Last Thursday, The Hobbit: Battle of the five armies premiered in the UK – and I went to the midnight screening!
If you have not yet had the chance to watch this movie, go do it now – for this review will contain spoilers (you can read them if you hover over the underlined words).
With this movie, a very long journey comes to an end. Not just the three-year journey of the Hobbit (for me it was three years, at least, from when I first heard they would bring it to the screen to this day), but also the 15-year long journey to Middle-earth on which Peter Jackson and his team embarked when they first started filming the Lord of the Rings in 1999. As far as we know today, there will be no further Tolkien movies.
So, I walked into the cinema with a mixture of anticipation, excitement, but also sadness – similar to the very last Harry Potter movie a few years ago. I have to say, the Hobbit did not disappoint. Lots and lots of action sequences that were absolutely breath-taking – Smaug, the elves, the dwarves. I watched it in 3D, which made it even better! In some movies the 3D effects seem forced and unnatural, but in this one, it all morphed together perfectly. Maybe it is because of the different filming technique?
However, there are also a lot of quiet moments. Moments of friendship, of sadness, of despair and decision making. For me, it was beautiful to watch how Bilbo transformed from the frightened and sort of clueless hobbit to a fiercely loyal defender of his friends, taking matters into his own hands . I also enjoyed Legolas’ development, understanding his motivation for breaking with his father. I always wondered in the Lord of the Rings, why he was on his own. Not it has become a lot more clear.
As with all the previous movies, this one also has some comedy aspects – some more subtle than others. Martin Freeman as Bilbo portrays most of these moments, e.g. facing Thranduil, but the character of Alfrid (counsellor of the Master of Laketown) also adds to the comical relief in the otherwise rather dark movie.
It is always a difficult task to tie in new movies with old movies, when the old movies are the new ones, story wise. One of the most prominent other franchise I can think of is Star Wars – and unfortunately, I know many fans who were not happy with the binding element, Episode III (actually, me included). Because if this, I was somehow cautious about how the last Hobbit would tie in with the Lord of the Rings, but I needn’t have worried. The love for detail and the filming team’s vast knowledge about the stories resulted in a lovely solution (in my opinion). There were hints about Lord of the Rings throughout the trilogy, e.g. Gimli as a drawing in Gloins amulet, and the very beginning where Frodo appears), and in the last movie, the hints were slightly more pronounced.. I especially loved one of the last scenes, where they took footage from LotR to link it with the Hobbit. I admit, I was in tears.
There was one thing I was rather confused about though, but some research cleared it all up.
In summary, this movie is a beautiful piece of art with lots of little details that I cannot wait to see when I rewatch it time and time again in the future. You can really feel the attention and love the team put into this. And the farewell song in the credits? Show me one fan that will not have some moisture in their eyes when listening to Billy Boyd (Pippin) saying goodbye to middle-earth.
One more thing that makes the new trilogy so fantastic: I am currently rewatching Lord of the Rings for a university assignment and while I was a bit bored the last time I watched the movies (because I had seen them so many times), this time I can actually see some little details and snippets that didn’t make sense before or I simply didn’t notice. So by knowing the Hobbit trilogy, it makes LotR worth watching again and I see it with different eyes.
I believe I have rambled on long enough. While I am sad that there will be no new movies, the fact that the old ones are now even more connected makes it all worth it. So all of you who are reading this, take some time off to travel to middle-earth. I shall do the same by watching the Two Towers while on the plane towards home for Christmas.
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time given to us” – Gandalf
Last Thursday, The Hobbit: Battle of the five armies premiered in the UK – and I went to the midnight screening!
Here comes a brand-new movie review! Beware of spoilers (seriously)!
I had anticipated the new Hunger Games instalment for ages and yesterday it finally premiered in the UK. Mockingjay Part 1 has quite a different tonality than the previous two films – most significantly, it is no longer about the Hunger Games but about the revolution and rising civil war against the Capitol. The focus is on Katniss as a character (played by Jennifer Lawrence), illustrating how drastically the games and especially the loss of Peeta changed her. She struggles with nightmares and often questions her ability to keep fighting and to do what is necessary.
