Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hi, from London

Damn, it's already the last day of january, 2011. This year is going by so fast.
I've been in London for three weeks already and I feel like those weeks went by so fast. It has been amazing, I'm really glad that I'm studying abroad. I'm going to comment on a few aspects of my stay here so far.
A typical street sign in Westminster

A shot from the cruise that I mentioned

I forgot to add, the art on Brick Lane is amazing

one of the stalls in the Sunday-up market at Brick Lane

Chinese food blows

Big Ben: Note the tower is called Big Ben but it is actually the Bell in it that should be called Big Ben.  

Shopping: Of course, you can not be in London and not cop a few things. I feel like this is the fashion capital of the world. Yeah, people rock gears in NY but Londoners have style. I already had an extra luggage coming here and I know that I will leave with nothing less than an additional extra luggage. I've tried to curtail on my expenses but it looks like there is some jazz in these stores, from those in Westfield to Oxford Street. I went to Camden market yesterday, that place is huge and I need to go back. Very close to my school is Brick Lane, the Sunday-Up market there is very nice too and I've been there twice. I think the beauty of these markets is the very diverse vintage wears and exotic food stalls. But my dear, if you coming to shop in London, better come with plenty $$$$. Since, I'm not the President's daughter, I'm always converting the prices from pounds to dollars like everytime. Things are so expensive here because what is 5 dollars in the States is also 5 pounds in the UK. Note: 1 pound = 1.6 dollars.

Academics: This is the main reason why I'm in London right? Queen Mary University of London is kinda weird to me. Well, the entire British educational system at the Uni level has been more of a relief. I have 2 in class hours per course in week and no tests or weekly assignments. This equals lots of free time for me. I'm looking for a job or volunteering position because I'm used to having two part-time jobs in the States. I have no classes on Tues, Wed and Fri. yipee! Because I'm not used to independent study, I've not been able to keep up with the readings but I need to soonest. On another note, the state of the extracurricular life in the UK is close to dead. The only thing they do really is go to the student union pub, Drapers.

New relationships: I've made a good number of new friends. My closest are fellow American students studying abroad at Queen Mary. We've gone shopping, to the movies, clubbing and typical social stuff. I'm really trying to meet British students and not to stay in my comfort zone with fellow American students. The few that I've met so far are chill peeps. I've met some men, *cough*, they've been mostly Nigerian. I'm yet to be impressed, though. I've met up with two twitter friends, one (@juiceegal) is originally from blogger. There are both interesting and nice ladies. I do believe that my blogger persona is different from my twitter one and also from the one in real life..

Living without a meal plan: I live on campus and this rarely happens in London because most Unis in this city do not have a campus. Unlike my campus in the States, this one does not have a meal plan and that means I have to cook for myself. It should be cheaper right but I think the honeymoon phase of cooking is almost over. I'm yet to get very Nigerian food stuff. So, I've just been making stew chicken/fish, rice and plantains.
Who knew vegetarian African food can be commercialized?

Night life: I've been having a very good time. One of my friends here, Michelle (her name from 12am to 5am hahaha), is my PIC. We've been out to on a cruise over River Thames and a few places in WestEnd, Leicester precisely. I'm def down to go to more places. The drinking culture is a major aspect of British social life. For example, my uni students dash into the school's bar in between lectures. Sadly, I'm not a beer/pub-going person. So, I will just stick to sipping my fruity cocktails and wine in lounges and clubs.

Summer plans: This has been a major concern for me and I'm yet to take concrete steps on it. I'm looking for an internship-like opportunity in the public health sector. I'm open to any branch but I will prefer sexual, social or environmental public health. My mum wants me to stay in the UK but I lowkey want to go to Naija. So, I'm considering both places. Sadly, I've not found anywhere yet and I need to find at least 6 places within the next two weeks to apply to. God dey, please if you know anything or have connects let me know.

I can go on and on about my stay here so far but I'll keep 'em coming in subsequent posts.

Pardon typos, I dislike editing my posts. Just for you to know, if you haven't noticed

Much love.


Adaeze said...

Hey Yinkus! Wow . I guess I have missed out on a lot. The fact you stay in NYC had slipped my mind (If I ever knew?). I go to London frequently and I am going there in March - but the ironic thing is I am trying to get abroad to study in NYC lol. Anyway - I am back - from my long hiatus (I dont really know how long it was but more than a year)- as usual love the character that comes through your writing, love your writing, love the blog background (lol). Great that you are enjoying London! I'll be reading to get some tips on how to be a good newbie in a city :-)

Myne Whitman said...

I've only been to London once, and did some of the touristy things. Hope I can have more time soon. It appears you're enjoying and having great fun there.

Serenity said...

hmm Queen Mary is chilled.I know a couple of people there..not located in the best past of London tho, loads of 'smelly' Indians. hopefully u dont go back to America smelling of Garlic and

Yankeenaijababe said...

love the post and so looking forward to travellling soon too...Love the post!

ManCee said...

One word..'Wow!'

seye said...

Hating you right now. Weren't you just in india????

Dith said...

Really Niceee pictures!

So glad I came across this post cos I could use some advice.
I am looking into grad schools in the U.K as well but i am scared shitless. lol
I don't know if I could survive the cold.

Some questions for u...
What made u want to school in London?
I take it u were originally in d states? NYC ya?
How has d experience been so far?
Is it expensive to school there? As compared to the states.
Every single deets please.

Feel free to shoot me a mail
Thank you in advance :)

Dith said...

LOOOL I was doing the same thing throughout my trip in London. I kept converting every single pence to dollars.
They literally pay double for the same things. Now that would be another huge problem for me. lol
I'll probably bug my mother to death cos I'll have her send me everything from d states.

Seeing pple who actually make d move inspire me but are u there just for a study abroad program?

Are u majoring in public health?
U know what?? Pls what's ur email address?
k i'll jst get it from u when u email me with the answers 2 my countless questions. lol