England, Day 1

I didn’t have a good sleep last night because I didn’t know I was expected to turn on the wall heater myself. I woke up late, and broke a promise to walk to school with a friend. I was panic. FYI, I don’t have recognition and spatial memory. I arrived at the campus at 4:40 PM, or at the time most of the shops closed or were about to do so. I couldn’t buy a local sim card, meaning my phone couldn’t access to the internet all the time.

Guess what, I met another Exeter friend who was heading to the exact building. We were both on time, though I did have some trouble walking at her pace. At some point, I felt dizzy. I even thought I was about to faint, but nothing serious happened… except that I left my passport, the only thing I was supposed to bring to the orientation, in my room.

I was, again, panic. I listened to my heart racing, and was terrified at the idea of walking back and forth one more time. As I was trying to understand the map, I asked a random guy, Jason, who happened to go to my dorm as well. I couldn’t believe it. And as soon as he told me he forgot his passport, I was tremendously surprised, and equally relieved. We got lost, but at least we were not lost alone. And the moment he told me he lived in the same building as me, we broke into laughter. He was from Hongkong.

While waiting to complete international student clearance, we got to know four more awesome friends, from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. If nothing changes, we are to celebrate our first week of classes at a local Thai restaurant this Friday. Well, we too should probably do a tour of Asian soon…

Since my body was not used to walking, I skipped the campus-tour. I was enjoying beef stew and trying to finish the online registration when a girl approached me. The cafeteria was too crowded, and I was happy to share my table. Our conversation didn’t stop after we greeted each other. In fact, she only left because she had to go to her next class. Before my day was over, she sent me such a sweet message:

“Hi QuynhNhu!

I just wondered; did they allow you to take up the philosophy modules? I hope they did! And thank you for talking to me today, otherwise I would just have had my lunch alone :). It was really nice to meet you!

All best and good luck with your semester here in Exeter!

Melanie”

I can go on and on, but I have to stop here. In short, the weather was nice; the sun came out to say hi. I met four more lovely girls from Singapore at the meeting with our study abroad coordinator. My enrollment in my top-choice courses was astonishingly successful. How about yesterday? Four Vietnamese friends picked me up at the bus station, helped me move into my dorm and took me out to dinner.

Life’s not good; it is second to none.

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