Her sister, Prim, gets some more attention in this movie, too. She has grown from being a helpless child to being a strong young woman training to become a doctor. I sometimes had the feeling that the relationship between the two sisters has become a lot more balanced. While in the first movie Katniss had to protect Prim from harm, they now protect each other – Prim is invaluable emotional support for Katniss in Mockingjay Part 1.
I loved the portrayal of Effie Trinket (mainly because Elizabeth Banks is just amazing). She sees herself as a prisoner of war and seems to have lost her spirit. But she gradually adapts to her new lifestyle, as can be seen through her increasingly more bold and fashionable outfits (though not colourful anymore, she wears a headband in various styles, using what she can to maintain her individuality). She becomes Katniss’s prep team, taking over Cinna’s job.
Finnick has also impressed me. He forms a bond with Katniss sharing the pain of losing a loved one to the Capitol and they help each other stay sane. I really enjoyed their friendship growing stronger and look forward to what comes next (I know of course, but I’m not gonna spoil this).
Peeta mostly appeared in television scenes, and although he didn’t have as much screen time, I felt he was always present and his deterioration was quite frightening. I personally felt that the connection he and Katniss have was stronger over the distance than the connection between Gale and Katniss, even though they are in the same place (I’m obviously on Team Peeta, but I heard there are some people out there on Team Gale ;) ).
Some new characters have been introduced as well, President Coin for one and the camera team with Castor, Pollux, Messalla and Cressida (played by the lovely Natalie Dormer!) . I hope they will become even more important in the next movie.
The special effects and action scenes were well executed and thankfully not too pronounced in the movie. The focus was more on the propaganda and revolution and less on the action. While the overall tone was quite grim and emotionally draining, there were some sparks of humour, mostly coming from Effie Trinket.
In conclusion, this movie kept me perched on the edge of my seat, anticipating what would happen and being emotionally swept away – even though I already knew the story, it was still very exciting. I personally try to keep the novels and the movies apart from each other – since the movie version is completely different from my own imagined visions. My pictured version of the story is weirdly enough a lot lighter than the movies.
Anyways, I recommend the movie to everyone who has read the books because it gives a different view on things and of course also to people who enjoy dystopian, war, fantasy or sci-fi settings. The movie is rated as suitable for 12 years and older. I personally do not agree and would not let anybody younger than 14 see this. Not so much because of the action scenes but more because of the emotional trauma portrayed in most characters – Katniss, Finnick and Peeta especially. It takes a certain level of emotional maturity to understand everything that is going on in that story.
Also, as a side remark, I was very sad to hear that Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away during the filming. He played Plutarch Heavensbee – a relevant character whose story will have to change now. He was an amazing actor and will be remembered.
Apologies for not posting anything lately, but I have to write so many essays for uni that I don’t really have any energy left to write my blog.
Anyhow, lots of stuff happened since the movie review. I went to Berlin to attend a conference, saw fireworks in London and finally registered with a GP. I had planned to write a huge post about Berlin on itself, but since that is already over two weeks ago, I’ll just summarize that trip for you.
I travelled with my friend (and former study colleague) R. and we started out from my place on a nice Wednesday afternoon, not thinking about anything that could go wrong. However, when we arrived at the Coach station to catch a bus to the airport, I knew this trip would not go quite as smoothly as we thought. There were many people waiting and apparently had been waiting there for quite some time already. The coaches were all delayed and everybody was wondering whether they would make it in time for their flight. We managed to miraculously get on a coach only about 15 minutes later and started to relax a little. But oh no, more trouble was to come. We were unlucky enough to get stuck in a traffic jam because there had been an accident on the road ahead. We had been in the coach for an hour already and technically should arrive in about twenty minutes when I looked at my google maps app to check where we were. I was shocked. The app told me, we were still an hour from the airport!
I shouldn’t have looked. From that moment on I was convinced we would miss the flight. Of course we had calculated a bit of puffer time, but an hour delay? Nah, we didn’t have that big of a time cushion. So when we finally arrived at the airport at 6:12 (technically, the gate should close at 6:10) we ran to the check-in counter to get them to call at the gate and wait for us. The staff told us that we were too late and had missed the flight and that we could purchase new tickets for the next day.
