Wednesday, 13 January 2010

One week in...

Well, I've been at Norwich for a week now, and I'm feeling pretty settled. Haven't found all my routines yet, but they'll come. The most surprising thing so far is that the only homesickness I've had so far has been momentary, then gone. I think the internet really helps this - being able to keep in touch with home, seeing what's going on on facebook, chatting to people on skype means I feel far less disconnected than last time. There are disadvantages to this of course, and the main one is that I have to be careful to ensure my real life here takes priority over Tasmania. There's little point in being on exchange in a foreign country if I constantly miss opportunities and experiences because I'm distracted by 'home'.

I have Wednesdays off this semester, which is nice. This morning I was registered with the medical centre, so I'm now covered by the NHS, and this afternoon I'm going to Sherlock Holmes with some people I met at a church on Sunday. It's not quite as random as it sounds - they're friends of a Christian flatmate (who's been letting me tag along to church and Christian Union with her), and it was all organised last night at CU. I find it funny that the last movie I saw in Australia will be the first movie I see here. But should be fun - I enjoyed the movie last time, and wouldn't normally go to see it again, but it's about meeting people and living here.

The strangest thing about life here so far is actually living on campus. Here's a map of the campus, with relevant buildings so you can see how close everything actually is.

For those of you who've lived on campus before, this will seem normal, but for me it's strange. Where before uni was only a part of life, now it is life - everyone you meet goes to uni, and a fairly standard question is 'where are you living?' There are people who don't leave campus for weeks on end, because everything they need is here on campus. Last night walking back from Christian Union (via the pub) we bumped into some of our flatmates and all walked back together. I had to carry my bag of dirty washing through the middle of uni the other day, and an hour ago I popped out to one of the campus restaurants for lunch. It's very easy to see how one might become socially isolated in this environment - seeing only other uni students, and often only the same ones, without much interaction with the outside world. I shall endeavour to avoid that fate.

I bought a year long bus pass the other day. Free travel within Norwich for 12 months. It was expensive, and I need to make 50 return trips from the city for it to be worthwhile, but looks like just this week I'll use it at least 4 times, if not more. I debated whether to get one or not for a while - would like to get a bike too, but figured that if I have it, I'll use it and will go into town impulsively, like yesterday when I was bored, whereas if I don't, I'll save everything up until I can't avoid town any more. I think having it will give me far more freedom and I really will get to know the city.

Anyway, that's all for the moment. It's snowing at the moment, but I really want to go for a run. Bizarre. I hate running, but even when I was at home I was feeling the need to go running, to the point where I had dreams about jogging and enjoying it. A lot of my flatmates go to the gym, and running and things, so hopefully my aim of becoming fit this year is not so ridiculous. There's some good looking aerobicsy classes at the gym, so once my gym shoes get here from Australia I shall be off and away. I've also been eating rather healthily I think - lots of vegies, legumes, grains etc, which is nice. Made a pot of potato and onion soup, but I don't actually like it - the potatoes burnt right at the beginning, and I didn't realise until it was too late. Someone else likes it, so I've told them to eat as much as they like, then it's going into the bin in a couple of days. I should get used to the stoves at some point before the end of the year.... Hopefully.

Being the nerd I am, I'll get back to reading about the 1813 alliance between Austria and Great Britain now.

By the way, I've stopped posting my blog entries on facebook, so people over here won't read them (not that I'm going to write anything horrible about anyone). Please pass the word around about my blog though - I'm sure there are people who don't know it exists who still want to know what I'm up to. :)

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