From Heathrow to St. Giles: Orientation

When we last left our hero, both he and his temporary roommate had passed out after their long flight. In addition to destroying any chance of acclimating within a day, this also led to missing the free group dinner. The dinner, which was free, was a chance for the Butler kids to get to know one another. And it was free.

Let me make this perfectly clear: London is E-X-P-E-N-S-I-V-E. Cheapest meal I’ve had so far (and I am fully aware that this blog is a week behind) was £3: a chicken sandwich, fries (chips), a canned soda (fizzy drink), and two random chicken wings. Eclectic, sure, but for that price, it was a lot of food for not a lot of hard earned Bed Bath & Beyond beatings.

Perfect Fried Chicken

Also, it was perfect

Getting back on track, I panicked a little when I woke up. It was dark, the clock in the room was slow by some unknown degree, and I was hungry. After getting my bearings, I did what anybody in this situation would do: I complained on the internet!

Some guy clearly not happy with his computer

At £3 per hour, I made sure I got the most out of my hotel internets. Lucky for me, the Butler group got back within half an hour. I ran into the lobby and told the first official I could find what happened. She said not to worry and that there’s plenty of cheap food nearby. On my way back to the computer I noticed an older man sitting at my computer with a translation book, staring with a confused look on his face. I went up to him and said I was using the computer. He replied “I am not speak Italian.” If the Simpsons taught me anything, it’s that Spanish and Italian are the same language. I was able to convince him that the face book was, in fact, proof that I was logged on to the computer. He apologized in Italian and left.

Who is Mr. X?

The most reliable news source on the internet

Don’t worry, the blog remain this detailed. The Italian Facebook man anecdote was worth telling and needed some backstory to fully understand. After my hour expired, I ate Chinese food, watched bad American movies on TV, and went to bed. The next morning, orientation started bright and early. From all the orientation sessions we had, here’s everything I learned:

  • 1 in 3 British men have a criminal record
  • At least one of us will be robbed by the time we leave the program, likely within the first month
  • Being male or female does not make you less likely to be robbed
  • Being female actually increases your chance of getting into a physical fight with another female (i.e. you’ll get a shoe up your nose)
  • My age group is the most likely to be robbed
  • Robbers are potentially batcrap crazy, what with the drugs
  • Continental Europe has developed several methods of robbing you, ranging from pretending to clean off bird poop to throwing babies
  • Pearly Kings and Queens have been around since the late 19th century
Okay, not really. These are great philanthropists and activists.

Not pictured: my just stolen wallet

Lovely! During this nearly week-long orientation I met several of the Queen Mary students. Key players (i.e. people that will show up frequently in this blog) are Ted (my hotel roommate), Ryan, Carly, Remy, Chris, Madison, Elizabeth, Caitlin (my flat neighbor), Bennett, and Matt. They’ll all pop up at some point. Other IFSA Butler students that weren’t mentioned: I’m sorry if I left you out! I don’t hate you (much), we just haven’t hung out enough!

Besides exploring the area around the hotel, I actually went to a real tourist destination that didn’t primarily feed me: The British Museum! Twice! Here is a quick glance at my first excursion:

A statue of maybe Venus

Busty statue

Statue of a maternity goddess


It looks like I may have a trend here. One that does not present me in the most positive of lights. Let’s see a sample of my second trip…

ANOTHER nude statue


In all seriousness, the albums can be found here and here. Believe it or not, those are the only pictures of naked statues I took.

On Thursday we were bused from the St. Giles Hotel to Queen Mary. More to come! But first, a dietary intermission!



2 Responses to From Heathrow to St. Giles: Orientation

  1. josephharmon says:

    I would like to know about our stolen wallet. You cant put something like that in the caption of a picture and not explain it.

  2. Ben says:

    She didn’t actually steal my wallet. I was just making a funny. =D

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