Loughborough University // Settling in

Set off to the town centre today. Asked around for directions and met a Kiwi who was heading the same way. We chatted about New Zealand, the earthquakes and fault lines and volcanos, evacuation drills – it’s just different reading about it, and then hearing it from a local in real life. It’s exciting to me, I guess. Lifestyle in NZ. It’s a 2 x 12 hours flight from NZ to the UK… Gosh that is crazy. I thought our 13 hours was bad….

On my way back I was carrying so many things my arms were breaking. My duvet, tons of things from primark, groceries, pots and pans, slippers, plates and cups and spoons, I was absolutely determined to carry all of them back. I mean I could take the weight of my heavy backpack and run around, surely I would survive this.

So I walked and I walked and I walked, and it was terribly terribly heavy and my arms were aching. I stopped twice to shift the plastic bags that were making red welts in my hands (yes, I am so STUBBORN) and then a Spanish guy, George stopped by to help. I said I’d carry it myself, but he offered again and the thought of how LU was still 20 minutes away and me having to stop every 5 minutes was distressing, so I accepted a helping hand!

If there’s anything I like most about my exchange, it’s meeting the random people and having small chats and finding out little bits and pieces about them, or their home culture. Like how the cars would stop for you in Spain, especially if you’re carrying many things. Unlike in England, apparently, he angrily cussed at the driver. Something that rings most strongly about their identity would be something that shines from the fleeting conversation, maybe. Like how the boys suck at basketball, apparently.

These encounters are fleeting, but I think these are the things I will remember most, or what I would want to remember most. Hence this note in my phone.

Love the bookshops here and how they’d inject their own commentary and recommendations. Like Books Actually. If I had a bookshop, this is a definite must-do.

Midnight walks around the campus. Here, you just need to look up and you see a sky full of stars (on cloudless nights that is) and it is beautiful. Helen and I talked about setting up a tent in the middle of the field so we can do that the whole night.

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