But we thought “Hell, no!” and ran for security check anyways. No harm in trying, eh? Of course, I had to go through a very thorough security check, beeping all over and taking off shoes and belt. Duh. My friend got through without beeping and started running for the gate, me following on her heels as soon as I was properly clothed again. When we arrived at the gate (which said final call, not closed, btw!) we were completely winded and ready to drop dead. There was quite a long queue, so we asked the people which flight they were waiting for. Guess what – IT WAS OURS! IT HAD DELAY!
We were quite glad and happy and smug that we had actually made it and NOT believed the staff at check-in. However, the happiness quickly diminished when the flight departed with over an hour of delay. When we arrived in Berlin it was only about 35 minutes delay, so we must have flown very quickly, but it still meant that we had missed two of the three train options we had selected to get to our hotel. Then we had to wait for our little suitcase, which technically is hand luggage but was taken from us anyway.
I went ahead to get the tickets for the train, but unfortunately there was a French couple in front of me, unable to properly use the ticket automaton. If my French would have been good enough to help, I would have done so, but Je ne parle plus le francais. My friend ran past me to stop the train from leaving, but even though we STILL missed it!
At that point, as you all can well imagine, we were furious, exhausted and depressed and just wanted to get to that hotel. So in the end, we took a taxi (we were internally crying about the amount of money that cost us and debating whether we should have just travelled without tickets) which then finally brought us to our destination.
The hotel was very nice, we got our room cards and then – oh glory! – we were able to sleep in very comfortable beds. It was after midnight at that point. We had started in London at 3pm. We had anticipated this trip to take us about 5 hours – not almost 9.
The next day however was quite positive, the conference was interesting, the people friendly and our presentation went well. In the evening we enjoyed a gala event with champagne and butter-filled Brezeln. On Friday, we headed home again and this time everything went well – almost too well, since we had allowed enough time for anything to go wrong and we ended up having to wait at the gate quite a while because we were so early. But we didn’t mind.
Yep, so that was our little horrifying trip to Berlin. It’s not my favourite city in the world and I was happy to be back in London again. It was Halloween that day, by the way and I had planned to go to a party, but I was too exhausted so I ended up doing a Halloween movie night with my friend (watching Scary Movie and Twilight. Both horror movies, yep! ;) ).
Then Saturday evening, I went to see fireworks at Alexandra Palace with the au pairs from my neighbourhood. One of them had her birthday on Sunday and we were celebrating into that by watching the fireworks. It was quite lovely. Unfortunately, I had to work on Sunday so we didn’t stay out long afterwards.
I also went to see a movie last weekend at the International Student House. They regularly show movies for free, though nothing that is currently showing in the cinema. I went with my friend R. and the Norwegian girl (H.) I have mentioned before to see Pompeji (also known as Pompe II ;) ). Not because we liked the movie but because of Kit Harrington who also plays Jon Snow in Game of Thrones. If you have never heard about Pompeji, the story and especially the ending might come as a shock to you. But I remember reading quite a lot about Pompeji when I was younger so I knew what would happen and could simply enjoy the Hollywood story they made out of it.
I guess this is all for now, I’ll have to tackle the next essay now. And what a choice I have: Taylorism, a case study about Luton Airport or comparing income inequality in Germany and the UK. Yay!
After a few month, here comes another movie review! Last Thursday I went (rather spontaneously) to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and here’s what I think of it. BEWARE of Spoilers, there are some in there. So if you haven’t seen the movie and care about finding stuff out for yourself, don’t read this.
It is a ridiculously hilarious (or hilariously ridiculous) movie if you keep in mind that it is aimed at children/teenagers. The story itself is not that imaginative – young journalist whose father died in a science lab experiementing on turtles finds mutated vigilante turtles and teams up with them to save the world from a chemical contamination plotted by the bad guys who want to gain world domination. And obviously, they succeed.
