Sunday, 2 May 2010


So I'm drinking this juice right now that I haven't craved in a while. Probably because the first time I drank it I didn't know there was such a thing as juice that you use water to dilute. Quite a nice idea actually because it makes it last longer. Definitely not something that exists in America.

I'm sorry I haven't written the rest of my blog for "Easter holiday" as I have been lazy… I will write more soon (I HOPE!) :/

Saturday, 24 April 2010


When I arrived in Bath at the bus station, I was simply looking for a map, but they didn't have any. I walked to the rail station (which wasn't far and I saw on the way there) to see if I could find a map but I all I could find were rail schedules. So I gave up and asked a guy who obviously worked there, and he asked a taxi guy who said it wasn't far and pointed me in the right direction. They told me to just keep following that road on the right side. I walked down the road, encountering some breathtaking sights, such as the park and the lake that has a waterfall, and their famous bridge. The bridge was essentially the end of the road. At this point it began raining, and I took out my new umbrella from London. Confused as to where to go, I decided I needed to call the hotel as well. They gave me directions, telling me I wasn't far and I remember I accidentally dropped the phone (because it's hard to hang on to luggage, an umbrella and a phone at the same time).
When I got to the hotel, there was a guy waiting outside for me. He greeted me and carried my luggage up to my room, giving me the key. The hotel was REALLY nice! My room was small and did not include a bathroom, but it included a sink and they provided me with everything I needed and more! Even though the bathroom was up the stairs a little, it was very nice as well and I had no trouble with anyone else being in there while I needed to use it. They provided tea, so I thought "why not?" and had some. I looked through the closet which had all sorts of things…shower shoes, a sewing kit, magazines, and even a bag to put dirty laundry in (well, it was a service you had to pay for to wash your clothes, but it was still pretty awesome that they had that). My bed was super comfy! I slept very well that night.
The Mad Max tour people had called me earlier and asked if I would come on the same tour in the morning instead so I said I would. The tour was to start at 8:30 I think, and breakfast was at 8. I got up early to make sure I would get the shower (which I did, and they provided a shower cap, which I kept because it was disposable). I ate breakfast quickly and asked the staff if they could hold my bags for me for the day when I checked out (which they kindly did).
I set off to the Glass House (the meeting point) which wasn't hard to find at all (as it was next to that pretty park). A whole large group of people were already there, waiting. I stood there too, getting into a conversation with another American and a Canadian. They were nice and we went to get coffee since we ended up waiting for over an hour (surprisingly, as the Mad Max tour people are said to be really time-conscious. When the Mad Max tour guide finally pulled up, he called out names on a list and we got in the van by order of which our name was called. After getting in, I was looking outside the window. The two girls I had been talking to were talking to the man for a while and then walked away…the bus was full. I was a little upset about this since I felt like they were going to be my tour buddies, but I didn't know the situation so I guessed maybe it was their fault? Thankfully, we were getting a discount.
First, we were driven to Stonehenge, with lots of lovely countryside to see. It turned out to be REALLY windy and rainy for the most part of while I was there! When going in, we were given a handset with headphones to listen to…so not really a proper tour, which was odd, but I guess it was okay since I really had to bundle up and following a tour guide would have been strenuous. It cleared up toward the end of my tour of Stonehenge. I learned a lot of interesting things and it really felt magical being there (I didn't expect it to be that spectacular because I thought it might be overrated). After leaving, I noticed my nice swade boots had gotten all muddy. I tried to clean them off (didn't work and they're still a bit dirty from that!) :( The guide took us around to see some interesting houses with (thatched? Straw) roofs, including this really pretty cottage. We went to a national trust village that's really old and where lots of things were filmed, including parts of the Harry Potter films and learned interesting things about old buildings and the village itself. After that, we were driven back to Bath.
When I arrived in Bath, I went into this camera shop and bought more tapes for my video camera. Then, I ate some lunch (a panini and chips) at this one place. After that, I went to the Roman Baths which was AMAZING! It's charming and interesting to learn about the history of the baths.
After I left, I had a few hours before leaving. I browsed a few shops but didn't find anything and they were closed soon after so I went and got my bags from the hotel. I remember the lady mentioned (either then or when I checked out) that I had a really short stay and I kind of wished I could've stayed for longer because I really liked Bath. It was so charming and beautiful!

