The morning was pretty unspectacular. Wake up at 9:45, shower, pack, and eat Muesli (which had veggies in it?). I was a little grossed out but forced myself to eat it) and then got out of the AirBnB at 11:04. 4 minutes after check out, but it was close enough. I was actually able to navigate the tubes much better this time than before, and was super happy that someone offered to carry my suitcase up the stairs as I tried exiting the Tottenham Court Rd station. Apparently that’s a thing here. Gentlemen will help you. I like this. A lot. I got to St. Giles Hotel without a hitch around 12:00, and swiftly checked in. I’m glad I got there when I did, because the rest of the afternoon buses kept coming with loads of students from the group flight. Which would have meant a ridiculous check in line.
As I got up to the 6th floor and approached my door, I was concerned how slammed in the corner directly perpendicular to another room it was. Then I opened it and was astounded. It was a single. Whattttt???? Online they had said I’d be sharing a room with one or two other students. It turns out that most rooms are doubles or triples, but that they had booked a few singles. I won the lottery essentially. I like my me space at night. Seriously. I finally was able to unpack a bit, though I didn’t want to take everything out of my suitcase. So there is still the case of the missing socks, but I should be okay until Saturday when I move into my room in Creed Court and am able to fully search for my other socks.
I unpacked and such and rested a bit before going out to get a sim card. I walked into EE without my phone and found the plan I was looking for, and then returned with the phone itself. However, they were busy at that point so I had to wait for 10 minutes. The associate had difficulty opening the back of the phone just like I did, and when he finally succeeded we realized the battery was very very swollen. But still worked somehow. But when he installed the sim card, he needed access to the phone to finish set up, but it requires a pin. Which was written on a paper in my “phone” Ziploc…in my room. So for a second time I went back to my room and returned with more stuff. A different guy helped me this time. The one from my first visit. I tried turning on the phone to unlock the phone, but it wasn’t turning on. Earlier it had said low battery. And now it was dead. I had the charger with me…but it was an American plug. Seriously? My adaptor was in my hotel room. But when we removed the back of the phone, there was some sticky stuff on the battery, and I’m pretty sure it was leaking. It’s not worth it to get a new battery for a phone like that, so I just bought a new phone for £4.99. The plan I got includes 750 minutes and unlimited texts, of course just within the UK. I know that’s a lot, but I have no clue how often I’ll be talking with English friends, and the other option was 250 minutes. However, it wouldn’t be easy for me to change my plan, so for £5 more each month I might as well go with the bigger plan. I also added £5 so that I can call the U.S. for 3p a minute. It’s crazy how many mishaps I had. I thought I was done with awkwardness after my first day. Turns out it’s a degenerative disease.
Walking back to the hotel I ran into the other study abroad student that I’d helped out the day before. She wasn’t part of IFSA-Butler, so she wasn’t staying anywhere near me. Thus it was an amazing coincidence we ran into one another. I had forgotten to introduce myself the day before, and finally got her name, Cindy, before she had to run off and finish her orientation scavenger hunt activity. I decided to stop into a French bakery to get a spot to eat before napping a little. I got a Ham and Cheese croissant for £3.10. I have no clue what good prices are. I’ll figure it out sooner or later, but it’s annoying knowing that I’m spending more than I technically have to right now. Afterwards I walked around Covent Garden…where there’s a Disney store…before heading back to the hotel for dinner. The group all walked together to Zizzi’s Italian Restaurant. It was a little awkward sitting with the other students. I tried to make small talk with them as we walked there and even while at the table, but I felt like I couldn’t quite cement myself into a conversation, though I did jump in from time to time.
I think maybe it’s the difference in maturity level and age. I’m essentially two years older than them, which may not seem like much, but it is considering that I’m already mature for my age. Some of them were talking about heading to a bar afterwards, but I didn’t insert myself into any of their plans. I really didn’t feel like being out tonight, but needed some time to recuperate. I’m worried that I’ll not end up getting real close with the IFSA-Butler kids, but I’m also not sure that’s a bad thing. A lot of them seem to have come from the same school and have friends studying abroad with them, but I’m really studying abroad for the Queen Mary experience. I want to get to know international friends. I had the superfood salad as I knew my body probably wanted vegetables, which it has lacked the past few days. The salad was actually smaller than I thought it would be, considering the size of the pizza and pasta dishes the other students got. It had thinly sliced zucchini, roasted butternut squash, lentils, goat cheese, lettuce, and bread sticks.
It was pretty good. I then rounded out the meal with the “Chocolate Melt” which was a chocolate lava cake with a side of vanilla gelato. I’m very judgy about chocolate desserts as they typically aren’t high enough caliber for me since I’m a chocaholic, and have recipes that are typically better. However, this was one dessert that was worth it.
The inside was wonderfully creamy, like warm rich ganache, while the outside still had a deep chocolate flavor despite the cake texture (which typically disperses the flavor more). We then walked back to the hotel where I am now typing this, and ready to go to bed as the clock strikes 10pm. Well, I had a funny jet lag photoshoot, and then went to bed. I am saving you from the weird photos and putting the only slightly weird photos here.