Saturday, June 9, 2012
Today I arrived in London, England at around 11am there time, which would be 6am Eastern Standard Time. The flight took about 8 hours and was relatively smooth. I was able to watch some movies and read, but it was very tight. Going through customs was very quick and I was also able to exchange some of my money right after we got through. I traded in 40 US dollars and got about 19.5 Pounds, which made me really sad. The US dollar is not what it used to be. After we picked up our luggage, we got on a bus that the head host family picked us up in and then they dropped us off at each of the individual host family houses. When we were dropped off I got to meet my host mother for the first time. She is originally from Cyprus, which is an island off the coast of Greece, but she moved to London when she was 15 years old. She has lived here for over 40 years and loves it. I am also living with a girl named Terese from Central Michigan University, who came on the London midtier study abroad. After we got in we were able to take a shower and a nap, which helped since I didn't sleep on the plan. (Suggestion for others, sleep on the plane if you can). After our naps we got to have a home cooked dinner with our host mom. She made a roasted chicken, crispy potatoes, and a greek salad. It was absolutely delicious. When we were finished with dinner, we were able to go out and visit some of the local places in the town we are staying in, which is South Gate. There are lots of interesting shops and places to go that we will be checking out later this week. Another tip: be prepared to be anxious when someone is driving you around because the whole driving on the other side of the road gets you and the streets are so tiny you feel like you are going to get in a car accident every time you pass someone on the road. If you like roller coasters, you will love it here! Well that concludes day 1 off London, England. Stay tuned for more of this great adventure.