While the main character April (played by Megan Fox) was not really impressive – and badly phone addicted yet incapable of taking good pictures of anything* – the turtles were awesome. Great animations, each character was well defined and distinctive. There’s the geek with all the technical know-how (Donnie), the two brooding warriors who both want to be the leader (Leo and Raphael), and the funny guy who always falls flat on his face and makes bad jokes (Michelangelo). Most of the humourous stuff came from “MC Mikey” which is probably why I liked him best.
* She tried to take a picture of a symbol on a wall, but you could clearly see the front camera turned on. So she basically took a selfie, yet the next day she has the symbol printed out. They must have tired of filming her taking pictures until she got it right…
The turtles have been trained by a mutated rat with rather dubious methods (and yes, that’s a slice of pizza!):
Anyhow. In this movie, they face the ultimate evil adversary – the Shredder. *drumroll*
The Shredder has a rather unfortunate ancestry. Imagine an ancient japanese warrior, like so. Then add the handy hands of Edward Scissorhands and put the whole thing into an Iron Man suit. What will you get?
Yes, it’s a completely overpowered super evil robot that wants to destroy the Ninja turtles and is controlled by the bad guys. In terms of weapons, this is possibly the most efficient and bad-ass one. Emphasis on the bad. A bit less could have worked just as well…
And then there’s Mr. Sacks. He’s the bad guy (which will be found out later in the movie. At the beginning, April believes he is a friend and tells him all about the mutated turtles). I don’t have anything against the character (played by William Fichtner) – it’s just the name! Couldn’t they have picked something like Smith, Brown or ANYthing but the one name that sounds like sex? There’s this part in the movie where he talks about his company and its success – saying something along the lines of “sex chemicals, sex industry, sex robotics and sex construction”. My friend and I were dying of laughter at that point. Unfortunately, there was a young boy sitting in front of us and his mom turned around and asked us to shut up. I’m sure she wasn’t that amused, either.
So really, this name is just wrong. My friend and I thought about changing the vocal, but neither sicks nor secks, let alone socks and sucks would have been more appropriate. Oh Well.
In summary, I think the movie is a nice one to watch if there’s nothing else on – especially if you’re under 18. Or drunk. Or with friends. Or if you’re a die-hard fan of the ninja turtles. It is not a movie to go to if you expect a great film with amazing actors and a deep story and character development. I did enjoy watching it, especially since it has some pretty badass action scenes and the special effects aren’t bad, either. Bonus for the snow chase! Minus for the geeky bike helmet.
I apologize if this review sounds a bit insincere and sarcastic. Although, on second thought – nope, not apologizing for that.
Just a quick update today, I’m a super busy person currently. :D
About two weeks ago, I had a interview for a part-time job at The London Bridge Experience and guess what – I got the job! So now I am part of the promotion team at TLBE and get to dress up as a zombie for work.Original
Pretty cool, huh? But I have to say that the job is pretty tough, too. Especially next week, since that is Halloween and naturally, a very scary attraction in the heart of London will be busy.
That’s the most exciting news, I guess. Other than that, I’ve been trying to keep up with the massive reading for uni, had a few workshops and went shopping yesterday. I also went to the cinema, but that is for another post, as I will write a review of the movie.
So keep your eyes open for the upcoming posts (and the occasional zombie looking for brain food.)
Good morning everyone!
It is a lovely Sunday morning and thus time for a new post. I’ve been quite busy the past weeks, trying to get into the rhythm of uni again. But today’s post will be about all things BUT uni.
I have joined the university choir and we had two rehearsals so far. I am very happy to finally be in a choir again. For those who don’t know, I had solo voice lessons for the past two years or so – which is great and helped me a lot, but try as I may, I’ll never be able to sing a harmony with myself. So being in a choir is really making me happy.
We have worked on a different song each week, learning it during rehearsal and then going out on and doing a street performance. How awesome is that? I’ve always wanted to do something like that! It is tremendous fun and most people in the choir are very talented. There will be a Christmas concert on the 12th of December, maybe I’ll tell you guys the details of that later on, if there are some who might be interested in coming.
After rehearsal and street performance, we all head to a nearby pub to just hang out, get to know one another. It’s not mandatory of course, but I think it is a great way to integrate and get to know the others, especially if you’re new. I went both weeks, but only for about an hour – I do have classes the next morning, unfortunately. I don’t know if I’ll go every week (after all, going to a pub can be expensive), but it sure is a lovely idea and I’m very glad to have this new group now.
