Thursday, September 29, 2011

Orientation week in London

Today is day 4 of me being in London!! It feels weird again to be a student, I caught the early train down Monday morning from Liverpool because everything started at 8am in London and I was walking down the streets of London towards the School and I was actually starting to feel all bubbly so that was cool as I don’t tend to get excited like that about many things. Good to feel that I was doing the right thing!

So just in case you don’t know, I’ve moved to London because I’m starting a Masters of Public Health Nutrition at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Monday was all orientation stuff, getting to know the school, some of the lecturers and the admin staff that we will be working with. Tuesday we ended up having off so I spent my day walking around London looking at different houses. I swear I walked like 20-30 miles hey! I was walking almost all day. I should have just bought a day ticket in hindsight but I was trying to save money.. oh dear. I looked at 3 places, one in New Cross Gate which is south east London, one in Mile End and another in Canary Wharf, both in East London. In the end I’ve decided to go with the room in Canary Wharf because it is quite cheap, I felt the most comfortable there and it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle getting to uni. I was going to try get a bike to ride to and from uni, but having been warned about how many bikes are broken and stolen I changed my mind, at least temporarily! My current ‘plan’ for attack of transport is to catch the DLR half way then get off at Shadwell and jump on a Boris Bike and ride the rest of the way.  I could catch the DLR (Docklands light railway) the whole way into Bank, but it would be a bit manic there in the morning at peak hour and I’d much rather be above ground and away from the filthy air down in the tube.

For those who don’t know what a Boris bike is, they are hire bikes you can get in London that are sponsored by Barclays Bank. However, the reason they are called Boris bikes is because the mayor of London was the guy who organised and pushed for them and his name is Boris so….. there you have it! All I need now is a job and I'm sorted. Now that I've organised a place to live other than the hostel, I definitely feel much more at ease so that is good.

It is exciting to be studying with such a diverse group of people. My course has I think 23 people in it from all walks of life, countries ages and nationalities.  At first I thought there wasn’t anyone from England in the course! There are only two men in the class, both from Zimbabwe who have left their families there while they study. Other people in our course are from India, America, Canada, France, Sweden, New Zealand, Sri Lanka. There are other countries too but I forget! Tomorrow the uni is taking us on a social to Kew gardens. I’ve never been there before, but we will be looking at all the food plants they have which will be cool because I love cooking!

I read this quote the other day by Uraguayan poet, historian and journalist Eduardo Galeano and found it quite interesting as a person who generally likes to explore, meet new people, see new places and things. The world has definitely become a much smaller place for us with the potential to meet new people and go places we never could ever before.

One day the world won't be upside down, and then any nedwborn human being will be welcome. Saying "Welcome. Come in. Enter. The entire earth will be your Kingdom. Your legs will be your pasport, valid forever."

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