Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Lovely Jubbly!

I'm not sure how much more my brain can produce British phrases off the top of my head for titles, but hopefully I'll be able to think of at least one for every day. (That's probably not likely, though.) I'm finding that I talk in a more British manner everyday. I've always been inclined to speak in a more proper way, but when I hear other British speakers around do it naturally, it slips off my tongue more easily. Things like "Lovely to meet you!", "Oh dear!", and "Quite fascinating!" are all small things that I've found myself using. Stick me in the right environment and my inner British flies!

Yesterday was actually very interesting. I ended up feeling very discouraged and depressed from having not found any real friends that I could pal around with. I had gone on a supermarket run with a group of people, and all of them seemed to know each other. (Again, I wasn't surprised.) While grocery shopping, I got really lonely as I had no one to pair with so I was practically on the verge of tears. After buying some water, fruit, and few other small snacks, I made my way back to the bus stop where I talked to one of the Sussex staff members and about two other students. They all agreed that all the California people (mosty so-cal) were very clingy to each other and excluded other students, which didn't make me feel much better. The staff member told me to weasel my way in to those large crowds or just force myself onto them, but that just isn't my personality no matter how hard I try. I'm not good with forcing myself onto them. Normally, I end up introducing myself and chatting a little bit, then getting the shaft. I suppose I'm not as annoyingly persistent as other people are more experienced at doing.

Well, I went to class and finally met a girl who hadn't made any real friends to hang around with, too. She was really sweet and offered to go on the Brighton City tour with me. Things got a lot better from there. Anyway, I'll talk about my tour of the city now!

While in the city, I didn't realize how much I would love it. It's different from London and reminds me a little bit of Beauty and the Beast settings in the village (once you get past the hustle and bustle of the main centered city). It's a little similar in that all the shops are so close to each other. The buildings were so cute and quaint! I absolutely loved it. They were all placed in a way which made every little business in an intimate setting with all the other ones. Something I also absolutely loved was the alley ways! I didn't think one could enjoy walking down an alley way, but as we got farther into our tour of the city, there became more little alley ways with simple but elegant walls and trees or flowers peeking over them. There were doors within the walls and sometimes more alley ways where the doors would have been placed. The restaurants all have seating outside, it's relatively peaceful and quiet with amazingly lovely weather on the sidewalks. Even though people are seated on the sidewalk right next to roads, not many cars pass by and everything looks like it's all surreal. I mean, it looked like a romantic little village! I fell in love with everything so much! It made me want to go on a date so badly... It made me feel so happy. Unfortunately, there was one particular spot that is printed into my mind and I didn't get a picture of that place. :( One of the pictures above has one picture I took of an alley I loved.

We then took a walk down the pier and it was absolutely beautiful! The weather got cooler, we saw the ocean and the water was pristine, the mist farther out blended with the sky perfectly, and it captured my heart along with the Brighton pier board. It's another place I would love to go and do on my date-filled day! :) It was wonderfully breath-taking. All of this filled me with so much happiness and joy in my heart that I could burst.

We ended the tour with some traditional fish and chips (so all of you nagging me, I finally got it!) Then some headed to do some karaoke at one of the pubs in town and others headed back. I had originally planned to go to karaoke to get my head out of the sad little atmosphere it was in, and as I felt better I wanted to go. However, all the walking made me a little sleepy so I decided to retire. On my wait for the bus back to school, I met another girl from Davis and another girl from Germany who were so nice. I really enjoyed their company and I think we might start doing things together since we're all suffering the same problems with making friends. :) Once we got back to school, we went to the school pub and watched the end of the game. I know some of you were probably rooting for Spain, but man I saw some ridiculous things by that team that I had to root for Portugal. :P Anyway, that was my eventful day.

A few things I learned: they call jelly "jam" although I think some Americans say jam, anyway. They don't have toilet covers, which again makes me think of how spoiled we Americans are. Also, holding the the peace sign with your thumbs facing toward you is equivalent to the "f-off" middle finger. The UK has their own The Office and X Factor. University students have to pay to use their campus gym for membership, and Sussex students are a lot like Davis or Berkeley students in being "forward thinking" and participating in eco-friendly things as well as student activism.

That's all I can think of for now... my parents are leaving from London to go back to the US, today. For me, I think I'm going to finish some homework. :) Hope you enjoyed reading this long one.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Pip pip!

For starters, here are some pictures of my room and the bathroom. I have quite a few pictures, but I picked a few for this post. Maybe I'll post other ones later.
This is the shower. Quite small, and kind of nasty as people don't pick up after themselves.
The small and kind of not-so-clean toilets I mentioned in the first post. The lights for this particular toilet room doesn't work.
Here is a view of (most of) my entire room.

Here is a picture of my desk and my bed. They provided the pillow, blanket, the covers and such.

The sink is the picture on the right right next to my desk.

My body is definitely having difficulty adjusting, but I suppose it's turning out to be a somewhat good sort of thing. Ever since I got into London, I have been sleeping at 10:45 to 11:00 and waking up at 5:30 or 6:00. It's definitely carried over to Brighton. The only bad thing is my body has been getting very "knackered" (or tired to the point of death) at around 7 and 8 'o clock so I have to struggle to stay awake until at least 10. Then I sleep and wake up at 5:30-6:00. I've never been to bed so early in my life on a regular basis like this, but then again it has just barely been a week. I do, however, like waking up really early with the sun and getting peace because I still have homework to complete before class. Which brings me to my next topic worth mentioning.

