The first full weekend (and last two days of freedom) have come and gone. I spent Saturday with my floormate Caitlin. The weather has been super nice here (besides humidity that makes me sweat really awkwardly) and, according to all the British people, it won't last for long. So we decided to go to the pier and go to the beach. We got Moo Moos (yaaaaay), the best milkshakes EVER and enjoyed being outside. Next we went into The Lanes, which are a bunch of tiny streets crammed into a little area that's full of shops and interesting things to see. I like The Lanes a lot. Then we started our shopping excursion. First we went to the 99p store (99 cent store), then Poundland (the dollar store), and a few other random stores in search for coat hangers. However, the freshmen have emptied all of Brighton of coat hangers. So for now- I just have clothes piled in my closet. Worse could happen. I did, however, find an 18 set of cheap, yellow, plastic silverware so I got that. Before I was working with 3 spoons and a fork haha.
Then we headed to Primark, which is kind of a mix between Forever 21 and Ross. I fell in love instantly. I think I'm going to have an issue once I have my loan money... But anyway, I got a seat cushion from there. I was going to get a pillow, but the seat cushion was 2 pounds less. The choice was obvious to me.
After that we headed towards our main destination- Asda. Its a WalMart in the UK. Its even owned by WalMart. Asda is pretty far away, so we were searching... and searching... and searching for the 23 bus stop. But we eventually walked for so long that we ended up pretty near Asda anyway. And like I said, it was a nice day so it really wasn't too bad not being able to find the bus. We even walked through a VW Van parade. It made me think of Santa Cruz :)
Asda itself is AMAZING. Everything is SO cheap and the quality is good. I used the rest of my cash to buy food and now I have a pretty good food stock-pile growing. I just need my spices now and it'll feel right! Well, not really. Our oven is TERRIBLE. Its part microwave thats settings are super low or super high and the other part is oven, which you can't even set the temperature for. But besides the stupid oven, my kitchen is coming together nicely.
Sunday I just really enjoyed being lazy. The last day of freedom. I watched some online TV (with great difficulty because the internet here cuts in and out a lot... even though its a LAN line, not wifi) and at night went to the International Student Party. There was good free food and some free alcohol. I got to meet up with pretty much all of the people who I'd met last week. Then I went home to a skype date with Dawn, Megan, Colette, and Sameera. It was wonderful getting to talk to my friends back home and hear normal California accents haha.
Which leads to today- the first day of school. I was running around like a crazy person before my information sessions actually started. I had to sign over my loan check to the school, open a bank account, and have IT help me fix my iTouch. I was able to do it all except opening the bank account. I originally wanted to bank with Barclays. However, Barclays has put me through so much BS from just opening a basic account that I'm choosing a different bank. Opening a bank account shouldn't be as much of a headache as Barclays was making it, so Lloyds it is! On Wednesday I'll go open it and have the rest of my loan money transferred. Until then, I have 3 pounds to my name haha.
Then we had our official Life Science welcome talk and I met with my PI George. He's awesome and is going to be a really really good mentor. I feel like he is expecting a lot of good work from me (which is good) and will be very helpful through the whole process (which is also good). I'm feeling very excited and very confident about the next four years! I'm the only beginning PhD in the lab and am one of four who are working with George. Small group, but the others seem like good people.
After meeting with the PIs, the building put on a welcome party for the Life Sciences, but it was a total flop haha! Only the new PGs (postgraduates) went and a few of the professors were there. With all of us being science-y people, it was just some awkward people put in a room with light refreshments. Very awkward. But I did get to see two people who I've become acquainted to and I met some new people.
I'm currently struggling between finishing cleaning my room to take pictures and show you guys what it looks like and laziness. The internet is making it hard to be lazy, so cleaning might actually win. We will see...