Friday, September 22, 2006


It’s been a long week but I’ve slowly become more comfortable with my new surroundings. There is no list or general rules to follow as to how to accomplish this so the process as been a slow one. I have traveled around East London on my own using public transportation. This was an intimidating prospect at first but with each adventurous exploration I gain a little confidence. Getting lost has been a great way learning experience. Finding banks, grocery stores, bookshops and shopping malls has been one of my many missions over the past week. Yesterday I reached two of my three goals of the past week. I finally bought a cell phone and got Internet in my dorm room, both reconnecting me to the outside world. With these two tools of communication I’ve been able to continue aspects of my daily routine. For example I now am constantly online, I can return from my morning shower to sit in my towel checking my emails, reading the BBC online, all while listening to The Mix.

Last night I was able to video chat with my family. This was wonderful but slightly odd as well. The instant visual and audio communication gave the false sense that I was still very much connected in real way. Almost as If I was in the next room seeing my family through an open door across the hall. I talked with my sister about being asked to homecoming and the amazing events preceding the invitation, I saw her dress, I talked with my Father about trivial things for an ordinary day but interesting because accomplished and or experienced in a foreign country. It was a comforting thing being able to see them. For the most part I had the conversations and reactions I would have expected had I been speaking to them only a few feet away. My sister lowered her voice when speaking of confidential details, she showed me her new shoes and I told her just as I would have had I been there what I thought of them. My father even commented on the fact that it was too late for me to be up at that time, predictable so I might add. All this was wonderful. Its good to know I can count on them to be the people I remember and respond in a familiar way.

Today I hope to accomplish the opening of a bank account. I have done this twice before with absolutely no problem, both times in The States. Here it is ‘a whole ‘nother ball game’ so to speak. As an international student there are more restrictions and requirements that one would have thought possible. Searching for a bank that will not require me to hold a minimum balance of £2,000 (roughly $4,000), give me a checkbook and allow me to open an account without a three week process of filling out papers and credit checks has been a challenge. All require me to have a letter of acceptance from my bank with my intended program of study on it. My mission today is to obtain this illustrious letter.


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