16.09.2009 - 09.01.2010 19 °C
It’s been about 24 hours since I have arrived in Leeds. To my pleasant surprise, someone was at the Leeds Bradford Airport to pick me up! He was a very nice (and handsome, but shhh) guy named Joe from Leeds Met who, when found out about my arrival, offered to come greet me himself. It was really quite wonderful after a long flight. I didn’t have to pay for a taxi, I got shown around town a little, and I was able to have a friendly beginning from the start.
We first went to Leeds Met so that I could meet the people I had been working with on my application. Once again, very nice. I apparently got special treatment because no one gets picked up by people who work in the international office. I also got a welcoming phone call from the Director in the office, which is once again not typical. All in all, I had a very pleasant greeting.
After this, Joe took me to Mary Morris, my residence (even more special treatment = AWESOME). It’s an international residence, but not too many people have moved in yet. Only a couple people out of 12 have moved into my hallway.
This morning I made friends with the cleaning guy. His name is Sam, and he’s from Africa. He’s extremely social, funny, and happy. I can tell that we will be friends.
I slept in this morning because my trip was so long and exhausting. When I finally arose from the dead, I challenged myself to take a bus to the city center. It really is a city. I called it a super-small-scale NYC. So many college students walking around, as it truly is a student city.
This time, however, people were not as social. I walked by so many people, and it seems that no one really interacts with anyone unless they need to. I am very used to saying hello, even to passing strangers. Everyone walked in groups of people that they knew, and they had their own conversations going on. I don't know, there was a definite lack of eye contact. So it was a little overwhelming feeling so alone in the busy city. Actually, the more I walked around and absorbed all of this, the more overwhelming it got. At one point I said, "Wow this is so different. I really don't feel like I fit here at all." But then I remembered that I have to wait longer than 24 hours to make a judgment like that. I'm trying to be as friendly as I can be (without being awkard), but I definitely will have to get used to the urbanness and the differences in social behavior. That will be an adjustment for me.
I will be taking my classes in the city center, at the Civic Quarter. Very metropolitan buildings right in the smack-dab of the city. It will be very interesting once my classes begin! Quite different from Nazareth! I did not bring my camera with me on this outing because I was too preoccupied with getting lost. I plan to take photos this weekend, now that I SLIGHTLY know my way around.
I’ve met a few people since I have arrived. There are 2 Sara(h)’s in my hallway. One is from Mexico and the other is from China. I also introduced myself to another Chinese girl on my walk back from Mary Morris. Her name is April. They are all extremely nice and either share my love for food or my love for movies. Seems like we will get along quite alright.