Finally here…

I’ve finally arrived – my name is Wifi, hello!

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Wow, quite a week I’ve had… I arrived at Heathrow airport on Tuesday and was welcomed by Leonardo DiCaprio (okay, just pictures on billboards, but still…) and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream vending machines – yay! We were quite lucky, cause right after our plane took off in Hamburg, the whole airport was shut down due to a blackout. That’s basically all I’ve got in the luck department.

When I arrived at my shared house, my new home for the next 12 months, shock greeted me! Granted, the house is pretty and it’s got charm – but it also has a lot of flaws. My room is the worst of all: the wallpaper is coming off the walls, water stains everywhere, a dirty carpet, a broken window which could not be locked… I couldn’t bring myself to stay in the room the first night and so I stayed with my Mum at her hotel instead.

The next day we went to the agency College and County – they’re supposed to manage the letting. Well, they are quite unprofessional and incompentent. Not only were they really rude and unfriendly, they also admitted to never having been to the house, let alone having done the inspection. However, this did not mean that they were more cooperative, no! They told us to write an inventory list and put down what was broken and what needed to be fixed. Well, it would be easier to write down what’s NOT broken. At least they fixed my window the next day so I can close and lock it now – so much win! I won’t keep rambling on about all the things that are wrong with the house. Let me just say, it was everything but a warm welcome (yes, pun intended concerning the heating).

See, before…

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And after (thanks mum) …

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I wonder which one you like better?

I’ve spent most of the days shopping with my mum, fixing my room, being shocked by the rudeness of real estate agents… The way you are treated here would be more than unacceptable in Germany. However, thanks to my mum my room looks really comfy and pretty now and I finally managed to settle in a bit. Still, I know what lies underneath the surface. But I’ve got a fireplace, that’s so awesome!!!

Yesterday I went to university for my induction day on Headington Hill. First, I walked around with my roommates checking out Freshers Fair and signing up for gazillions of clubs, which I’ll probably end up not visiting. But they sound so great: Musical, Showchoir, Glee Club, Creative Writing, Cake society (!!!), Film, Newspaper, Climbing, … You see? And they literally throw food at you everywhere, so it was impossible to walk through there without eating muffins, cookies, sweets, even free pizza!

I also met my tutors, who seem really nice and competent, so I am looking forward to going to classes. However, I am still a bit wary about how the course will be and if I’ll like it. The german saying “Probieren geht über Studieren” doesn’t quite apply here, cause in order to try I HAVE to study…

Today I walked up the hill again to university to check out the sports clubs – and they are really cool. Of course I liked the TaeKwonDo guys and will join them. I had a free trial at climbing a wall and those guys were really nice too, so I might end up as a climber! Here’s a funny story: “Climbing the Mount Everest” remains to be untouched on my bucket list. Yesterday we were asked to write down a wish from our bucket list and put it into a bucket and they would try to make it come true. However, mine’s of course completely unrealistic. Yet, when I told the climbing guys about it, they told me about this organization called childreach.org.uk. They plan to go to the base camp this year! So I might consider joining them!

To wrap up some of the other things I did so far: eating scones (many times! clotted cream, yum!); visiting the covered market; taking pictures of random streets because they look pretty; taking pictures of countless colleges because they look pretty;

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visiting St. Marys Church; looking at Radcliffe Camera and Bodleian Library (applying for a membership card which is not very easy!); seeing the Bridge of Sighs; having Cream tea; taking a taxi and feeling like being on Sherlock; walking through the South Park – my “garden”; finding out that british secondhand shops are AWESOME; finding out that british milk only comes in plastic bottles; meeting the Union President to ask for advice about the house and almost blundering, cause he’s our neighbor; having breakfast and lunch at QOUD; having lunch at Jamie’s Italian; visiting the Vodafone shop more than enough; taking two sightseeing bus tours while listening to a horrible Swabian woman talking about Oxford; appreciating that you can buy decaf tea everywhere; drinking tea; finding a great Couscous place right around the corner with an incredibly friendly owner; falling in love with Hardy’s Original Sweet Shop – you can buy Harry Potters Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Jelly Belly Beans (haven’t dared to try them yet); walking through the rain in wellies… and without; falling in love all over again with the beauty of the city…

As you can see, my stay here so far has been an emotional rollercoaster. I think the waves will calm once I start going to classes, make and meet friends, work out and join some of the musical clubs. I’m really excited for the weeks to come as so many new things will unravel. I’ve overcome the impact of the first shock and depression – so, life, throw your next obstacles in my direction! I sound braver than I actually am. The last week was really hard and it really pulled the rug from under my feet. So I am open for all the motivation you can give me to “keep calm and carry on”!

Some further impressions:

Breakfast at Randolph’s with very good porridge…

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And cream tea at Randolph’s…

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South Park…

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Radcliffe Camera and Bodleian Library

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8 thoughts on “Finally here…

  1. This Sounds Like The Start Of A Movie! This Is Just The Start of An Amazing Chapter In Your Life Leo. Keep On Posting On Your Progress. All The Best.

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