My evening consisted of riding trains to Wales.

London Days 2 &3

Day 2:
We woke up in time for breakfast. Despite his wanting to go for a run in Hyde park, Stuart was far too tired. :( Though he did say that he wanted to surprise me with something when he did go for a run the next day…
Breakfast was interesting, though I was expecting something a little different anyway. There was cereal and meat (ham, salami and pepperoni), croissants, cheese, water, orange juice, and a few other odds and ends. They also came to the table and asked us if we wanted coffee or tea and toast. I also found out (after Stuart's mention) that they had Nutella as well!
After breakfast, I showered and got ready for the day. Since we had the longest day, I figured we would go find Abbey Road. Stuart, wanting to save money, insisted we take the bus. I didn't really care much as long as we got there though I did think the tube may have been the best option. The bus was nice because it fulfilled one of my lifetime dreams…(to ride on the top of a double decker bus in London). I also saw a few interesting things on the way. The bus (and the walk to Abbey road) took a long time! Although we saw some interesting things along the way (such as a "Blues Bar", I took a picture of for my dad and giraffes at the London zoo), we both agreed that it was quite a strenuous walk, especially since Stuart's back was hurting from carrying his bag (which I ended up carrying for part of the journey because it was bothering him so much! :/) We did, however, finally make it to Abbey road.
Once there, I was bewildered by it, it wasn't quite what I was expecting. The first thing I noticed was the studio which had graffiti all over the walls! After signing my full name (because I knew my parents wanted to be there really badly and that was the best tribute I could give them, plus I didn't want to write anything corny like everyone else), and Stuart writing his next to mine, I was wondering where the cross-walk was. Stuart and I realized it must be (duh!) the one we walked across to get there and the one right in front of the studio. So he took a video of me walking across and then he took a picture. There were loads of other tourists trying to do the same and cars trying to go by as well so it took a while.
When all that was finished, Stuart decided it really would be best if we just took the tube. :P It wasn't far away either. The station itself had a "Beatles Coffee shop" which was quite interesting. I went in briefly to look around but didn't order anything as I didn't feel the need to at the time. We took the tube to the station just across the street from Big Ben. Stuart made me close my eyes again. :P
The day was cloudy with a slight mist of rain. We walked across the bridge over the Tymes to where the London eye is. There were many people dressed up and a carousel (to which Stuart commented, "carousels are creepy") We were trying to walk to the Tower Bridge, but didn't know how far away it was. After an hour or so of walking we got hungry and tried to find a place to eat. That was when we found out we might as well turn back and get some sort of transportation there. We decided that if we wanted to go on the London Eye, it would be best to go ahead and do that since we were more close to it. While trying to decide if the line was too long or not, a woman came up to us and sold us tickets for £15 (the price for 2 adult tickets is more than that). We promptly got in line with our tickets, but as we were waiting, I realized they said "disabled child." Stuart laughed at this, but I was worried that we wouldn't be able to get on. We ended up getting on anyway.
After the London Eye, Stuart decided we should get a bus since they were cheaper than the tube. We ran around for about 2 hours looking for a bus, failed, and took the tube. The tube got off at the London Tower and we walked across the Tower Bridge and back. We were so exhausted that we decided to go back to our hotel.
We rested for a bit and figured out where we were going to eat. We found a thai place on google that had good reviews and was very nearby, so we decided to go there. It was very nice, not too expensive and interesting as the food came down (or up?) in a chute. It was also Stuart's first experience with thai food and he enjoyed it! :)
Well, after that, we just went back to the hotel and rested for the night.

