Thursday, December 06, 2007
The exam probably scared me more than any other exam I've ever taken... There was never a point where I truly felt prepared and I really had no idea what to expect - it was contemporary British history, which includes the World Wars and a whole mess of political activity, and then we had some questions that covered everything we've done since the beginning of the semester... anyway, it was really frightening, but I think I did alright. I guess I'll see in a few weeks!
But here's the thing - after the exam we begin moving out/check-out procedures. Our bus left the school at midnight and drove straight to Heathrow airport. I'm taking a train all the way over to Italy tomorrow, so I just opted for the free ride down here! That has proven to be... interesting, to say the least. Here's what the last day and a half has looked like for me:
8:00 Wake up
4:30-5:30 book check out
6:30-7:30 room check out
7:30-10:30 waiting for the bus - spent the time watching episodes of 'Dexter' with a few friends - an interesting show!
10:30-11:00 formal checkout
11:00-12:00 more waiting
12:00 midnight - load the bus
12:30-3:00 a.m. - travel to Heathrow
3:00 5:30 a.m. - sit around at Heathrow, waiting for Tube Stations to open.
So up to that point, I hadn't slept at all. I thought maybe I'd get a chance on the bus to Heathrow, but I for sure didn't. It was a little rocky/rough, and I ended up talking with someone to get her to stop crying a little for the ride - but long story short, no sleep.
I also tried sleeping at the Airport, but Heathrow has excelled at making the seats in the Arrivals waiting area (the only area I could access) ridiculously uncomfortable. That, and the other Harlaxton students there waiting for flights were being very loud, which made sleep impossible. But then the saga continues:
5:30 a.m. - catch Tube all the way to King's Cross/St. Pancras station (where the Eurostar will leave from - I have to book tomorrow's ticket) -- keep in mind, I'm carrying with me my two very large, very overweight pieces of luggage up and down stairs, on escalators, in the crowded tube -- it was rough. Well I got to King's Cross only to find that the ticket office didn't open till 8:30 - so instead of sitting and waiting at Heathrow, I sat and waited at the train station.
8:30-ish - learn that the trains I wanted to take tomorrow at 9 a.m. or 10:30 or something, are all full. In fact, the only one in my price range that IS open leaves at 5:30 a.m. OK, well I don't have any other options! I'll figure out a way to get there!
8:45 - learn that the Luggage Lockers at the Eurostar station, where I was planning to leave my luggage so I wouldn't have to lug it around with me all weekend, doesn't open till 6:00 a.m. Since my train leaves at 5:30, I can't check luggage. OK - guess I have to take it with me!
9:00 - brace myself to bring luggage to my hotel - this involves even more stairs and escalators, with my HUGE luggage, during the morning London rush hour on the tube, and then a three block walk from the Tube Station to my Hostel. I'll just say this - it was a very long, very trying journey... People were nice enough, but I was definitely annoying to many people...
10:00-ish (yeah, that's right, it took an hour - it should have been like fifteen/twenty minutes) - arrive at Tube Stop near my hostel - realize I haven't had to step outside at all since I've arrived in London (all the Tube and train stations are interconnected) - realize it's raining. Crap. I'm exhausted and tired and crabby - and after three blocks of trudging through puddles and across busy streets, I arrive at the hostel.
And here I am! I still haven't slept, I have to find a way to get to the train station tomorrow at 3:30 a.m., and I need to find a way to do all my last-minute London shopping in the rain. And maybe have a nap. I'm thinking a 6:00 bed time sounds fantastic :-D
All in all, I'm doing OK though. I'm not upset, just.... a little out of it. I'm hoping that sleep tonight and then on the train to Paris will help. I still haven't had two seconds to think about the fact that I've left Harlaxton Manor and that I'm about to leave London - and I don't know when it WILL set in... What I do know, however, is that I'm excited for Italy!!!
I'll update when I can! See everyone at Christmas or in January!
Posted by Christine Zani at 4:17 AM