New Cross, First Impressions

I have successfully survived living in London for four days now, and so far I have: conquered the Tube, ridden on top of a double decker bus, found two markets, bought living supplies (pots/pans/forks, etc.), tried to make a call from a payphone (was broken), made friends with people from different parts of the world, and bought groceries!

On Saturday afternoon, my train from Glasgow arrived in London Euston around 1:00. Unfortunately, there was a lot of tube maintenance going on, so I left the station to try to get an Uber, but my phone wouldn’t hook up to the wifi. I came back to the underground and got directions from one of the information desks – the route I got there is now the one that I was unwaveringly to get into London City. Once I hopped off at New Cross Gate, I found my way towards Goldsmiths, specifically my apartment complex: Loring Hall.

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Remember, I still have both backpacks on, so I’m sure this looked pretty funny to an outside observer. I was handed information packet after packet, hardly able to manage. Someone gave me a hand unlocking the outer door, however, so I made it safely up to my very empty flat. In my room, I have an en suite bathroom, a large desk, a twin bed, and a wardrobe. Accounting for how few things I brought with me, this actually a fine size room. And I picked up a map from an Admissions table of all of London, so that is currently serving as my decoration.

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My flat mates are all from the US, as far as I can tell. On Saturday, I went to a movie (Bridget Jones’s Baby) with one of them and spent most of the next day with another. On Sunday, I enrolled in Goldsmiths, got my student ID, took a campus tour, and ate at Birdie Num Nums – my first of a long list of nearby cafes to try.

On Monday, after a short orientation, some friends and I went to explore Old Spitafield’s Market in Shoreditch. While I didn’t find anything to buy, that was also on my bucket list (check!). We ended the evening getting some Mexican food at a local chain near the Southbank.

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And today, I went back to solo travel – navigating the bus route into London City and walking through St. James’s Park, The Green Park, Hyde Park, and Kensington Gardens. There was lots in the last two that I wanted to see: Speaker’s Corner, Reformer’s Tree, Peter Pan Statue, and the Elfin Oak. There was no one speaking today, so I guess I’ll have to come back again! After my park adventures, I took some pictures of Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and Parliament, and the Southbank Book Market. Bought two post cards too!

Pop quiz! What English author first entitled one of my favorite novels “First Impressions,” but then later switched it to something else?


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