Wowww, I should have started this as soon as I got here but hey, I'm a procrastinator to the core. It's been over 2 weeks and I'm finally settling in to life in London!
I got here on the 9th, after my first solo, not to mention first international, flight! The flight was fine, except for the very nice but very pregnant woman next to me who needed to pee quite often. I just watched a lot of Dexter and How I Met Your Mother, which is quite a good way to pass time. It was freeeeeezing when I got here, my ride from the airport (this awesome Brit named Stuart who works with my mother) told me it had been snowing for about three weeks and London was a wee bit panicky about how to deal with all of it. It was funny, because all I saw was about 2 inches of snow built up. Reminded me of Maryland, really, where Goucher panics at the prospect of precipitation.
My first week was a huge orientation, moving into our flat and getting to know the area around us- how we would get to the LSE and to Westminster. Of course it's taken me much longer to figure out where I'm going, as those of you who know of my direction-handicapped escapades can fully understand.
So! Brief recap of the first week, because writing all of the last two would take forevah.
In no particular order, we took a bus tour of London wherein we were forced occasionally to get out of our nice warm bus and look at buildings and bridges while being whipped in the face by biting wind. The point of the tour was to give us a better idea of where everything was in London and do a brief fly-by of all the really important sites and where they are (but of course I was still as lost as when we started and had no idea how to get back to anything).
Then there was the tour of Westminster and the Houses of Parliament, which was an amazing experience simply because of the history contained there. Being in rooms where monarchs have stood and where the history of a country has been decided is pretty heady. We went to the Parliamentary Archives the next day (or was it the day after?) and THAT was awesome. We were allowed to touch scrolls that were centuries old- without gloves! Just touching things that Henry the VIII had signed, no big deal.
I'm sure we did more that week, let's see.... saw a musical called Blood Brothers, it's the longest running show in Britain apparently, and it was actually much better than I thought it would be! I had the music from it stuck in my head for pretty much the rest of the next week.
What else... had a few classes, listened to a few speakers, yadda yadda. Going into the second week, did lots of touristy stuff, like walking across the Millennium Bridge and then down the Thames River, and then walking back across the River over the Tower Bridge (which I definitely always thought was London Bridge).
So! We started our internships last week, and I'm working at Sky News! It's BBC's biggest competitor, and a really great resume builder. I'm on the General Election News Team, which is doing all of the research building up to the Election that Gordon Brown is expected to call by early June. The research I did my first week (which has been modified for the second) was to find every single candidate for every single constituency, what the incumbent MP's expenses were for the last year, the potential swing needed for the next closest party to win the seat, etc. There are almost 700 constituencies, and usually about 4 candidates, including the incumbent MP. So in 3 days, I got to constituencies starting with the letter C. Thankfully, we've narrowed it down to the about 250 constituencies that are going to be discussed (most likely) on actual Election night, which has significantly cut down on the tedium. If only the Conservative Party's website had worked today, I would have finished (potentially) up to the beginning of the Fs! Tomorrow! Onward and upward!
But back to this weekend- Friday I got to see the lovely Perry Shusterman, which I have been looking forward to since I saw here a week ago when she had just flown in. I spent the night with her at the University of Westminster, only 3 stops away on the Tube! She got me out of my shell and I went with her and her friends to this not-so-aptly named club, Mother. Despite the strange name, it was a lot of fun and I met some really cool people.
My most recent touristy thing also occured this weekend, we went to Platform 9 3/4! Went twice, actually, but the second time I took better photos, haha. See?
Post-Platform two of my flatmates and I went to the Victoria and Albert Museum, or V&A for short, and wandered around. Bhumi (one of my flatmates) and I found this area where you can try on various costumes from plays and subsequently had wayyyyy too much fun playing dress up as if we had reverted to 5!
Last night Bhumi, our flatmate Marissa and I ended up in Stratford at the Theatre Royal for free stand-up comedy, which was a nice little adventure. :) Two of the comedians were quite funny, one I could just manage to sit through and the last... well, we left early. But still! It was good to get out of the flat and see the parts of London that aren't in the guidebook.
All right, that was really rambling and random and not at all comprehensive, but I think I'm done for now, haha. Thank god, right? If anyone is still reading this I'll be significantly impressed. More updates soon! Possibly ones with more pictures, oh dear.