Friday, 8 January 2010
Hello from Oxford, UK!
I thought the application for Oxford was a challenge. Actually, it's getting here that's the tough part. The following accounts took place between January 5th and January 7th.
Although I had a boarding pass for United Airlines flight 196, I did not have a seat. That meant I had to rely on a missing passenger to get on the flight. This was quite distressing considering I was under the impression I had purchased a ticket. Fortunately for me, Miss Carson missed the final boarding call and I was given her seat. It was the last seat on the plane. This proved to be the corrugated start of a very long journey.
I'll just give the highlights from the trip. When arriving in a foreign airport one does not want to see: plumes of smoke from the wing of a grounded plane, police tape, police with automatic weapons, and bomb sniffing dogs. When I landed in Frankfurt the first sight was a smoking plane. I didn't have time to worry about it though because I had a plane to catch. It was 7:40 AM and my connecting flight to London was at 8:10 AM. Due to the lovely German family I met on the flight over the Atlantic I was the first passenger off the plane. I sprint toward the B gates from the A gates. Unfortunately I was halted by by police tape, police with automatic weapons, and bomb sniffing dogs. The area between gates A and B was closed for no apparent explanation (did it have to do with the smoking plane?... I never learned why the area was closed). Slowly the minutes ticked away. The area finally reopened around 8:10. I rushed through security to the B gates. I made it to the info desk by 8:35 and checked with the airport employee just to make sure my plane was gone. "Yes," she said, "it took off at 8:35." I looked at the clock, it was 8:36.
I tried all day to get onto a flight. The weather conditions were worsening in London (For those of you unaware, England was just smashed with a "blizzard." Apparently blizzard means two inches of snow; literally in London there was two - three inches), and my chances of leaving Frankfurt that day were getting slimmer and slimmer. I had to get out that day though, or else I would be late for my Oxford orientation.
At 7 PM I found myself in the InnerCity Airport Hotel in Frankfurt. I was spending the night in Frankfurt, and I was devastated. All sorts of irrational thoughts scurried through my head. But I finally resigned myself to the thought that I would be late for my Oxford orientation.
I left Frankfurt at 8:30 AM January 7th. I arrived at London City Airport at 8:20 (remember, Germany is an hour ahead of London). After getting a receipt for my lost bag (yes, I lost some luggage), I found my way to Victoria Coach Station. The taxi ride to Victoria Coach Station was AMAZING. I saw the London eye, Westminster castle and Westminster Abbey, and a portion of parliament. From the station I boarded a bus to Oxford, which broke down. Finally, by 12:45 PM I found myself in orientation.
Today, January 8th, I settled into my flat, went food shopping, and made my first pot of sauce. Remember folks, this is just the highlights.
I am having an absolute blast. I wish all of you could experience this magic.
Much love from Oxfordshire,
P.S. The photo is a picture of my street!