It's been a fairly intense few days, although I haven't really done anything. I arrived in Manchester shortly before noon, after a brief and dark stopover in Iceland. I successfully passed immigration and hopped in a taxi and made my way to the university. From all the reading I did prior to departure - and there was a lot of it, which I obviously missed - I made my way to student check in. This is a logical first step, I thought. Well, my friends, it turns out you were supposed to check into your accommodations first! So, here I was lugging my bags all over campus, which by the way is probably the size of Wolfville! It's huge!
By the time I checked into my new home, it was nearing 3pm and I had to meet with my program's administrators to play catch-up on what I'd missed. It turns out (despite my understanding from all of the things I'd read prior to my arrival) that I missed all of the orientation! Literally, as I walked into the office, it was finishing for the day/week. Oh well. After a brief chat, I left with a package of new reading material and made my way back 'home' to unpack and take a breath.
After sitting around for about 15 minutes, I realized I had no food, no phone, and no internet. This is when I had the great idea to head into the city centre and tackle a few of these issues. As I walked I tried to watch where I was going as I took in the architecture and sights around me. (Side note...for all of you who warned me about walking on the wrong side of the sidewalk, it makes no difference - people are everywhere!). The city is quite beautiful, and it even comes with its very own ferris wheel! And, when I say the city is quite beautiful, I mean the entire city... After attempting a few errands, I quickly realized that I was lost. When I returned home and looked at a map, I pretty much walked the entire city. And yes, I made it back safely once again! I didn't take any pictures, but don't worry folks, I'll be making plenty more trips!
My room is much larger than I expected. I am living in a residence or hall. I have a private room in an apartment that I share with 5 other people. I have only met one person so far, but am hoping to see the others soon. It's pretty closed off, which I like, but also makes me feel awkward, since everyone else has been here for at least a week. Anyway, I have my own bathroom, which includes a shower that is not divided from the rest of the room... so I could sit on the toilet and shower if ever I feel the need to. It's pretty cool though, although I will have to adjust to having a wet floor for several hours after each shower.
Yes, my bed is made. Also, let's not get to excited about the organized state of my wardrobe... I'm willing to bet that this time next week I will have returned to my usual disorganized self!
Note the closeness of the toilet to shower!
Today, I went to a quick briefing on using the library, where I met my first friend (in Manchester, not in life)! He showed me where coffee is found in abundance. Mmmm coffee... Afterwards I had to check in with the department and prove that I am actually a real live person, and then I met with my program tutor. She filled in the rest of the gaps I was too tired to process yesterday. I made another trip in to the city once I was finished, hoping to open a bank account, but was told to come back another day. On my walk home, I stopped into a Tesco's to get a few groceries... If ever I needed confirmation that I was no longer in Ghana that was it... I spent the rest of my day napping and unpacking/getting organized.
That's all I have for you so far. I've got a ton of reading to accomplish before bedtime!
-the Orange Canadian