The other thing I did last week was going to karaoke. We had guest staying at our house that week and we all headed out together on Thursday. I haven’t been to karaoke in a long time and it sure was fun! It was at a smaller bar, not the venue where I used to go last year. I liked the bar and they have a broad repertoire of music, but the DJ wasn’t so good. For some reason, he didn’t turn the volume of the mics up enough and you mostly didn’t hear the people singing very well.
Do you guys know the cup song from the movie Pitch Perfect? (If not, google it!) I know that it is probably not so cool anymore, but I’ve always wanted to learn it but never got anybody to show me. So while we were at the karaoke bar, I found out that the Norwegian girl I had met the very first day at uni (who was with us at karaoke as well) knows it. So we asked for plastic cups at the bar and I finally got to learn that thing! Now I’m practicing regularly to make it perfect and to be able to sing the whole song while doing the cup thingy. If I manage that, I might shoot a video and post it…
Anyways, karaoke was good fun and I am planning to go another time. It is unfortunate that it is only Thursdays, for on Thursdays, there is also zumba.
My neighbour told me about the zumba classes here and I decided to join her and another au pair to try it out. I have zumba for the Wii back in Germany and I like it, so I figured – why not do some excercise. This was last Thursday. The class lasts one hour and god, it is intense! I was completely fix and foxy afterwards, feeling like jelly and desperately needing a shower (which I got of course, since it’s only a ten minute walk home). But it was also fun, I liked the different routines they were doing and apparently they do the same ones each week, so I might at some point actually know them and not stumble around doing everything a beat too late (it wasn’t that bad, but you get the idea). I didn’t even get sore muscles the next day. Yay! I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do this every week, but I’ll try to do it as regularly as I can.
Over the week, I also applied for a few part-time jobs. Got to earn some money if I want to enjoy life here to the fullest! And one of the advertisers already replied and now I have an interview this week! Hopefully it will work out – I don’t really know what they pay or how many hours they’d expect me to do, but I’m sure I’ll find that out. Wish me luck!
Last Friday (which was the Day of German Unity by the way), I went out with some of the au pairs to go clubbing in Camden. It was the first time going to a club since I came here and it was a great night out! (I always love it when you don’t have to pay for getting into the club.) I think it was around 3 a.m. when I got home and went to sleep. We had started with a group of around 20 girls, but in the end we split up anyway, it’s just too much girl power there. :D The club we went to is called Ice Wharf, you should check it out if you’re in the area.
Well, I guess that’s it, folks! I’ll now enjoy my sunday watching series and listening to music and all that jazz. Hopefully, you’ll have an equally lovely day and stay tuned for the next post (which will probably come by the end of the week).
Hello my dear readers!
Today I have something special for you – a new YouTube video from my brother and I. We had our 10th anniversary of recording music together this year and decided to so something epic. And since I am a huge Disney fan, as you know, we settled on a Disney Medley. I tried to choose and match the songs based on a theme, so they’re all about the future, where to go, insecurities, dreams and hopes.
Here is the link, enjoy it and leave a comment/subscribe/like, go all out! :D We’re happy about any feedback!
I’m in a bit of a hurry this time, since I only have an hour break before my next class starts (Which you will not care about since you’ll read this in the evening anyways). But I still wanted to tell you about my weekend, which was awesome!
Saturday, I had this “Welcome to London” Day Trip, as I told you before. It started with a boat trip on the Thames (yet again). The highlight was the lunch we had on there: Lovely chicken with potatoes and vegetables and delicious chocolate-truffle cake for dessert. Mhhhm!
After about two hours, we came back to the pier and headed for our very own private double-decker bus. We were only 15 people, so we had the top deck for ourselves. The weather was pretty good, no rain, and we enjoyed the two hour ride around London with our lovely tour guide.
At St. Paul’s Cathedral, we stopped and headed up to a shopping mall. They have a roof terrace from where you have a gorgeous view of St. Paul’s and its surroundings. I absolutely recommend that to anybody who visits London. It is completely free!
