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30 November 2007

Good News

I got a job today.

I had an interview with a catering company, and it went well, so I have training tomorrow.

I'll just be working part-time, likely just once a week, if even that. But it should be a good experience. And I will get paid. In pounds. So my salary is automatically doubled when I convert into dollars. The job should be good; I'm hoping to see a new side of London and work at interesting special events.

I just had to buy a new white dress shirt and new black shoes. But they were less than 15 pounds each, and I'll be able to use them outside of work too.

Let's just hope I can balance 5 plates on my arms at once!

28 November 2007

The Bank Account Ordeal

So today I tried to open a bank account here in the UK. It was more frustrating than I expected.

I went to the Barclay's Bank on campus, and waited for the banker to finish helping someone. I then take a seat and say that I want to open an account for an international student. I knew that they had special accounts for international students, and I knew that I needed to bring my passport and an acceptance letter from the university. So I gave him my forms, and he said, "No, this is the wrong form. You need a special letter from your university addressed to the bank."

23 November 2007

Thanksgiving Abroad

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, or at least it was back in the States. It should also be known as "the worst day to be abroad as an American." It's one of the best holidays, and essentially no one else celebrates. And even trying to re-create Thanksgiving can be a failure: Last week, our study-abroad program organized a Thanksgiving dinner for us students, but it was served at a restaurant where we each had (only!) one plate of turkey, potatoes, sausage. And an odd-tasting pumpkin pie. It was simply not. the. same.

And yesterday, the actual day of Thanksgiving, I had plenty of schoolwork to do; specifically, a paper due. It was only 1000 words, but I had to translate a lot, which was a new challenge. And my actual Thanksgiving dinner? Two ham sandwiches. Sigh... And thanks to laundry, there'll be no shopping for me on this day-after-Thanksgiving.

So to all the Americans out there who are actually home, be thankful that you have home and that you have Thanksgiving! :)

20 November 2007


Halfway through the semester, we had a week off for "reading week." It's meant as a time for the students to catch up with their reading, essays, and schoolwork. Naturally, this meant time for a trip! I booked a flight to Copenhagen. My first visit to Scandinavia, it should be fun!

I stayed with a friend for 4 days, exploring the cozy and cosmopolitan city of Copenhagen, hanging out with his "kitchen-mates," and taking two day trips (to Hillerød/Helsingør and to Malmö, Sweden). It was fun, although a bit chilly. I spent the right amount of time exploring the city; I wasn't too rushed or tired from trying to cram everything into two days (as I was in Paris).

I arrived on Thursday night, having flown from London Stansted Airport to Copenhagen. The airport is nice, clean, and organized. My friend met me there, and I bought a Copenhagen Card, which is good for travel on trains, buses, and the subway throughout the city. (I also learned that you could easily wipe off the date on the card and "reset" it to the current date, so a 1-day pass can last you for much longer.)

We took an evening walk through the city center, where I saw some buildings and stores lit up, but it was difficult to figure out where we were going