Archive | September, 2010

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

23 Sep

When Dorothy got carried away to the wonderful world of Oz, she immediately realized that this was not Kansas anymore and that her former home bears no resemblance to this new, undiscovered country.

This is the way I feel right now: a bit stressed out, a bit intimidated, a bit insecure… The reason for all these feelings is the whole new way of studying which I feel confronted with right now. Yesterday was the first introductory meeting with tutors and the other students in my MA course and I quickly found out that things work very differently around here. For instance, every course will take place on a Wednesday. Yes, that’s right! University only once a week! Now you might think, what a wonderful, relaxed life… No way! The extensive course pack I was given for one of my two courses in the first semester could easily be used for self-defense purposes against London’s street criminals.

What’s also different around here is that I will have to hand in essays every week and that I will have to prepare a whole lot of short presentations (which are to be held on the stage of the Globe Theatre, which is actually kind of cool).

Also, now I understand why you have to pay so much money to study in the UK: they like to spend the tuition fees on alcohol! Yesterday evening started with a wine reception and ended in everyone (including the tutors) going to the next pub and the professor was paying for wine, crisps and bad beer. The beer was actually so bad that I promised the professor to bring along some good German beer after christmas. 😉 I think he already likes me!  Mission accomplished!

I feel good… I knew that I would!

17 Sep

Time for a short update, isn’t it? So, I have arrived in London on Wednesday and I already feel quite at home. I really like the area I’m living in because it is rather quiet but also only about 25 minutes from Oxford Circus.

When I arrived on Wednesday afternoon i was a bit tired at first but of course it didn’t stop me from going out clubbing in the West End on my first night here. 🙂 However, if all English guys dance like those guys in the club… err… not good. I have never seen such freaky dance moves before, believe me.

Yesterday, I spontaneously decided to go to Tate Britain to have a look at the preraffaelite paintings. I love London for its museums! Afterwards, I went for a walk: my first walk through London as “Londoner” instead of as tourist. I felt quite smug, I have to admit. 🙂

My weekend will probably look like this: tomorrow Bermondsey Street Festival and fashion museum and on Sunday my flatmate and me will go to an Antique Fair.

Jealous, anyone? 😉

London, Baby!

15 Sep

Suitcase is ready, shoes had to be left behind (:-( ), said goodbye to my friends… I think I’m ready for take-off!

RSC, Here I Come!

10 Sep

My theatre challenge demands going to the theatre a lot and when better to start than with the Royal Shakespeare Company, which will be coming to London for a period of about 10 weeks between November and early February. For the last weeks I was a bit worried whether it would be very difficult to get tickets because the company is rather famous.

This morning, finally, it was possible to buy tickets and so I used my brandnew credit card for the very first time to order a bunch of them. I couldn’t really bring myself to buying tickets for all 9 Shakespeare plays because I am still not sure about my timetable and the exact dates of a holiday in Barcelona and a holiday at home for christmas which makes it rather hard to coordinate everything. BUT I have got 5 tickets for the following plays:

  • King Lear
  • Romeo & Juliet
  • Hamlet
  • The Winter’s Tale
  • Julius Caesar

There would still be The Comedy of Errors (but only for two daytime performances), Anthony & Cleopatra and As you like it.

I’m really looking forward to all of the performances and hope that I will not have to cancel one because of unforeseen appointments. For those of you who are interested in theatrical performances, I recommend the RSC’s promotional trailors on youtube.

Here are two examples:

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

7 Sep

Having finished my flathunt earlier than anticipated I had the day off and could use it to explore London again. And, as is the case with nearly everything in life, London doesn’t only have all good parts but also some disadvantages and ugly sides to it. Therefore, I chose the title to this post in homage to an old Clint Eastwood western movie: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.

my university

My day started off great! The sun was shining and I was in a good mood to discover my new home. So I chose to walk to the next bus stop just around the corner and go to my new university again where I wanted to have breakfast on the terrasse. However, I got into rush hour and today’s tube strike lead to the unfortunate consequence that most buses were so crowded that the drivers wouldn’t let anyone get on. So I had to walk for an hour to find a good spot to go on a bus which would take me to my university… not directly to the university, however, which wouldn’t have bothered me if it hadn’t started raining cats and dogs. I had no umbrella with me (stupid… really stupid) and had to spend another half an hour waiting (coincidentally in a book store 😉 ).

