Sunday: After a missed flight, chicken dinner with Saheed, my Indian friend on flight 98, and 8 hours of misery, I made it to Heathrow airport in London. I’m not going to address the missed flight; it’s a touchy subject. A tired, exhausted Melissa made it through customs and was more than delighted to see all of her fellow Bobcats patiently waiting for her as she entered the UK. As we made our way to the bus that picked us up, I realized I already liked a lot of people on my trip. Everyone looked tired, but excited, ready to take on whatever was thrown our way. I enjoy the E.W Scripps School of Journalism so much because I truly think that when a group of us get together we get inspired and encourage each other to be our best.
We all piled on the bus, barely fitting, and “Maaaaatin” took us to Guildford, where the University at which we are staying is. “Maaaaatin” is my spelling of the english name “Martin”. I think everyone is very annoyed with us trying to do the british accent…
After unpacking and taking a much needed shower, we got some goods from the store and prepared to head to dinner. This pizza place was so old school and traditional. It was a nice change of pace from the typical Goodfellas or Little Caesars Hot and Ready that I usually stick to. The dinner really made me realize what sweet people I’m with. I enjoy their company. I’m interested to see what these next weeks bring, and what they bring out of everyone.
On Monday: We went into the heart of London!! I honestly fell in love once I got off the train. The lifestyle there just excites me. We got on the double decker bus and began to tour the city. If you friend me on facebook you can check out some of the pictures! It was incredible. I have never seen anything like London. I love the tradition, the character and the spunk the city has. I notice people around here have a funky style and way about themselves. It’s not like they are that different but they stand out a lot more in their fashions and hairstyles. In fact, I think it is so interesting how we analyze other cultures. I mean, they look different, but at the end of the day I realize, we are all the same, we have the same insides, aspirations, dreams, emotions, etc. I never thought much about the world that existed outside the United States, at least not in this kind of depth. I love people. I love knowing what makes someone tick. I have already realized three days into this trip that journalism is what i’m meant for.
Anyhoo, we made it to the London Tower! As you can see below, my fellow bobcat, Katie and I had a quick photo opp, then we walked up to the bridge. We walked into a protest! The protest was being done by the UCG, the United Cabbies Group. They are fighting to get their roads back for the Olympic games. This is due to them not being allow to pick up any pedestrians because their lane is strictly being used for the games. I loved this story! It is one I have been wanting to do for weeks. We arrived at the perfect time. I went ahead and did an interview with one of the protesters. I was so proud of myself for taking the bull by the horns and just diving right in. I talked with a very disgruntled cabbie driver about his situation. Stay tuned for that story; it is in progress! I did try and speak with the police but they said they cannot speak with me directly, so I am working on calling their media office for more information.
They were overall really nice officers, and they were real with me.
As the week progressed we went to Stonehenge, Brighton, Bath, and Oxford! They are all such beautiful places. I really enjoyed our travels this week, before all the harder work starts!
Did you know….
- Stonehenge was constructed in three phases.
- It has been estimated that the three phases of the construction required more than 30 million hours of labour.
- Speculation on the reason it was built range from human sacrifice to astronomy.
- Yeah, me neither. I did a paper about Stonehenge for an art class this past year. I never understood all the fuss about these seemingly stupid rocks all piled together, but after seeing it in person, it was overwhelmingly interesting.
Katie and I found out that doing our sororities symbol actually might be considered “flipping someone the bird” over here. We probably should stop doing that!
Below are some pictures of the beautiful city of Bath! It was so traditional and classic, thats how most cities over here are i’ve noticed. We enjoyed a beautiful day of shopping and being typical tourists. We got a delicious lunch at this place called Cafe Retro. I would recommend it to anyone. Their food is awesome, and the waitresses were so sweet. After lunch we even got to tour the legendary Roman baths! It was unreal.
Johnny Depp owns one of these!
It was a great experience to get to tour the Roman Baths! We even got to try the water!
Last night was opening ceremonies. That experience can’t even be described in words. It was beautiful in so many ways. It made me love my country even more and appreciate other ones as well. There was something in the air last night, everyone was going crazy. It was completely acceptable. The city was glowing, I’m in love.
Go team USA!
Until next time, love from Bobcats in the UK.