Thursday, August 4, 2011

Making it to Oxford

When I first stepped off of my plane I was much too tired to have any sort of surreal or excited feeling.... next time I will be getting a direct flight. Once I'd retrieved my luggage I rolled it on through the "nothing to claim" line... but apparently, a 21 year old girl coming from Amsterdam with nothing to claim was a problem. Luckily, after playing 21 questions they figured I was no threat (might have been the tears building up) and I went on my way to passport control...

By the way, who knew we needed a letter confirming our student status in the UK?? I didn't. But luckily they let me through anyways. After that, I proceeded to ask 2 or 3 people who worked in the airport what the best way to get to Oxford was, because at this point I was tired and cranky and almost more than willing to pay the whole way for a cab directly to Oxford. Reluctantly I followed someone's advice and took the tram (which I paid 18 pounds for) to London Paddington, the worst train station ever, ESPECIALLY with two suitcases behind you. However, I managed to run to the train when it arrived and find a seat. I was on my way to Oxford.

I arrived in Oxford at about 7 pm the day before our class was scheduled to arrive. By the time I had gotten to the little guest house I was staying at.... they were closed! There was a note on the door: "Dear Miss Kaitlin Johnston, We are so sorry to have missed you... Please call..." Now I was really going to cry, this was a terrible feeling, all I wanted was a bed and somewhere to put my luggage!

Across the street there was a pay phone, so I did as the note told me to. A man answered a very nicely explained that there was an envelope with my name on it under the bush next to the door. I thought... What the hell? Who does this type of thing in America? At first it gave me a sense of their apparent trust in strangers.. I mean anyone off the street could have called and said they were me, and second, I thought that this must be the extent of their hospitality in England. After carrying my luggage up three flights of stairs, I was finally in my hot tiny room with a small cot and shitty wi-fi.

Woke up feeling un-rested and ready to get out of there. Took a cab to the EF international school and awaited the rest of my classmates.

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