Day 3:
Day 3 started with Stuart determined to get us by through the tube. Stuart went for a run that morning and told me what he was planning to do but didn't (which was to pick me flowers but he didn't think through carrying them back). We woke up and ate breakfast, then checked out and left our baggage at the hotel for the day. Then we got on the tube, looked through some shops, (I bought some sunglasses) went to the museum, got lunch, and went through some station must have been older because I remember it was kind of run-down. We were trying to go to St Paul's church as well but it was really rainy and we couldn't find our way around very well. I bought an umbrella but we left it in a bathroom and had to buy another. On our way back to get our stuff, we saw London bridge and we went in a tube that looked exactly like something out of a dream I had!
Then, Stuart got on his bus, and I got on mine.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Day 1 in London (28 March, 2010)

Sorry this has taken so long to post...I would've written it on the train had they provided outlets (I wrote part of this on one train that did), and I had an awfully long essay due last week when I got back. This week, I have a shorter one so hopefully I'll post day 2 either before or after it...

The day had finally come. After much planning for my trip around the UK, I was finally leaving…not by myself either. My wonderful boyfriend, Stuart had decided to come with me to London.
We spent the day packing, printing and eating as we were not leaving until the night. We were taking a night bus from Dundee to London via Megabus (a cheap bus service). Unfortunately (and ironically), my camera decided to die with the shutter open and somehow got jammed in this position so it would not work. Ice cream and Stuart holding me and letting me borrow his camera helped. Finding out that I was not getting into Wales in the morning (as I had thought) but instead at 1am did not, but I got that worked out as well and we were on our merry way.
The bus seemed pretty luxurious…like an airplane or something. However, I soon found out that toilets on buses in the UK are worse than porter potties! They are basically a hole for everyone to use that doesn't get flushed….. Needless to say, despite the fact that there was limited air and my bladder was full the whole time, it was a nice journey. I had Stuart to lean on at least. :)
We stopped several places along the way…Glasgow, Birmingham… Just outside of London was a lovely English countryside we rode through, during which I annoyed Stuart with all my songs about London.
We arrived probably around 8 in the morning on Sunday, March 28th. We were tired and hungry but couldn't check into the hotel quite yet. Despite this, we dropped off our bags and set off, excited. Poor Stuart only had one wheel on his bag and was halfway dragging it. :/ He ran ahead at one point to find our hotel. Since it was a Sunday, there were not many places open yet. We walked around…very far just to find somewhere to eat. During that time, we saw some interesting things… Walked to Hyde park. On the way to Hyde park, I saw the National Bank which is obviously what the one in Harry Potter is modeled after. I took a picture for Wendy. :)
There was a race going on in Hyde park. Stuart had said he wouldn't do it because he didn't want to walk around sweaty for most of the rest of the day, etc. but when he saw it going on he got really upset that he hadn't signed up to do it. (The next day he brought his running shoes with him…lol.) Also on the way, we saw a few shops that were open and browsed a bit. Finally, we settled on a Garfunkles, where we sat down and filled ourselves to the brim, as well as drinking 2 mochas each! After feeling wonderfully full again, we walked around some more, browsed some more, I saw Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square (which Stuart had me close my eyes for…hehe…he's so romantic… :D) and then we walked some more to where we saw a beautiful park and Buckingham Palace.
After this, we were very tired and it was about 1:30 so we figured they might let us check in a bit early and we were right. The hotel was lovely! It had a bath and a bode (sp?) I took a nice long bath. We rested until our Jack the Ripper tour that evening.
The tour started near Trafalgar Square and we walked there just in time. It was a nice tour as we got to get on a coach for half of it and learned more than I thought we would! It was also a nice dark, partially rainy night, which I thought was perfect for the tour. I saw some really cool things too such as creepy dark alleys, a market place that looked very modern on one side and almost original on the other. I also learned that one of the London School of Economics (Zareen's dream school) dormitories had once been a nunnery and was the place where Jack the Ripper had murdered his last victim. The car park near it also had once been part of the tour until someone was thrown!
After the tour, we were driven to a really nice English pub (called Sherlock Holmes) where I finally decided to go ahead and try fish and chips because you only live once. I was very glad I did because they were really good!!
Stuart was in a really good mood at that point and decided that we should go ahead and take the tube because we were both really tired. As we were walking down the partially-flooded sidewalk, Stuart asked me to close my eyes again, or at least to look down at the ground. When I opened them, there was Big Ben, all lit up (as well as the London eye). It was a really beautiful sight! :) Right then, I just wanted to tell Stuart….well that I love him (because we hadn't told each other yet and I felt it) but I think it was nerves that stopped me, mainly and a partial rush to the tube. That moment was really romantic though and I will never forget it. I remember we couldn't stop giggling when we ran into the tube station.
On our walk back from the Victoria station to the hotel, I got this urge to tell Stuart how I felt. I think I giggled or something and he said, "What?" and I said something like, "Nothing… I'll tell you later." But then proceeded to tell him the whole story of what led me to study abroad and to him after a short pause. Then, he stopped walking and stopped me and he was like, "Come on, tell me." or something like that. And I was like, "NO!" And he was all like, "It's three words…isn't it?" and I was all like, "…yeah…." and he was all like, "I promise I'll say it back." and I hesitated but ended up saying it there.
"I love you."
"I love you too." <3

