wow, for the first time in 5 days, i'm staying in tonight around my dorm. i have officially been here for a week now, and each day is getting better. i would still say the worst part of the program are the people--i have met a couple really cool people, but for the most part, everyone is really cliquey, and not that cool on meeting new people. i've bonded with my roomates mackenzie and vanessa as well as mackenzie's friends from school ally and evan. i'm beginning to get to know the people in my flat, and have hung out with this girl hannah a whole bunch too. what i've discovered about being abroad, is that i'm definitley out of my comfort zone--at school i have a very set sort of routine, and am not used to going out often at all, as well as i know more "art kids" for lack of a better descriptor, or more creative people. that's not to say my friends here aren't creative, but we just share different interests. i'm being more social, and just trying to make small talk with people (and if you know me, you know what i think about small talk). so in that way, being abroad has helped me leave my comfort zone and be more social. i still have the things that i like to do, but i'm working on doing things that i'm not used to, or would typically want to do.
thursday, i had my first class (DR 443), which was four hours long. i'm really excited to start seeing shows in london, and i think my first play (that i see on my own) i want to be "the mousetrap" by agatha christie, which is the longest running play ever. on monday (tomorrow night), i'm seeing "blasted" at the soho theatre, by sarah bayne (?) which supposedly has an entirely handicapped cast. it should be cool. i really want to see cabaret too. it's my goal to try to see at least one play/musical on my own each week. i figure also if i do that, i might meet a crowd there.
that afternoon, i went to the gym, and then decided to go explore on my own around the south kensington area. i forget if i've written about this already, but i really like the area that i'm living in. it's super cute area, kind of like newbury street and backbay. the architecture is similar to that of boston, but uses a lot brighter whites. i went to this really cool chocolate store while exploring (ofcourse right after the gym!) it was all sorts of really sophisticated combinations like blood orange and dark chocolate (that's what i tried). i then went to marks and spencer (almost like a nicer european target) to get some bedding for my not so comfortable bed. it's amazing how even in a fairly european country, you still have culture shock, and difficulties doing such easy tasks. it probably took me at least an hour and a half just to figure out a pillow and blanket combination. i also bought some shoes too, which could easily be my vice here :-P maybe it's just me being jaded, but i'm totally falling victim to how classy everything feels here. it's like the culture shock chart that tufts showed before i left, there was one part that explained how everything will feel so new and exciting here. hopefully that just lasts the whole time.
thursday night there was a big mixer party at this bar called bunker bar. it was a lot of bu students there, and originally, i didn't have a ticket, but luckily they opened up the bar more, and we were able to get tickets. we got to the bar, and walked around a bit. it was very crowded, but a good time--i'm glad we went. it ended around 1130, and from there a bunch of us tried to find another club to go to, but we ended up getting lost around picadilly in the pouring rain too for two hours, which made for quite a fun story, but everyone was drenched by the time we got back to the crofton.
on friday, my class was cancelled, so i woke up to go to the gym before my placement meeting. i have a bad habit of getting lost every time i walk back from class at harrington gardens. my meeting went well, they still don't have anything yet, but are going to try to get me a job in a theater. after the meeting, i went with my friend hannah to high street which has some fun shops. my favorite i think was topshop because i've never been into one before. we tried to avoid going into urban outfitters, because they have them in the states, but we ended up going in, and doing a little retail therapy, which was justified because the merchandise was very different than anything i've seen in the states--much classier for reals though because they had a lot of high end designers inside. that night, i wanted to do something low-key, and ended up going to a local pub, which was a different environment than what i had done the past two nights. it wasn't too great a night, a lot more low key, and i think that environment is better when it's with people who you know well, more condusive to chill talking rather than the get to know you kind of discussion. on saturday, i woke up for a run, and then went and saw jason, sarah, erica and erica's friend luciano from her program. we met at the national gallery in trafalgar square. i don't love renaissance art, but i'm glad that i went. the landscapes were gorgeous, so i want to try and make it back. it was so nice to see a familiar face, and i think being abroad has made me appreciate tufts people more--you don't realize how much you miss people until you aren't seeing them every day. the view also from the front of the gallery is amazing, there are these massive statues of lions and everything overlooks the sunset. trafalgar really is a hub of london, and i'm going to try to make it back there in the not too distant future (of course to go the portrait gallery!) we went out for my first meal out in london for indian food that night, which was really tastey. everything in london is priced the same as it is in the states, but the amount in pounds is twice as much in dollars. i don't always want to be thinking about costs here, because it will be impossible to live then, and i want to soak up the moment in london, but it's also something that i'm trying to be aware of. jason and erica had to leave early on in the evening, but sarah, luciano and i went and walked down to soho to go out. we ended up looking for a bar that was a combination of "swanky and sleazy" and ended up at a bar on rupert street which we didn't realize was a gay bar. we walked in and were like, "wow, there are a lot of attractive men in this bar, and three women...hmmmm..." but it was really fun, even though the bar tender laughed at me when i tried to get a drink. we kept on walking, and went down carnaby street, which used to be the hub of london where the mods hung out in the 60s. it's so cool to be able to picture this stuff as it's happening, i swear i imagine andy warhol and twiggy prancing along. we walked around a bit longer, before i went back to the crofton to meet my friends so we could go to a club called fabric.
the club, oh lord where to start (geez, i feel like i talk about how much we go out at night here, but that's really the scene, which i'm trying to soak up, don't worry though, i'm not going too hard)? the club was called fabric, and the instructions were "dress to impress." we got there, and went down in (because all the clubs here are underground). it was really really smokey, but all the couches were beds. we set up camp, and just chilled out and talked for a while. we tried to start dancing, but it was all really bad techno music, as well as people doing cocaine and ecstasy openly, which as much as i say i'm out of my element, and trying new things, i don't want to try THAT much new things. we were there for three hours, but everyone agreed afterwards it was a bit intense for us. we got back and had a greys anatomy watching party to see the new episode until 3 in the morning.
today i went with hannah to walk around. we hopped on the bus (by the way, there are a million different buses to take in this city, and knowing my luck, i will end up on the wrong one one time). but i rode my first double decker bus today! we went into harrods, and looked in all the different areas--i ofcourse loved seeing the bakeries and all the gorgeous cakes and cooked goods (toolish, i know!) after our harrods outing, we then took the bus to kings road, which was just really fun to see and be around. from kings road, we just decided to walk, and went along royal hospital road through chelsea seeing the royal court theater and the royal hospital (photo op!) from there we went along the albert bridge to battersea park and walked along the river, and seeing monuments there.
i hope this has been a good update, i've been busy, but it's exciting. things are definitley a little overwhelming, but i am getting by, and trying to stay positive. this city is wonderful, and when i'm feeling a bit down, that's what helps me get by!