(obvious Terminator voice)
And yes I did come back to London! (What? You’re NOT surprised? Oh. Well then.)
So, I figured I should probably write something since I’ve been lazy as of late.
I’ve been back in London since right before New Years Eve, which by the way, I finally know what Indiana looks like on the 4th of July (Note: fireworks are illegal in Illinois because we are fun-suckers), and it is AWESOME. I attempted to actually get down to the river to see the fireworks, but the viewing areas were full hours before…so that didn’t work out. I would have gone earlier, but I was feeling like utter shit to be completely honest. I got the luck of contracting food poisoning from the airplane food on United. Can you say awesome? Because I can’t. It was actually quite horrible, and because I basically had to sleep it off, I completely threw off my sleep schedule. :/ But even from my halls (17th floor has a good view, can’t complain too much) with food poisoning, the fireworks were marvelous, and being able to watch most of the city light off their own fireworks on top of the main ones was even better. :)
Protip: This is one of those “roll with it” type of situations I spoke of a few blog posts back. Did I get food poisoning? Yes. Did it suck? You betcha! But the key to being sick abroad is basically really listening to your body and not pushing yourself. SLEEP IF NEED BE! I know you want to see all the sights in some ridiculously small amount of time, but sleep is good.
Also, if you’re sick when studying abroad, it’s easier on you not to freak out and make yourself more sick because you’re stressed and constantly calling home or still trying to run around and get through the day. This applies to things like food poisoning, the flu, mono, etc.
(If you get mono I will laugh at you. No, I won’t but mono is THE illness to poke at people for fun, isn’t it? You know you agree!) If you have a easily treated cold or a sore throat, you should just react like you would back home at college (or if you’re at EIU you always have strep or mono so…) If it’s worse than that, then obviously, you should probably seek medical attention if possible!
OVERALL: use your brain!
Good news aside from kind of boring New Years due to sickness, while at home I did have a fantastic time with friends, family, and of course, deep dish pizza. Food recommendation discovery from my time in Chicago: Bar Toma. Great pizza (get the BOMBA!), great small plates, and REALLY AWESOME HOT CHOCOLATE.
And yeah, spending time with the family and friends was a nice little break from my single room here in Marylebone hall. That and a real shower/bed (not all in one, I promise). So choice.
Got a chance to see Les Miserables while home as well – definitely recommended but keep in mind that the translation is “THE MISERABLES!” People seem to think it’s a happy musical, which I don’t understand.
What else was I saying in my last post? Oh yes, horribly depressing saying goodbye to my friends. Having now experienced this and gone through it, I can honestly say it was quite sad, though I’m glad to have made those friends as they will be ones I keep for life. (And I have a place to stay in Australia, which isn’t too bad, I reckon!)
Moving on from that group of friends to making new ones as the “sage” whole-year student is proving to be interesting. Lots of questions, which is fine, though I think people should also learn on their own by exploring London, and these kids don’t really want to do that…which is sad for them. If you’re going to study abroad, go out and experience something! Try some of the food, drink a local ale, do a traditional dance even if you look like a complete ninny (don’t do the dance if it’s culturally offensive for an outsider to do it or something, and yes I used the word ninny), speak the language (best way to learn – full emersion), and just have fun.
Sorry, I turned into a study abroad commercial there for a moment. But yeah, it’s sad that they don’t want to find out this stuff on their own (asking me where to get phones is one thing, asking what it’s like to go to the British Museum so you don’t have to go is another – yes someone asked)
Now that I’m back here in London, I’ve done some exploring of my own and seen some stuff I haven’t seen yet, which is always nice. Took a nice walk down to Covent Garden and found this AMAZING comic book store called Forbidden Planet. (London’s version of Midtown Comics) Let’s just say I’m quite glad it’s kind of far away…or there’d be some issues with my wallet. There’s also a new wine store down the street…another issue for my wallet! (Keep reminding myself I’m on a budget! Budget. Budget. Budget.)
Also, I got an iPad for Christmas, and no I’m not just saying that to show off. It’s actually a good investment for traveling/studying abroad if you can afford it, because it’s light and does most of what a computer does. If you can’t do an iPad, tablet computers in general are quite good for travel and studying like this, so if you are so inclined, pick one up :)
Starting school on Monday! Should be interesting. Also, beginning to plan new trips for the semester…which is much more interesting than school if I’m being honest.