July 11, 2008

Traveling has finally started… though I don’t actually feel like any kind of journey has begun.  It’s not that London isn’t great, as in fact I very much enjoy London and could see myself being comfortable living here, it’s just not where I want to be.  Getting to see the city again is a neat perk, but I’m more anxious to get settled into Stellenbosch.

Meeting everyone is a bit overwhelming.  There are 62 people here so there is no way to remember everyone’s name or story the first time you’re introduced.  Some big personalities have come out, which I suppose I should have expected, but I’m still not a huge fan of the bodacious individual.  It is definitely pretentious of me to say so, but it is completely obvious that the large majority of these people have never been outside of the American culture and have very little respect for the amazing idiosyncrasies of different peoples.  The fact that I can already see that makes me a little nervous… it’s only London.  But I suppose that is elitist and the fact that these individuals are participating means they wish to change that attitude, and by the end of the semester they are likely to be as judgemental of the neophytes as I am. =)  Basically, I just don’t want to hear “Well, in America…”, “That is so weird/stupid/scary, because in America…”, “This isn’t like America because…” ever again.  It isn’t America and that’s why it is so neat to be here, pointing out every difference is tiring and counterproductive.

The flight from Chicago to London was excellent.  I had an entire row to myself, as did most others.  Virgin Atlantic was really nice, too, with lots of amenities and the staff was very helpful.  Getting through border control tookforever.  We learned when we got to the hotel that we could have used the “group travel” line, which was completely empty- good to remember if arriving at an airport with more than a few people.

We are staying at the Hyde Park Inn and it is pretty fancy. Their rate is about $160 a night and it is in Central London.  I never would have expected such a nice place and would have been perfectly happy in a hostel.  Today was all freetime with a “meet and greet” type of drink in the evening.  Tomorrow is a tour of London and more freetime.  Theeeen, Sunday we leave for the airport early afternoon.  Hooray!


One Response to “Finally!”

  1. Latasha Webb Says:

    I think this was the best part of your trip so far (to me of course) nice pics. You should be in more of the pics other wise they will just look like post card when you are an old lady like me.

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