Like a TV show’s pilot episode, I find that the first entry in a blog is often one of the weakest. Getting into the groove of things takes a few attempts. With that in mind, I will push through this as quickly and painlessly as possible. I’m doing this for you folks!
If you hadn’t gathered, my name is Ben. I’m a senior at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, planning to graduate this coming December semester. I’ve lived in Texas for most of my life, and I love it so much I decided to leave it. I went through the planning process blah blah blah… Background information? Pshaw. You want to hear about England.
I left Bush Intercontinental on January 3 and arrived in Heathrow on 4 Jan at 7 in the freaking morning. The flight was long, boring, headache-inducing, and had me surrounded by children with delightful British accents. And one American girl who was playing Cooking Mama. It was strange.
Customs were easy, besides sweating like a pig in my unfamiliar wool sweater and having to haul my two massive duffel bags. The London Underground was a lot for me to learn while completely jetlagged (it was 1 AM Houston time when I arrived), so I just followed some random guy throughout the entire Heathrow Express. For something with “express” in the title, it sure had a lot of traffic jams…
Words cannot describe my elation when I saw the luggage carts. Other words can describe my frustration when I saw they cost £1 to use and had a weird locking mechanism. While hauling my corpse-sized duffel through Paddington Station, I never once thought to go over to Platform 9 3/4. You know what, though? Totally didn’t care at the time. I was tired, cold, and had to go to the bathroom. A kindly Paddington employee guided my cart to the taxi place for me, and even hailed a cab. I tipped him and thanked him profusely, never realizing that I could have gotten my £1 coin back if I returned the cart somewhere. What a jerk.
The cab dropped me off at the hotel we IFSA Butler students were supposed to go to, and I was the very first one there. Suck on that, group flight people! You may have had people already paid to carry your luggage, but I got there first! (*whimper*)
Got to my room, relaxed for all of six minutes, and went right back outside to buy a plug adapter and British DS AC Adapter (the charging thingy on my Gameboy with the two screens). When I finished my brief shopping trip, I popped into the most British restaurant I could afford.
When I got back, there was a mob of people all the way out of the hotel. The other IFSA Butler kids had arrived! After making my way back to my room and meeting my roommate, we both started watching TV on our beds. Before we knew it, we both fell asleep.
For over seven hours.
To be concluded!