Whew. It's been an interesting adjustment getting used to English life, but I think I'm starting to get the hang of it! It helps that York is such a walkable city...my new friends and I have spent a lot of time just walking around, trying out different pubs for our meals, and getting a feel for the Uni and for the city itself. I still don't really know where everything is, and I can't really distinguish everything just yet (everything looks the same to me! Plus I'm insanely directionally challenged. Just ask my dad.), but I've got a few important things down...i.e. the Little Apple bookshop, Poundland (not to be confused with Poundworld!), the Old White Swan (mmm...beef, rosemary, and wine sausages. Delicious!), the Shambles, the Minster (well, duh...it's kind of hard to miss such an imposing and beautiful landmark!), and Sainsbury's, the grocery store. The walk from my flat to the Uni and into town is getting more and more familiar every day, although, regrettably, it's not getting any shorter. Haha. ;P
The past few days have been packed with activities and international student bonding time. I met one of the English professors and found out about my schedule and different course offerings (yeah...still working that one out. It's complicated.), went on a ghost tour of York (we followed our own "ghost" and heard various spooky tales about different parts of the city. Too fun!), and had a welcome reception, where we finally met the belated Calvin kids (boo hiss!). ;P After the reception last night, some of my friends and I decided to go to the Student Union bar to hang out for a bit...and then we went out to a restaurant called Bella Italia for dinner...and then we decided to go out clubbing. It was fun and all (75p for drinks!), but getting back at two in the morning didn't bode well for a 10 a.m. library introduction session this morning. Whoops. I guess that's what coffee is for, right? ;) Today, we went on an excursion to the outlet mall here. Alas, I didn't find any steals at the Burberry outlet (today, anyway!), but I did find a cute pair of shoes for only 6 pounds! The only downside to the outlet mall is the distance...it's about ten pounds for a taxi over there, which isn't bad when split between four people, but still...
Tomorrow is a "free day to explore the city of York" on our schedules. As tempting as it is to just sleep in the whole day, I really do want to a) sort out my schedule FINALLY, and b) really get to know York a little more. I've gotten really good at following the people who know where they're going and know the shortcuts, but I'd really like to be able to start finding things for myself. (sigh) The challenges of the directionally challenged. :P Whenever I stumble back home from being lost, some of my flatmates and I are having a dinner and movie night at our flatmate Bea's friend, Dani's...ahhh, a relaxing night in! :) Sunday is our seaside holiday to Whitby...one of the settings of Bram Stoker's Dracula! I'm so stoked. I love that book. I loved it enough to write a term paper on it in high school and to read it every Halloween for years. Wheeee! :)
Hmmm...that's pretty much life so far. Really we've just been trying to get our heads on straight and remember to look right instead of left when crossing the street this week, but hopefully all of us international kids will be able to jump into classes and reading lists and 3,000+ -word essays in the days to come. Yikes! Wish us luck!
(Fun fact of the day: Guy Fawkes was born within just a few meters of the Minster, and was baptized there. The Guy Fawkes Inn now stands at his birthplace. Remember, remember, the fifth of November...)