All in all, my first two days have been good. Yesterday, I arrived at my dorm at about 1:00. Luckily, they let me in early (check in time is generally 2:00). I did a little unpacking of mainly electronic things, along with some pictures from home as well as my toiletries. I still haven't unpacked my clothes out of my suitcase. I wanted to wait until I found closet hangers somewhere, but umm...I don't know if London really believes in them! So far all I've found packages with like three hangers for £3. Umm, no. Not happening. So, I'm going to temporarily give up on the hanger search and just fold the majority of my clothes for now. A trip to Ikea is part of the International Students Orientation Program next week, so I may go there for a few things...I'm sure they'll have cheap hangers. So yeah, unnecessarily long story short: I'm aiming to finish unpacking tonight so I can get this huge suitcase up and out of the way somewhere and feel more at home.
Let's see...what else did I do yesterday? I went to the store for a few things - a blow dryer and straightener (both bargains, might I add! £8 for the dryer, £18 for the straightener), shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, tissues, etc. I basically just got the toiletries type stuff that I didn't bring with me. The blow dryer and straightener work so well, I can't believe they were that cheap! Other than the shopping trip, I really just hung out in my room, talked to my family, and relaxed yesterday. I was just so exhausted after my trip. It got to the point where I hadn't slept for about 30 hours or so.
Today was much better. I woke up early to get some breakfast downstairs. I had a chicken sausage and hard boiled eggs...pretty similar to what I would eat back home, so that's good. After that, I took the tube over to Oxford Street to go to Marks and Spencer for a few things. I got some towels, wash cloths, a bath rug, a couple of pillows, pillow cases, and a fitted sheet for my bed (the dorm only gave me a flat sheet...uh, ok). I was so excited to shower and get clean, so I came right back and did just that!
After that, I spent some time online figuring out my blackberry. Everything is all sorted now, thankfully! I must say, having a berry here in the UK is cheap! I guess people here may pay more for the phone itself, but I wouldn't know that since I'm using my unlocked Verizon phone. But I'm basically paying £5 a month for my blackberry internet service, meaning I can receive my push email, use the browser and blackberry messenger, etc. On top of that, I am on a plan where you just have to add however much money to your account as you see fit, and based on the amount (and type of plan you're on - they distinguish them by animal names, i'm on the dolphin plan) you top up with, you get rewards. The dolphin plan gives me free internet and 300 text messages for topping up my plan by £10. However, next month I think I'm going to switch to the camel plan, which would give me a certain amount of international calling minutes and a special rate for topping up. It's interesting, that's for sure.
Once that was all taken care of, I decided to get ready and head out to see some iconic London sights. I took the tube down to Westminster, and walked around Parliament, Big Ben, and the Eye, before walking along the Thames down to St. Paul's and Tate Modern. It was a nice walk. :) It was quite windy today though...I read online that the wind was regularly coming in at 25 miles per hour. It's supposed to be pretty much gone tomorrow, though.
Dinner was...interesting tonight. Some type of chicken and vegetables dish, plus a "side salad" with lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Fair enough. Half of me is regretting going the catered route, but the other half of me is telling that half to shutup because I'm surely bound to get skinny this way!
The rest of tonight will consist of packing, reading, and relaxing (again). I was thinking about heading back down to the River to see Parliament lit up for the night, but the wind still hasn't died down so I think I'll save it for tomorrow instead.