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07/29/2014

Meredith visits London on her ICE weekend

  • June 12, 2014

Wake Up Call

Our tour of the Little Museum of Dublin was post-poned today so we had to think of something fun to do (because we shouldn’t lock ourselves up with technology). We decided to go grocery shopping instead…that’s exciting right? Maybe more essential. Back home I seem to have a weekly schedule of doing all my errands but here I kind of just do it whenever. My time here in Dublin has definitely made me more “go-with-the-flow”. I’m interested to see if the lifestyle I’ve learned here will carry over back home. We have to be at our taxi tomorrow morning at 5:55 AM in order to make our flight to London. I’m so nervous to be split from the group. More like I’m nervous to meet new people…I mean I just got used to this group (and I really like them). But if there’s anything I’ve learned while being here is that sometimes venturing out of your comfort zone is a GOOD thing. It’s funny how that works, you get so nervous about something, it happens, and you wonder why you were ever nervous in the first place.

Tip of the Day: Don’t take a nap when you know you have to wake up early because you won’t be able to sleep at night.

I went to the grocery store and took a nap…sorry

 

  • June 13, 2014

Londontown

My sense of time is completely thrown off. Waking up at 4:56 AM seems to warp your sense of time and location. Once we got to London we had to wait in the airport, and then wait some more, and…wait a little bit longer. Waiting was all that bad, we made a new friend! His name is Niklas and he’s from Austria. He was in London for the week. He was so worried about his English, but he actually spoke really well. He also told us we were really friendly and nice for talking to him. It was a nice change to hear because I just feel like everyone else in the city just kind of glares at us…like “oh, there’s the Americans”. It made me feel better that not everyone thinks we’re loud and obnoxious, and now I have a new friend! The more people that arrived the more anxious I got about the weekend. Every group seems to have the select few extroverts that have no boundaries. A girl came up to me and asked what my favorite vegetable is (hi, nice to meet you too) and I think I forgot every vegetable. One thing they didn’t tell me about ICE weekend is that I needed to bring shoes you don’t mind spending hours in. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre was beautiful, but 30 minutes in I looked around the audience and almost everyone in the group had left (their feet may not hurt, but I’ve gained more experience). It’s also funny how much closer our group has bonded since we got here. We must not all like big groups because even when we’re separated we tend to float back to each other. It’s like a sense of home.

Tip of the Day: Bring your walking shoes to London, seriously.

 

 

  • June 14, 2014

These Boots Were NOT Made For Walking

An early start was in order for the day. We met our tour guide, Nathan, in Russel Square. Oddly enough…he wasn’t actually from London (is that the intercultural part of ICE weekend?). Like Dublin, London is a walking town and my feet were not ready for that, and people in London actually walk faster than those in Dublin. I think the most intercultural part of this weekend was eating Indian food at Tayaabs. That was the first time I’d ever had that type of food. Back home I would never think to even try Indian food (if it’s not chicken fried steak why bother?). I was really worried about the food, but it turned out to be amazing! All the courses were great! I can’t wait to go back to Houston and try and find a good Indian food place to take mom. Well, since we’re in London we’re allowed to be tourists so naturally I went to Platform 9 3/4 and got my picture taken…that’s DEFINITELY intercultural (and an experience). I’m not sure what we’re supposed to learn from each other, but I do find myself appreciating Dublin even more after talking to a few students.

Tip of the Day: Don’t try and see everything in London in one day…also, visit Platform 9 3/4 at night, there’s less people.

 

  • June 15, 2014

"Home"

Walking, walking, and more walking in London today…what’s new? I feel so touristy in London, going to Buckingham, Kensington, and St. James’s Garden. I’ve realized in Dublin I don’t feel like a tourist anymore, I feel like I belong in the city (even when I’m doing touristy things). It was really great to see London although I didn’t exactly get to experience the city. I think this trip made me love Dublin even more. As we waited to get on our plane everyone was saying they wanted to be home. Not HOME home, Dublin home and I think that’s an incredible feeling. I finally feel at home in a place that’s far from my actual home. This weekend may not have brought me closer to other people from other groups and I may not fully understand London, but I do have a greater respect for Dublin and basically everything in and about the city.

Tip of the Day: Waiting in Luton airport (or any airport)? Bring a book to read or something to do, the wait can be dull.

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