After orientation which was nothing special I assure you, I had class. So in the US, we grace those that teach us with the title "professor" quite easily. Here, those that we would call professors are called teachers or more specifically, a tutor. Quite a modest thing if you ask me. I find it fascinating for some reason. Maybe it is because they are so humble and are given the term "professor" in a honorary manner. Anyway, my tutor's name is Andrei, and he is from Columbia. He said he's also from Austria, lol. I love that he has an accent. It's not one I am more fond of like Irish or other English accents, but I do like listening to it.

Our class is very small because this university prides itself as being one of the most critical in all of Europe. There are 12 people in my class, the same as the number of people in my dorm. We do presentations daily on our own and while I am not used to speaking up in class, I think this is a good thing. Especially for me. I can't be just an active listener so forcing me to speak daily will be interesting and hopefully make it better for me when I'm back in the US. The reading is just as much as the things in Sociology and Political Science, if not more. I also have lots of time to do it, though, so unless I'm traveling, I think I should be able to devote lots of time to my studies to get good marks. Anyway, the gist of the class is seminar style to an extent. I'm very much looking forward to the rest of class to see how all this goes.

Oh, and just for a random side note, we have lots of seagulls on campus. No pigeons or anything like that in London, and I bet it's most likely because we are by the sea with a beach somewhere. It totally throws me off when I see them normally as the birds screeching outside my window. Their screeches, for that matter, or very different from any other seagulls I've heard. Haha, maybe I'll try and catch a video of them making crazy screams at me. :)

Also, do any of you know how to get pictures within your posts and not just at the beginning of the posts?

Monday, 28 June 2010


Hi everyone!
This is my first blog. I won't have much time to write on all the days I have been here as I have class in about an hour and a half, but I will eventually catch up on everything soon. I'll start with yesterday (the day I got to school). I woke up in London at Hotel Russell in Russell Square and took the "tube" as they call it here (a subway) to the Victoria Station to transfer onto a National Express train. That train took me to Brighton which is south of London and about an hour away. When I got off the train and onto the platform, I was amazed at the station. It reminded me somewhat of the scenes in Harry Potter and when I saw Platform 3, I immediately wanted to chalk up 3/4 onto the side of it. I ended up taking Platform 7 to get to Falmer, Brighton, which is where University of Sussex is located.
My parents came along with me from London to Falmer. I was a little sad because as soon as I got off the train at Falmer which had only been about a 10 minute ride, me and at least 50 others were herded off the station quickly through a little building and onto a bus. I don't think my parents (or myself for that matter) were expecting to be separated so quickly. My parents didn't even get a chance to say goodbye really. I saw my parents walking around trying to figure out what to do, and I tried to peer through the windows to see my dad to at least wave goodbye. I did, and then got onto the bus. By then, my parents had walked to the other side of the station to catch a train. I don't know if they were going back to London or if they were going to browse around other parts of Brighton before going back. I'm still a little sad I didn't get to say goodbye to my dad and hug him off, but I'm doing the best to adjust here.

As soon as I got to school, I thought it would be bigger than UC Davis, but it is actually quite small. The first thing I did was set everything up in my room and then spent at least a good 3 hours to get my internet working. I wanted to talk to Ryan! The handbook said I had to buy an ethernet cable to connect from inside my room and apparently some students already had some inside their rooms. When I got to mine, I looked all around and didn't see it, so I went to the bookstore where I was told I could get one but it was closed! Everything seemed to be keeping me away from Ryan, haha. My hungry little tummy found a grocery store very close to my dorm and what did I find? An ethernet cable! So I got some water, chips, and a sandwich and trotted back up to my dorm. My internet didn't work, so I went to the ITS to get my internet functioning properly. Boy was it a complicated process, but eventually I got it to work. Finally got to talk to Ryan and soon after headed to a "drinking party" to get to know some people.

No, I did not drink. I had apple juice! :) It was pretty pleasant. I have to say, it's hard to make friends here because it seems like people from the UCs all know each other from their own campuses. I didn't know anyone from Davis going because the EAP coordinator didn't email us the emails of other people participating like he said he would. >:| But oddly enough, I ran into another guy from Davis. I tried making friends with some people in my dorm by helping with their luggages and leaving my door open so I could talk to anyone who came on my floor or what-have-you. They all seemed to keep to themselves, and it's really hard for me because I am already such a shy and reserved person! I had to try really hard, but they all apparently had friends in other dorms from their universities, so I was very lonely.

After wandering around at the reception party, a girl invited me over to talk with her and some other people who were also kind of friendless? I don't know if that's a good word to use, but it's all I can think of. Anyhow, they ended up being some really friendly people so hopefully I will run into them again. After about an hour and a half, all of us but one retired back to our dorms. I ended up getting ready for bed because I was extremely exhausted. I'm still not adjusted to this time very well even though I've been going to bed at 11 and waking up at 6. I guess, it's not a bad thing to tire out early and sleep all night long. Anyway, hopefully I will make some friends since class starts today.

I'm typing this and thinking about how spoiled we are as people in the US. The dorms here don't have air conditioning. As a matter of fact, many places I've been to in London and here as well don't have air conditioning! The showers are small, the toilets aren't very nice... and there are only 2 showers and 2 toilets for 16 people in this building! My desk chair is also weird... it's very low with cushioning but it's cushioned and so low in a way that it makes me feel like I'm on a boat or a plane-ride. Don't sing that I'm on a boat song in your head, please. :) But on the plus side, we have sinks in our rooms! That could be good or bad depending on how you look at it because we might not ever leave our rooms... but I'm trying my best to be social since I'm not that kind of person.

I suppose this is all for now. I'm going to get ready for class and hopefully, I will come back tonight to update more later and hopefully with some pictures of my campus and dorm facilities! :) Cheerio!