Musicians on Stage

So, my breakfast became a lunch and I was quite wet but it didn’t really matter because the next part of the day was just great. I went to the Globe Theatre were I had a guided tour (and spotted a mistake!), then I heard a talk about early modern stage costumes (and also started a discussion about a female casting of Richard III with an employee 🙂 ) and then I went to see The Merry Wives of Windsor! (Which is then play nr. 1 on my Theatre Challenge) It was really great and I enjoyed it a lot. Normally I’m not a huge fan of Shakespeare’s comedies but the performance was incredibly funny and witty. 

Afterwards I made a huge step towards becoming a real Londoner: I bought me an Oyster Card. This is a prepaid

The world's mine oyster!

 card which can be used for the public transport in London and everyone here has one. But as I like to be a bit individual, I also bought me a wallet for me Oyster Card at the Globe Souvenir Shop, saying “The world’s mine oyster”.

So, these were all good and bad things about London. Now you might wonder, what I meant by “ugly”. Easy! I will never get used to seeing girls wearing plain black tights (which are never 100 % opaque anyway) and normal shirts. Why can’t they wear normal pants here?

Integration 1-0-1

6 Sep

When coming to a new country you have to adapt to a new way of life… and where better to start integrating yourself into a new society than in the supermarkets?

I really like exploring foreign supermarkets. It might sound crazy but I could spend hours admiring all the stuff that you can’t buy in Germany. I was a little bit hungry and Waitrose offered me a wide range of ready-to-eat food: couscous with vegetables, pasta with pesto, fruit salad and even edamame (which are salty, Japanese beans which I love). I decided to have sushi and McVitie’s Digestives with milk chocolate (good decision) and as a drink I bought me the “essential Waitrose apple & raspberry juice drink” (not so good decision).

After having dealt with the food-problem, I went to Boots in order to get some shampoo and stuff like that: now I am the proud possessor of “Aussie Mega Shampoo with Australian Kangaroo Paw Flower” and “Macleans fresh mint tooth paste”. Isn’t that great? 🙂 Oh! Nearly forget the best: I’m now also in possession of a Boots Advantage Card and a Waitrose chip for shopping carts. 😉

Furthermore, I went to the Globe Theatre souvenir shop in order to buy me a Shakespeare wallet for my (not yet purchased) tube ticket and a ticket for tomorrow’s performance of The Merry Wives of Windsor. Keep your fingers crossed that there won’t be any rain.

What is also essential about integration is language. I always considered my English quite good but after today I’m not so sure anymore. Don’t get me wrong: I have no big troubles understanding or speaking English but have you ever received English text messages? Here’s a little quiz for you: Can you translate the following excerpts from text messages from my new flatmate? “If u want 2 cme ova 2nite then fl fr3 x” Or what about: “Oh I 4 got 2 thank u 4 the rm lukin 4 ward 2 it”

So, friends: C u & thx 4 readn my blog! Gd n8!

Breaking News: I’m Not Homeless Anymore!

6 Sep

Believe it or not but I have actually found a room! And yes, it is the room I have been writing about, the room in Suburbia, the room with the married couple, and the room with the flatmate whom I already really like. I arrived early in the morning and although she had only slept two hours, she made me British breakfast (the light version… without sausages) and showed me around, taking me for a walk in the area.

Although the room is really tiny (and I mean really tiny… about the size of my shoe wardrobe back in Germany 😉 ), I immediately fell in love with the house: a garden, good transport links, not far from a huuuuge Tesco, two (!) living rooms of which one can always be used for visitors, and a really luxurious bathroom (without the crappy English system where you have a hot and cold water separately and the water is always either too hot or too cold).

I’m really happy with my decision. Although I know that I will be fed up from time to time with the fact that it is not so centrally located, I am confident that it was the right thing to do.