Sunday, September 2, 2012

Day One and Two... Independent

The journey began with a little confusion. Most people would not be able to admit to the gigantic mistake that I made.  Apparently, my inability to pay attention to details finally caught up to me.  I arrived at the airport at 5:30 AM twelve hours early. Yes, my flight left at 6:53 PM not AM. Oops! Round two to the airport was much smother. Passed security, made it to Minneapolis and then on to Amsterdam.  Navigating in a international airport where English is not the main language is something that I can now do.  The Amsterdam airport is the largest in Europe and most intimidating airport I have passed through.  I found my gate with some guidance from an attendant and waited a couple of hours.   I do not recall much of my flight to Glasgow, at this point in my journey I had slept little and I fell asleep before we even pulled away from the gate. Getting from the airport to my dorm was a big concern that I had but I forgot about passing through customs which should have worried me more.  Apparently, you are suppose to print off documents proving you are a student at a university (or uni as they call it here). Once again, my inability to pay attention to details nearly kept me out of the country.  By the grace of the kind customs lady I was allowed in to the country but not without a lecture on how important those documents are. There were students from the University of Glasgow waiting for international students to shuttle to our living arrangements. The students that I met at the airport were from Norway, Canada, France, and Russia.  I found my room and lugged my bags up the three flights of stairs (failing to unpack). After dropping off my bags, I set out to roam the streets of Glasgow in the rain and the wind.  My umbrella turned inside out twice within 30 minutes, this made me second guess my sense of adventure and turn back to the dorm for the night. I ordered in some food with some fellow Americans and turned in for bed early. Woke up today and could barely talk my throat was so sore. In spite of the illness, I set out to find a phone and some groceries. We walked to the city center and found a phone and on the way back bought some groceries for the time being. Nothing is too different here, except that everything is much smaller: the cars, buildings, hallways, streets, and people. The city of Glasgow is surprisingly warm. When I set out for a walk, sweat rolls down my back in a matter of blocks. So far, it feels like I am just in a different city in the US not overseas. Tonight, I think that I am going to go listen to some live jazz and tomorrow International Student Orientation begins.

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