technically, today is my first day in oxford.  it’s around 10pm – i’m 5 hours ahead of y’all on the east coast. travelling over went very smoothly.  the plane ride was right on time, very comfortable, although not comfortable enough for me to fall asleep.  so, alas, i went without sleep for about 30 straight hours.  after landing, i went thru the border where they stamped my visa, claimed my bags, saw a krispy kreme shop (?!), then took the coach (bus) to oxford, and a taxi to my house.  i couldn’t believe my first taxi ride was in england, in a very spacious hatchback.  i arrived around 11:30, so i was one of the first, and we spent most of the day waiting for people to come, chatting and moving in.  i live with two other girls in a room on the first floor (second really, the first is called the ground floor) with a gorgeous view (pictures will be posted once i take some).  sleep was interesting – i went to bed around 9:30, woke up around 12:30 (am), then slept again til 3:30, was frustratingly awake for almost 2 hours, then slept til noon.  something is not right with our showers, so many of us girls took baths this morning, which was a bit frustrating.

we left around 1:15 to walk to the other house where people in the program live.  it was a bit of a walk, but mostly through the university parks, which are amazing.  the other house is kind of an old “mansion” with a beautiful yard, and our house is a three story house very close to the center of the city.  we have 23 people, and the other has around 40.  we are all very big fans of the smaller community and the convenient location.  we had a barbeque at the vines (other house), and socialized for a few hours.  after heading back, another girl and i went to get a few groceries and walk around the city to familiarize ourselves a bit more.  i cannot wait until i know all these streets.  we have a day of orientation to the buildings we’ll need to know for school on monday, so that will be helpful.

it has not rained yet! but it is a bit overwhelming because there are so many things to adjust to at once: time change (i’ve never experienced jet lag before, but it does make for interesting first impressions), bicycles EVERYWHERE, spotty internet connection, meeting lots of people, cooking for ourselves in food groups very soon, different names for things, new stores and brands, no screens on the windows (perhaps because there are fewer bugs?), and the accents, of course!

there has been some free time but it certainly hasn’t felt like it.  perhaps because people are always doing something, trying to get to know one another, and so now is not the optimal time to steal away to the room and respond to e-mails.  i know the day is coming when i will actually have a schedule, know where i have to be when, and how to get there.  eventually, all of these wonderful people will feel like family, and most of this crazy bombardment of information will become routine.  until then, however, i’ll just have to be patient :)

to wrap up my first, unnaturally long post, i’ll share the first thing i learned about british culture. a queue is a line. woohoo.