Greetings from Oxford!
I'm going to try my hardest to keep this blog up; think of it as a New Year's resolution of sorts. So this is my first official day in England. I arrived in London last night around 11 p.m. (I will talk in England time, which is six hours ahead of CT). I couldn't come into Oxford that late, and my parents didn't want me traveling alone at that hour anyway, so I stayed the night in the airport in a Yotel room. (www.yotel.com) I was a little nervous about the whole thing, but I have to say I was quite thrilled when I opened the door to my little room with a bed, shower, toilet, and flat screen tv - all in about a 6x6 space (so I guess it's not the place to stay if you are claustrophobic). It was just right for me to get a few hours of shut-eye before hopping on a bus and coming to Oxford.
Everyone was very nice and helpful on my way. I met a girl who lived in DC and had been in Nigeria for a month helping with unsuccessful schools. I met a guy who goes to Cambridge and had been in New York. He didn't know where Missouri was... And the best thing was that I saw someone who looked familiar in front of me on the way to the bus station. I thought I would take a chance and yelled "D-Rab" and what do you know? Aaron Drabenstott was on his way to the bus station to go to Harlaxton! Quite serendipitous to see a familiar face in this new world. It was reassuring, if only for the brief moment we saw each other.
Once I arrived in Oxford, I was greeted by the Warners, who have to be the nicest people I have ever met. Penelope took me to my house, and Kristen Walker had left me a box full of goodies!!! (THANKS, KRISTEN! I love you!) I was especially excited about the blow dryer and the house shoes. It's really cold in our house. I'm still getting my stuff moved in, putting pictures on the walls and whatnot.
I went to town to explore and go grocery shopping this afternoon. I found my way and wandered around for a while, bought some food, and came back all by myself. I didn't even have to look like the typical American tourist and use my little pocket map! I was quite proud of myself. I stopped at a little cafe for some bacon and lentil soup and to get out of the cold and snow. I really think I am going to love going to Oxford proper. Everyone is out and about doing something. I was amazed at how many people there were on a Friday mid-afternoon just walking around, shopping, and eating. And the buildings are so beautiful. It's not like anywhere in the U.S. Everything is so old and quaint! I love it!
So that was day one. More to come, I'm sure. I love and miss you all!