The bus tour ended in front of Buckingham Palace, our last attraction for the day. YES, we had tickets for the inside tour. It was like a dream come true. Buckingham Palace is the most beautiful palace I’ve been to (and I’ve seen a few!) – all the chandeliers, intricate ceilings, tapestries and furniture are just gourgeous. They have some famous and expensive paintings as well. The current exhibition is about Royal childhood, so they had lots of toys and clothes on display and showed a few videos of Her Majesty the Queen as a child (and other royals). Unfortunately, there is no photography allowed, so I cannot show you any pictures of that. You’ll have to go and see it for yourselves. We finished the palace tour with a glass of champagne on the terrace. I felt quite privileged standing there in the dim evening light, sipping my champagne.
I still cannot believe that I won tickets for a day that otherwise would have cost me well over £100! And it gets even better: I have a free pass for one year, so I can come back to Buckingham Palace next year and see it again (it is only open in August and September)! There will be a different exhibition on then, I’m looking forward to that.
So, that was my amazing and exciting Saturday. Sunday was pretty uneventful compared to that, but I didn’t mind. I just had a relaxing day off (and I apologize for not blogging earlier, I just didn’t get in the mood).
On Monday, my real classes finally started and I will tell you all about that in my next blog post. Until then, folks, and enjoy these pictures:
I figured I should use the few hours I have this evening to write about my trip to Brighton before the impressions get layered over with uni experiences.
Friday and Saturday evening, I had the au pairs over for movies and pizza – we ordered from Domino’s for the first time! Pizza, cider, a good movie, that’s all you need for a good evening. I went to bed at 4am on Friday and 1am on Saturday, which normally wouldn’t be a problem, but unfortunately, the alarm went off at 6.30am due to the Brighton trip.
Geez, I was so tired I was basically sleepwalking to the meeting point at Baker Street. I wasn’t the only one who had some problems with getting up early on a Sunday, so we mostly slept on the way to Brighton on the coach (it took about two hours).
When we arrived, all tiredness was forgotten for the sun was shining and the sea provided a lovely breeze tousling our hair. We walked along the pier for a couple of minutes and then decided to have lunch in one of the parks nearby. There was a motorbike festival of some sorts, so the place was completely crowded with machines and leather-clad people. We kept looking out for a motorbike we would like to have for ourselves and discussed the different colouring (since none of us have any real knowledge of the technical stuff).
After lunch we went to the Royal Pavilion – it just looks so graciously grand! We didn’t go in, however. It seemed a bit pricey to do so. So instead we took a look at the shopping/pub street and then strolled back to the pier along the beach. There is a small amusement park on Brighton Pier with a few rollercoasters, merry-go-rounds and that sort of thing. Obviously, we went for the rollercoaster with the looping! It was fun, but rather short and bumpy. Still, worth it!
Some people in my group got hungry again after that, so we went in search of a restaurant where we spent the last hour of our stay. We sat outside of course, relishing the sun burning down on us. (I actually got sunburn on my nose, as always…)
At around 4.30pm we got back on our coaches to return to London. This time, it took almost three hours! I fell asleep again for there wasn’t much else to do. Back at Baker Street I took the bus (weekend closure on the Northern line, yay!), so I was home at half past eight. Since I had to get up rather early today again, I went to bed almost straight away.
In summary, I really enjoyed the trip to Brighton. It wasn’t guided, so I probably didn’t see much of the city itself, but being at the sea was nice and the weather just perfect. Actually, it hasn’t rained a single drop since I arrived in London. I’m completely amazed! Brighton is a lovely city and the Brighton Pier is one of the main attractions. Apparently, people go there to eat fish&chips. Since I don’t eat anything from the sea, I didn’t try it, but a few of the students did, I think. If you get the chance to go there, you should do it. There are trains and buses going directly from London.
Here are some pictures:
Well, so that’s basically what I wanted to tell you. Today started the first week of introduction to my course. But I’ll write about that at the end of the week, I guess.
Stay happy and healthy until then! Cheers!
