Whenever I travel to Europe ('cause that's soooo often), I get really confused for the first week or so. Somewhere I missed an entire day and I still think that's Tuesday when everyone else is telling me that it's Wednesday. Hmmmm. Interesting.
Anyway, the big event of the day was registration (although that was really a bit anti-climactic). I walked down to the LSE around 11, got there closer to 12. The walk took longer than I had anticipated, but I got confused a few times when the Thames path had to be diverted and I wasn't in any particular hurry. I can see why the directions suggest crossing at the bridge before Waterloo, since you have to backtrack (unless you just happen to like walking past the National Theatre, as I do). Anyway, found Clement House off the Aldwych and walked up two flights of stairs to the back of the line. A really big part of me was saying "oh, crap!" (well, I was thinking something different, but the number of people who now know about this site necessitates that it be a "family" blog), but the line actually moved very, very quickly. I gave some woman my student number, picked up my card and that was it! So easy!
I was wondering "campus" (can a bunch of grey building be considered a campus?) and found the LSE shop. I resisted the temptations for LSE logo clothing (although I should probably get something before the undergrads show up), but bought a few school supplies. I also noticed a number of students queing for something, which turned out to be to have forms validated for the student tube and bus discount and NUS (National Union of Students) cards. I did both, but it took awhile to get photos, fill out the forms and have a chat with a girl who's only just returned from a month in a Liberian refugee camp in Ghana (so cool!).
Later I wandered down to the post office on Trafalgar Square (bought aerograms for our favorite PC-er), had lunch at Pret (yum! but ewww, pricey), and spent a half an hour getting lost in the National Gallery. Stopped at Boot's for toiletries and then home from Embankment. I really should find a way to map where I've been each day for the blogosphere, shouldn't I? Sorry if all these names are a bit of a jumble.
Ooooh, excitement! So, I was walking back across Tower Bridge (because it's between my dorm and the tube station) and just as I was getting to the second tower there was an announcement to stop the traffic. They stopped all the cars, cleared the pedestrians, put out some gates and raised the bridge so some tall masted sailing ships could go through. It was pretty cool to see:
I had a nap in the early evening (run this morning + London had me worn out), then went down to the common room. There were only about 4 other people there, but it was fun to meet some others. One, another Alex is from Oregon and is doing Human Rights with me (which makes a total of two others...I met Zhiang from Taiwan in the bookstore hanging around near the course books). The others were from Portugal, Norway and France/Israel. Everyone I've met seems to have travelled extensively or done something really cool in life and I feel out of place. At least I know London better than many of the others. Finally, I met one of the guys who lives in other flat on this floor. He grew up here, went to school at UVA (U. Virginia) and is Eritrean. Seems nice, as does Geru, the previously mentioned Norweigan girl. There are four people in their flat (those two and two Americans, apparently), but still no one appears in here. I think I've heard noises from next door, but no actual person. Weird, right? I'm starting to think that I shouldn't count on my flatmates for a social life, no?
Speaking of my room, here's half a panorama:
And to prove that I wasn't kidding about the brick wall: