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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!

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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? 😉

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.

The Signs Continue

6 Sep

This morning, I arrived in London and after having received so many strange signs lately, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud when the first thing I saw at Stansted Airport was a huge ad for Alfa Romeo for a new car called Guilietta. The ad bore the cool slogan: “I am such stuff as dreams are made on”, which is (roughly) a line from Prospero’s famous speech in The Tempest.

I consider this as Will Shakespeare personally welcoming me to my new home!

Stay tuned for more updates on my flathunt later this evening! Now I’m heading to the Globe Theatre to see if I can get a ticket for tomorrow. (Plan B: Getting a ticket for the Legally Blonde Musical! 🙂 )

Ad: Room Wanted!

31 Aug

In a previous post I have already mentioned that I’m currently in the middle of the flathunting phase and that my new favourite free time activity is browsing websites for cool flatshares. Yesterday I had the glorious idea of posting an ad myself in the “room wanted” section of two websites and I was really surprised at how quickly the “lovely German girl” (which is how I described myself 😉 ) received some offers.

Up to now, my ad has lead to about 15 different offers but unfortunately the majority of them doesn’t live up to my expectations.  While sorting out, it hit me that the decision I will be  reaching has huge effects on my lifestyle. The offers I received are so diverse and come from so many different people that it really made me wonder which kind of life I want to lead in London. For example, there is one room in a house in a more suburban area, which I’d be sharing with a married couple. The cool thing about this is that it is a very cheap room in a house, which looks really clean and polished, and the man coincidentally works at my future university which could be beneficial when finding out about the organization of the library or things like that.

A very different offer reached me from Northern London where a singer/songwriter sent me the link to his ad. The room on offer is in a 3-bedroom flatshare and what is most seductive about this flatshare is that the singer/songwriter also organizes events and so the whole flatshare seems to go clubbing every weekend (the ad mentioned free VIP entrance and free drinks).

The third most interesting ad sounded perfect at first: the room would fit my budget and is located exactly where I wanted it to be. Then last night I also received some photos of the flat and well… the bathroom looks like a 5-star-hotel bathroom (with a hairdryer fixed on the wall) and the bedroom could also pass for the queen’s bedchamber: a huge bed with brocade blanket, a gigantic goldframed mirror and a whimsical chest of drawers. I highly doubt that this offer is meant seriously and that such a room exists in the middle of London…

Well, next Monday I will fly to London and have a look at some rooms, for example at the one in suburban house. The cool party-flatshare is unfortunately not within the budget… or do you think that the free drinks would make up for that? 🙂

My Shakespearean Fare-thee-well-Party

29 Aug

Last evening, I took full advantage of the fact that my parents own a restaurant and invited my whole family and

quotes written on pink glittery slips of paper

all my colleagues and friends to a little farewell party. And as already mentioned in an earlier post, I wanted my family to spend some time and thoughts on Shakespeare because he and his plays will take up a rather big part of my life in London and therefore asked them to prepare a quote. I was pleasantly surprised at how creative and carefully chosen most of the quotes were. Here are my favourites!

Gangsta Shakespeare: My Mistrezz Eyze are nuttin’ like tha sun, but she got a killer rack (provided by my good friend Sh to da Izzl, inspired by ShakespeareGeek)

Royal Shakespeare: London. A Street. The trumpets sound. “Welcome, sweet prince(ss), to London to your chamber.”  This quote came with a little present: a pink self-made papercrown which I was proudly wearing for the rest of the evening. (Thanks again, Honeybunny!)

The probably most appropriate quote came from my Mum:  Jedes Glas zuviel ist verflucht, und sein Inhalt ist ein Teufel.

 And kudos to my sister who memorized 9 lines from my favourite play, Richard III. Here’s the summary: England war lang im Wahnsinn, schlug sich selbst; / Der Bruder, blind, vergoß des Bruders Blut; / Der Vater würgte rasch den eignen Sohn; / Der Sohn gedrungen, ward des Vaters Schlächter. (my addition to this quote: but now Katja is coming to England, and everything will be fine 🙂 )

What else is there to say about my party? I hope everyone enjoyed it and thanks again for the presents (Benefit Makeup, yeah! And a “Schultüte” filled with sweets). 

You're never too old for that!

I really realized how much I’m going to miss everybody in London. My family and friends are really great! I mean, which other party starts with Shakespeare quotes, includes a pink sparkly paper crown and ends with a dirrrty dance-off to Jay-Z (and yes, I DO have video evidence and will eventually use it for blackmailing purposes some time).  I’m already looking forward to my Welcome-Back-Party! 🙂

                                                                       

Oh! And by the way: Whoever sneaked the Goethe quote in… I’ll find you! 😉