Sunday, 21 March 2010


So, my boyfriend is just the sweetest ever…
• We're going to London next week together and I think he's more excited than me. Lol.
• This morning, I cut myself shaving and texted him "Do you have a band aid?" and he didn't text me back, he ran down here and gave me band aids!!!

Some differences I should probably discuss…
• So fire exits are all over the place, just about every door in a building will say "this is a fire door," which confused me at first because I thought I was going to set off an alarm. Then, in stairwells, there will always be green signs that have a little man running and a door that say "fire exit." It's really crazy.
• I don't mind saying "lift" although I still catch myself thinking "elevator" and I don't mind saying bin but I often will say, "trash…uh….bin…?" :P I continue to say "jeans" or "corduroys" instead of "trousers" because "trousers" makes me think of Pewee Herman's…uh… "trousers" (up above the belly button with suspenders…eww...) Pants mean underwear.... Why can't they just call them "panties" or "boxers"….or "underwear"? :P
• I'm really getting attached to some of the food here…like… "Ginger nut biscuits" and these scone-things they have at breakfast here. Oh…and PANINIS!!!!! OMG they're THE NUM!!! :D
• Yesterday I was labeled as a "suitable American" by one of Stuart's friends… apparently most Americans here are wild or something.
• I can't help but feel different as soon as I open my mouth, but at least I'm speaking their language… :)
• There are really friendly people who work in stores such as Tesco…something you wouldn't find in any Wal-Mart.

By The Way...
The New Hall Ball (last week) was amazing! There was a chocolate fountain, a regular dance floor and a Ceilidh! Stuart wasn't there but I went with all my other friends (Alanna and her boyfriend, David and friend, Martin...then we met up Angus, Sean, and saw others around.) I Ceilidh-ed with Angus and and Alanna and I danced to all these songs we really liked. It was really fun! :)

Now playing: Sugar Glyder - Without One
via FoxyTunes

Things I miss about America (not in order of amount missed)

• Best Buy
○ And their test rock band that you just go in and play at your leisure.
• I actually think I miss Wal-Mart
○ Just because I'm a lazy shopper and hate going on excursions to find shit
○ And because I miss the self service scanner thingies that say "Thank you for shopping at Wal-Mart!" (the ones at Tesco don't thank you.)
• Pepto-Bismol
○ Thank you for sending me some, mommy!!! :D
• Rubbing Alcohol
○ They do not sell it here
• Hydrogen Peroxide
○ They think it's flammable, so they locked away and it's hard to get
• Various items that they do not sell here
○ Like the hair products I normally use and non-spray-on deodorant
• Canned spinach
• Grits
• Other various foods they do not sell here… :/
• The dollar is cheaper than the pound
• My mommy and her food
• My family and friends
• Maxxwell
• Driving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
• And my baby :'(
• Having a micro-fridge in my dorm room
• Taco Bell <3
• Dunkin' Donuts
• Being able to use my Verizon Wireless Chocolate 2 phone

