So it’s been a week since I arrived in London! I’ve spent half of it in Argos buying all kinds of stuff for my new room, and the other half trying to socialize with random people from all over the world. I’ve met two really fun French girls, whom I took sightseeing, and organized a ‘International food night’ with my Japanese and Chinese flatmates, which will almost certainly prove to be interesting. I’ve played Spanish cards with a Danish girl and bought plates with people from Jerusalem and the US. I still haven’t got a close friend, although it seems as if everyone else has paired up, but I still have to meet all the people in my classes, so we shall have to wait and see!
Most of those I have befriended though, I met at the JCR, or Junior Common Room at SOAS, and the bar area downstairs:
You can’t really see it but there’s a pool table and a darts area behind the stairs, as well as a small stage. Here is where most of the welcome week stuff has been going on, because as soon as it rains they pack everything up in here – the fresher’s fayre (these pics are from that day, that’s why it’s so full), brunches, picnics, you name it. There were even a couple of raffles, one of which landed me a free Sherlock funko pop! I also got a henna tattoo and a pretty cool native spirit earring at the Fresher’s Fayre, all for free:
I’ve spent part of the week doing paperwork as well – I had to sign up for German and Mandarin lessons. I also signed in to postcrossing (web site that gives you people’s addresses from all over the world so you can send them a postcard), and I just sent off my first five: one to St Petersburg, one to Taipei, one to Bratislava, one to Ohio and one to Berlin.
Finally, I went on a tour of Camden Town with Unseen Tours, a social enterprise that hires people who have been homeless in the area they take you to see. As I said, I went to Camden with tour guide Mike (here’s his story if you’re interested), who met us at Chalk Farm and told us all about the Roundhouse, Primrose Hill, Regent’s Park, Camden Lock and the Market; while sharing his personal history in the area as well. This made for a very different and enlightening tour. We walked through Chalcot Square, by Daniel Craig’s house and along the canal:
Today is the official start of classes at SOAS, but I don’t have anything on Mondays yet so I get to sleep in for one more day. I have lectures this week, eight in total, because I’m attending a few extra classes to figure out if I want to change any of the subjects I’m taking, and then next week I’ll have four lectures and three tutorials (allocated on Friday). If it sounds confusing, don’t worry! I’ll upload my full timetable as soon as I have it.
Next weekend I’ll do some sightseeing around London, to see if I can get it into my head that I’m actually here – and I’ll keep you guys updated on all thee cute corners I find, like this one:
Meanwhile I’ll keep working on my Berlin post, which is about halfway done.
Wish me luck,