and buildings are more like philadelphia – very historical, although obviously way older. the streets are also like philly too – not logical!! definitely not an easy grid pattern like downtown sacramento or san francisco. the people, stores, and culture is very san fran though – varied, loud, crowded, same climate, random stores from fast food to boutiques to haute couture stores, lot of walking. (today, walking through oxford, i saw a burger king, gap, starbucks, and mcdonalds. did i leave the united states? i’m not sure…) i expected culture shock, because even though they speak english here, it’s very different english. but so far, i don’t feel too out of place. i’m not sure if that’s good or bad? i love oxford though, probably because san fran is one of my favorite places in the world.
one final word before bed: the exchange rate SUCKS. my bacon cheeseburger was $17.00 tonight. BOO. it was really good though.we did find a little cafe that has sandwiches for £1.5-2.5 ($3-5) so that’s not bad. that’ll probably be a typical lunch spot.
it’s also slightly scary not having a cell phone… it’s kinda nice, cause at home i’m always worried i’m missing a call, and then i feel bad, but at the same time, every now and then i’m worried i’ll lose tyler in a crowd and then i’ll be all by myself… and that scares me.
kk, time for bed now. night all, love from oxford!