The Eagle Has Landed

That’s me – I’m the Eagle. The American bald eagle. (Because I’m American, get it?)

So I made it! I safely landed after a long 8 hour flight, through hours of customs and lines and baggage claims. But I am now a student resident in Hatfield, at the University of Hertfordshire. Woah. I located my single, quaint room in the upstairs of an apartment building, nodded to a nice neighbor down the hall, walked 20 minutes out of my way to arrive at a building across the field from my housing, and I even met my first friends. Albert, from Spain, who can barely understand what I’m saying and Mathilda (like the movie), from France, who insists that I cannot say her name properly so suggested I call her Mati instead. Mati and I have been around each other for somewhere near 10 hours today and with her broken English and my complete lack of knowledge on the French language – we are a funny pair. We sit and try to have a conversation but instead interpret for the other what word we are actually thinking of. During dinner we had one particularly long conversation revolving around a word I thought was the name of one of her suite-mates, and she thought was a stomach disease. She and I had a pretty good laugh after we realized we were clearly not on the same page. Tomorrow we’re headed off to the supermarket for food supplies, then touring the campus, and eating dinner again with the other 80 foreign exchange students.

Some first impressions on England:

Dirty, no offense. It’s not bug infested, but the second I stepped outside the airport it seemed like the dreary weather made everything a bit drearier, and dirtier.

There’s no getting away from American politics. This one I should have guessed, but honestly it seems like everyone from other countries knows more than I do (and cares to share it with me) about the president, our political parties, gun control, pro-choice laws, etc. They know everything, and I was all like uh huh…. and how is Russia? I am a fairly ignorant person on politics in general so it’s basically at the bottom of my conversation topics at all time.

America has no diversity. European does not mean white. This entire university seems to have huge percentages from all different countries – no real dominant race. I like that. I mean I haven’t seen much but from what I have, it’s eye-opening to see differences.

Drivers make me sweat. When I get nervous I sweat, and let me tell you, after the drive from the airport, I needed to take a shower. Gross. The driver was texting, we were on the OPPOSITE side of the road,  and I had white knuckles from gripping the door handle. I don’t think driving is one adventure I’ll be taking on while I’m here.

Pretty, Pretty, Pretty. I know I said it was dirty and I don’t take that back, but the landscape and scenery are just gorgeous. It’s like real, stereotypical English countryland. Just lovely.

Those are just a few of the things I noticed during my first day. So much for jet lag though, I am in dire need of my bed now.


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