What’s up, people? Goodness, I’ve been busy these past few days. Orientation week has started and I am actually a little overwhelmed.
But let’s do this chronologically.
So basically, the first weekend in London was relatively quiet. I went up to High Street and found that nothing has changed much since I went away. Boots, Poundland, Tiger, all still there. Yay! Saturday evening, I went out with the au pair from next door and two of her friends – to one of the two pubs on High Street. We had a great time there (and later at the McDonalds because we got hungry for some reason) and I am glad to have joined them. I’m sure we’ll be doing it again!
Monday, I went to uni and got enrolled. Or rather, I had to practice queueing first. Approx. 2 hours of standing in line, but it was worth it for now I have my ID and can start signing up for student discounts and all those things. I also got a British SIM so that I can access mobile internet everywhere.
While queueing, I met the first few international students, from Norway, China and Belgium. All very lovely people with interesting stories. We met again the next day for the continuous introduction speeches at one of the big lecture theatres. Tuesday afternoon we had a short guided tour around the area, which was a good opportunity to get to know the immediate surrounding (I never got to explore the area last year, what a shame! I missed out on so much!). We ended at ISH – short for International Student House, an institution where students from all over the world can come and join in many events and trips. On Tuesdays, there is always a pub quiz, and of course we all participated. I was in a group with seven girls and two boys and that evening was the starting point of what will hopefully become a great friendship. I named our group “snow white and the six blondes (+the guys)”, since we were all blonde except for one girl. By now, we have a whatsapp group and a facebook group by that name as well.
Our group by some miracle won the pub quiz (we are just that awesome!) – the prize was a voucher for a Welcome-to-London-Trip next Saturday for each of us. Which is pretty awesome cause now I get to do some touristy stuff like seeing Buckingham Palace without paying extra! Would you have known how many cubicles are on the London Eye? Or where in London the Queen isn’t allowed to go? (I did :D)
Wednesday wasn’t overly interesting regarding the presentations we had. We went to Regents Park for lunch, with a group of probably a dozen people, which was really nice. After we got off in the afternoon, I went with the Norwegian girl to the ISH to collect our tickets and sign up for the Travel Club Membership. With that, we can go on some trips for less money than is normally charged. If I have time, I’ll definitely do that!
The highlight of the International Student Orientation week was the boat trip on the Thames in the evening. Some of you might remember that I had that last year as well. But this year was infinitely better! The general atmosphere was awesome, everybody was friendly and ready to party and taking selfies with whoever was next to them. The music was pretty good as well and most of us were dancing at least half the time. By then, our pub quiz group had grown and we know have probably about twenty people in our loosely formed clique – from Germany, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, the US, France and god knows where else they are coming from. Most of them were getting pretty drunk on the boat, but it was all still ok and fun. Compared to that evening, the boat tour from last year seems incredibly dull. We have some plans to do culture cooking, so that we get together and taste the food from whichever countries we are from. And of course go to the pub quiz or karaoke or just clubbing and whatever else there is to do in London.
Today – Thursday – was the first day of postgrad orientation. So I finally met the people from my course (since nobody from the international orientation was on the same course as me). There are about ten or so of us, but there might be coming more next week. Mostly girls – actually just one guy so far, from Italy. We have three America girls, three Germans (counting me), a girl from Ecuador and another from India and some I didn’t get to talk to. We already have a facebook group as well and I think we’ll get along very well.
I was hugely surprised to find that a girl I did an internship with two years ago is with me on the same course. It was like “Hey, I know you from somewhere….right?” The world is just so small! (I couldn’t resist the Disney…)
However, meeting all these people and getting loads of information is a lot to take in. This time around, I apparently have to register with a local PD, get a national insurance number to work part-time and god knows what else. My student oyster will be in the mail next week so hopefully the immense amount of money I’m throwing into public transport will go down a bit. There are also a few things to do concerning module registration and all that. I won’t have that many lectures during the week, but I can see a huge amount of essays piling up around New Year and then again in May. We’ll see how that goes.
Anyways, that’s the update for now. I don’t have any plans for Saturday yet, but on Sunday we’re going to Brighton with the Internationals, so that will be fantastic! Stay tuned!