I come only with an update for now, I promise to try make the next post mostly pictures because I have taken tons, but wifi is a little touchy. Speaking of WiFi, they treat it so different over here. You have to sign in and give silly info, hard to explain, but completely frustrating. Part of the group is convinced every time we ask for directions, we are sent in a completely different direction than we needed, we have resulted in getting ourselves places on our own. If you know me, this isn't a hard task.
Being so off on time I completely forgot today was Monday, but was quickly reminded when we jumped aboard the tube and I barely had room to breathe. Quite an exhausting ride. Also, note to anyone planning a trip across the pond, better speed walk the British are always in a hurry. Also, stick to the right side of the escalator for the safety of yourself, otherwise you might get knocked down. This floored me since I remember an individual in Georgia getting arrested for running up and down an escalator, not here my friends, not in the slightest. The tube is like a scene out of Harry Potter, except the trains don't magically appear they just roll right up to you. The well-known slogan of the tube is "Mind the Gap" most entertaining three words I have heard. I will leave you to guess the meaning good luck. Oh and by the way the tube is similar to MARTA, except 20 times bigger, with all types of tunnels and routes.
I will say I miss a few things from home. The food hasn't been too bad, but the university food isn't the greatest. They do have an instant pizza machine, I might be in trouble. Also, converters are from Hades (not sure if I spelled that correctly), one girl blew hers in 5 mins flat. Our hair is looking better by the day. Also, I am re-entering the world of shared bathrooms, quite hilarious let me tell you. Oh and the best kept secret in there is the hand dryer, which also doubles as my hair dryer... ingenious right?!?! Finally, we have no AC which really isn't a bother here since it's around 60 degrees, but we do open our windows at night for fresh air. A girlfriend of mine, who also happened to be one of my sorority sisters is next door to me and we like to have nightly "window chats" where we lean our head out and go over the day, yes very strange, but we enjoy the sights and sounds while we are at it.
Walking around the city has been wonderful, I feel in some ways like I have been here for years. I have a core group of girls that I travel with and we have navigated ourselves pretty darn well. Today was our first two business visits. Traveling as a big group was interesting, I am almost positive the locals pick us out quickly, the looks are very interesting. Sidenote: the dress is somewhat bland her, I am not saying there aren't different styles, but the brights are few and far between. Anywho back to the programming, we visited with small online marketing and pr firm this morning and discussed search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) two very well-known things in the online marketing world. I love hearing a fresh perspective on it and comparing it with that of the U.S. The company actually had a client out of Alabama which I thought was quite interesting. Our second stop was Fuller's Brewery, some of you may know the brand, it is sold in America, we also provide a lot of the hops that go into their beer. It was interesting to learn the process and growth of the business.
Lunch and the afternoon was spent in Hammersmith, a neighborhood on the outskirts of the city. We had lunch at an old eclectic pub, which had beautiful views and horrible food, I stuck to the garden and rustic chip (side salad and french fries), yeah this is the only thing that seemed appetizing, otherwise it was gazpacho..yuck! After my awful time with Spanish, I am just glad I remembered what it was. I think that's it for now....can't wait to post photos, although they barely do this city justice.
All the best,
P.S. They don't really do the tipping thing at meals and bars here and they look at you funny when you do. Also, they interpret the word thank you differently and the response is priceless :)