June 26th, 2002


(no subject)

Accompaning this entry will be a lovely shot out of my dorm
roomm window, just after I crawled out of bed this morning. The sun is
up and it is already bright enough to light this room through the
window. It is seven til five (4:53) local time (UTC).

Yesterday involved so much sitting, waiting, and standing,
and so much hurry-up-and-wait (army brat thing) that I am still a little
tired, and my neck and shoulders quite sore, even thought I skipped
dinner to crash out sometime around four thirty (16:30) yesterday
afternoon. I woke around seven (19), eleven (23), and two (2), before
finally giving up and standing up at four thirty 4:30 or so.

The room is small but not cramped. It has a small bed, a
nightstand, a small chest of drawers, a desk, and a wardrobe, not to
mention the sink and shower. Yes, there is a small, phonebooth sized
glass door closet in the corner that appears to be a shower. I have
not yet fiddled with it, but I will sometime before breakfast, at

There is a lot different over here, not least of which is
the whole Bizarro world traffic scene. everyone drives on the wrong
side of the street, of course, but other things are inverted as well.
The street signs and directional arrows in the street seem reversed, for
instance. Some of the signs are pretty funny though. I think we should
adopt their "Give Way!" sings to replace our confusing and oft ignored
"Yield!". All this is almost irrelevant, save for crossing streets.
The biggest shear I have encountered so far is the skimping,
although I don't yet know if this is a local custom or the travel
agencies failure to negotiate effectively, but many of the things
that the students expect to be included in a meal, such as name
brand soft-drinks, bottled water, tea, and coffee were subject to
an upcharge. Also, the sack lunches for the next couple days of
coach tours are not included, and we have to shell out 6 pounds (3
each for them). At the current horrid exchange rates, that's about
$5 USD for a sack lunch, which is not unreasonable. I guess I am
just perturbed by the shear with the travel package idea.

I may have to run a coffee machine in my room if there's no coffee or
tea with breakfast (haven't seen yet). There's also the little cafe
around back of the dining hall.

The only really troubling thing is a bit of social anxiety. As long
as we were all being herded about in one large group, I could find
people to talk to, or at least at, easily enough. Now, as we are
settling in, I don't quite know how to go about finding people, and many
of the students on the trip came with their cliques intact, or in
couples. (It must also be noted that the vast majority of the group is
pretty young co-eds. Most of them are eighteen or nineteen years old,
and nearly all of them were dressed quite immodestly yesterday. A few
even bore t-shirts affliating them with some "greek" organization, which
by past experiences leads me to believe they will be completely useless
for anything except uninteresting bits of debauchery.)

We've a great bit more orienting to do over today and tomorrow, so I
don't know when I'll get to check email, much less get on
the net to post this, so I'll back date it.

adric, @ roehampton.ac.uk
5:18 26 June 2002 UTC