Now playing: Sugar Glyder - Flowers
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 8 March 2010

A Magical Night

Instead of "dances" they have "balls" here which will often provide live music a DJ or a Ceilidh band. Each dormitory has it's own ball and so do societies. I attended my first ball on the 26th of February.
My friend (at the time), Stuart (who is one of the people who I sit with at dinner and the guy who played in the snow with me) asked me if I wanted to come to the DRA (David Russell Apartments) Ball with him. However, he did not specify if I was to be his date or whatever. I believed it was safe to assume we were going as friends. Despite that, I was still very excited and somewhat hopeful (since I had developed a crush on Stuart in the previous week). My friend Alana was nice enough to let me use her hair curler and I got ready in her room (which is, ironically, right across the hall from Stuart's room). Once ready, I went and knocked on Stuart's door. He opened the door very slowly and Alana came out of her room saying, "She looks pretty, right?" and he was like, "Yeah!" As we walked down the stairs he said that he really did think I looked good and I told him he looked handsome, as he did. :)
It was a very cold and rainy night and I was not only wearing heels and a dress but still recovering from a cold. We waited on our taxi, which he had ordered at dinner and did not come. Sitting in the lobby, we compared drivers licenses (which was interesting) and talked until we finally gave up waiting and called another taxi. The taxi took us to DRA, where the buses left to go to the place where the ball was held. When we arrived, there were a bunch of people blocking the front door so we ran to the side door. As we were running, I instinctively (and subconsciously) grabbed his hand. He laced my fingers in his. After this, I thought maybe he did like me too, but I wasn't quite sure. We waited inside for a while to stay out of the cold and I met one of his friends who oddly left us alone after a few minutes, which made me just a little more suspicious.
After a while, we finally decided to get on a bus. When we went outside, we saw the line ("queue") was huge! We got in and waited. As we ascended in the "queue", I noticed a bracelet on the ground, which Stuart urged me to pick up. I was inclined to see if anyone dropped it, while he was inclined for me to keep it. It was silver with hearts on it. Upon finally getting on a bus, (many came during our wait), and shouting to everyone if they dropped a bracelet and no one claiming it, Stuart put the bracelet on me and that was when he kissed me. The ball itself was interesting. Upon entering a tent, there were paninis (like subs, but more like sandwiches) being served along with other things and tables. Making our way back, we were looking for somewhere to put our stuff down. Through the tent was the building where ice cream was being served on the right, a bar in the back and a dance floor to the left with a live band. There were two rooms off to the side, a room where coats were taken and another dance floor and where the toilets were. We saw a few friends, got some free ice cream and danced for a while. The band kept loosing power, unfortunately but not much fazed us that night as we were so happy just to finally know the feeling was mutual. We danced until the DJ came on, which is when we left due to Stuart's distaste for the music.
Since then, Stuart has been my boyfriend. He has been great and is very gentlemanly. He likes to make fun of the way I say certain things and has made it his goal to "british-ize" the way I say things. The way I say "bridge", which is already funny to my parents makes him laugh and he is determined to make me say it the right way one day. He also has made fun of me for saying "jelly" instead of "jam", "pants" instead of "trousers" and makes sure that I am saying "chips" instead of "fries", "crisps" instead of "chips", and "lift" instead of "elevator". Stuart said that he hopes that I will go back and say things this way, which will somehow influence everyone else in the states to and so it will be all his fault. What big aspirations he has...
On a side note, another funny thing I learned at lunch is that they still call "curly fries" "curly fries" and not "curly chips". I asked as to the logic of this and my friend, Angus answered, "Chips are thick and fries are thin." Hmmm....interesting...