At this point it’s becoming too much of an effort to try and do daily journals, so I’ll probably be reverting to updates every few days. Monday was my first day of Queen Mary orientation. Although it was only around two hours, I was very antsy by the end of it. Queen Mary actually has a chapel on campus, and as such there’s a chaplaincy. The woman in charge of it is hilarious. Apparently during the later orientation session (they split us alphabetically since there are 450 study abroad students) she actually brought her remote controlled Dalek. So. Unfair.
It was definitely time for lunch, and even though I had done grocery runs and such already, I was too tired to try and fix something for myself. That’s going to be the routine for the first week or so as I’m putting my roots down. Michael walked me to Greggs, which is a sandwich shop and bakery. I have absolutely no clue how we got there. It wasn’t via the main road, but some side roads and such. I really do need to get to know the neighborhood at some point. The weather had gone back to being London typical: gray and almost rainy. I went with Michael’s recommendation, a chicken roast sandwich, which was kind of like a chicken salad sandwich. Sandwiches are the go-to lunch around here. The sandwich itself typically costs between £2.75 and £4, but then there are meal deals which include a drink and/or a snack. You can find these deals at sandwich shops or even at grocery stores/convenience stores. So you could easily do lunch for about £3.50 which is very appealing for the lazy Nicole.
We headed back to my flat and ate in the kitchen while chatting with my other flatmates. The sandwich was much better than I expected. I’d previously had a salmon and cucumber sandwich from Sainsbury’s, but this one actually had fresh bread. The texture was less processed and more natural with seeds and such in it. The roast chicken salad filling was also very tasty (maybe more mayo than I should really be eating…) and moist. I forced Michael to take me to my first induction (think of it as orientation), but since he’s not an engineer, he was only able to walk me to the Engineering Building. It was an interesting experience trying to find the room, but I finally succeeded. Afterwards I had another session for the EECS department in the ITL (or computer lab building). I was very happy to be free after that, as the whole ordeal was very exhausting.
Afterwards our entire flat decided to go grocery shopping at ASDA, which is apparently cheaper than Sainsbury’s. During my morning induction we were told the easiest one to get to was in Isle of Dog. The D6 bus near the Mile End Tube station takes you directly there. The best part? Our bus stop and the one at ASDA are both the end of the line, so no effort is needed to remember where the bus is going. Unfortunately we started our journey during rush hour, so it took about 40 minutes to get there. ASDA is actually owned by Walmart, but it has more of a food focus. I had a blast walking through the aisles. I had volunteered to cook dinner for the group of us that evening, so I tried to keep my grocery list in my head as I walked around trying to figure out where everything was located. I got too much, so that I had to get a push cart instead of a hand basket. I thought I’d be the last to finish, but it turns out I was the first, so I chatted with my mom a bit.
However, heading back to the bus stop, we just missed the D6 bus leaving for Mile End, and the next one wasn’t for 20 minutes. We sat overburdened with groceries in the light rain (the bus stop was partially covered) and were so ready when the bus came. I was a living zombie on the way back, and thinking why in the world I had volunteered to cook dinner when all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and fall asleep.
I went upstairs and had a snack as I put away some of my items and got out my recipes, then I dragged myself downstairs and started cooking Egg Lemon Soup. The nice thing is no matter how little energy I have, once I start cooking, I’ll go into robot mode to finish it up. It was also awesome having all my flatmates help out with the preparation.
Being the overachiever that I am, I decided that I’d bake dessert as well, as I had found some donut peaches on clearance (they were almost overripe) for £1. So I decided to make some roast peaches. Though when I was looking up recipes, I was accidentally looking for roasted apricot recipes. Whatever. It still turned out well.
I included the recipe in another post. I also made some peach crème anglaise sauce.
Finally we were able to sit down to eat. It was Michael (who had brought chocolate cake since he’s not part of our suite.
I hit him cause I had already made dessert. By hit I mean teased him), Nicola, Jamie, James, Keisha, and myself. They washed the dishes for me. It was a super classy dinner. We chatted for a couple hours. They were going to go out afterwards, but I still get extremely exhausted by 11pm, so I retired to my room.