My arrival in Scotland!!

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February 1st 2009
Published: February 1st 2009
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I have made it safe and sound! I did not land in the Hudson, get "LOST" on an island or end up in India, like I predicted might happen to me.

This is going to be a pretty long entry, seeing that I finally got internet in my room TODAY. I'll fill you in on what has happened to me the past couple of days...

My flight from Milwaukee to Chicago was short and sweet. I met up with one of my travel buddies, Kate, and we flew the entire trip together.

Chicago was interesting. Neither Kate nor I are very experienced travelers, so it took a little help from the info desk to direct us to Terminal 5, and the only way to get there is by shuttle. Security was pretty tight as well.

Security checkpoints got more and more strict as we flew from Milwaukee to Chicago and then to London. I only had to get one bag checked in Milwaukee, otherwise I was golden. We got very used to taking off shoes, unloading laptops from bags, taking off belts, sweaters, sweatshirts at EVERY checkpoint. Waiting in line was not too bad, but if I learned anything about big airports, it's that get in the security check line ASAP and then wander around. Kate and I seemed to have had enough time to spare in every airport, but we seemed to cut it close.

In Chicago we met up with Rachel. At this point I was only slightly, if at all nervous or anxious, which is a BIG step up from my "worry-wart" self. The trip from Chicago to London was about 8 hours; not too bad.

I had a window seat and there was a girl one seat over; the seat in between us was the ONLY open seat on the entire plane. How lucky is that?!
The FUNNY and slightly ironic thing about that is when we got on the plane, there was this man and his wife in front of us. Apparently he was in the wrong seat and did not want to move. Somehow, he was supposed to be sitting in my seat, which is just messed up because my boarding pass said that I had that seat. His wife was supposed to be sitting in the seat between me and the other girl. The funny thing is that the wife of this man was puking for a large majority of this flight and WOULD NOT GO TO THE RESTROOM!!! Her husband would fan her so much that the seat would shake and the girl one seat over from me couldn't properly watch a movie! Then he would carry her puke bags to the garbage and they would do it all over. This could have been a tremendously intense and intimidating flight, but instead I watched about 3 movies and drank wine😊

I got SO excited because I was able to watch The Office on my little screen, right? Well, if I had any sense, I would have realized that since I am on BRITISH AIRWAYS, I would be watching the BRITISH version of The Office. I was a little upset, but got over it pretty quick.

When we were leaving the plane, I figured out through an overheard conversation that the girl sitting DIRECTLY in front of me the entire flight on this HUGE plane was also going to Aberdeen. WEIRD. What are the chances?

Once again, MORE and tougher security in London, which just happened to be my first ever stop outside the U.S. We had a little freakout episode because our boarding pass didn't have our gate number on it. We frantically searched through this "mall" like airport and found some help. Made it there in plenty of time.

At this point, neither of us had slept at all and we were just shoved forward 6 hours. We didn't exchange our money yet either. I completely forgot that we were indeed in London and that I couldn't buy my dt. coke with dollars. I was thankful I had my credit card on hand😊

The flight from London to Aberdeen was about an hour and a half. At this point I was sick of being on planes. I didn't feel good either, so not having slept and watching them serve more airplane breakfast food, almost got me more sick than I wanted to be.

Flying over Aberdeen is like flying over farmland. The grass was a little brown, but all you see is farmland and rolling hills. Quite different than London at night, which looks like God took one of those net lights that you put over bushes, and covered London with it. Beautiful😊

There was no one there to meet us, (Aberdeen said they would send someone there to help us out and get us in a taxi), so we had to exchange our money and pick up our bags with no help😞 We found a taxi after some searching and got to Aberdeen.

We all lived in different dorms, so we all went our separate ways.

At this point, I was so tired I didn't feel good so I pretty much made it up to my flat on the 3rd floor, met my flat mates, found out what a "duvet cover" was, made my bed and took about an hour nap. After that I unpacked. That night some of my flat mates took me out so I would know where to go tomorrow for Orientation. After that we ended up in a REAL Scottish Pub😊

Funny thing! I met some friends of my flat mates and one of them offered to buy me a drink. I said, "Ok, I'll take a light Scottish beer, because I want to experience something different." He said "okay" and he brought me back...a Stella Artois. I drank it without complaining and giggled😊

I know this is long.....sorry😞

I slept that night for 12 hours, or so I thought. My alarm clock that I brought with me was broken and so I didn't end up getting up in time for Orientation. Go figure.

I ended up getting lost on Aberdeen's HUGE but ancient campus. I met up FINALLY with some other International students and we got things all figured out.

The past couple of days it has been me hanging out with my Scottish flat mates, except for one who is German, and the International students. Today we took a walking tour of campus and then a guided bus tour of the city. All for free😊 Then we went out shopping to get food and converters/adapters.

A couple of things that I have learned while being here...The First 10...
1. Shops close on the weekends about 5pm. UGH.
2. If you don't push the walk button while crossing the street, you will die.
3. If you wait for the OK to cross the street, which is a green man and a loud beeping noise, and you aren't fully crossed when the beeping stops, you will die.
4. The seagulls are about the size of a pug.
5. The seagulls will eat food out of your hand while you are walking. One of them tried to eat my biscuit (cookie) and I screamed and ran away. He flew out of no where and attempted to land on my head! 😞
6. The seagulls are the loudest I have ever heard and sound like high pitched fog horns.
7. I have seen ONE hummer. They have no trucks and the biggest vehicle other than little sports cars are Land Rovers.
8. The busses have an "accordion" in the middle of them to make them extra huge.
9. I would pay notes, (money), to watch females walk on the real cobblestone streets in high heels when drunk.
10. BRING A WATCH. I didn't bring my cell phone, and my computer wasn't charged and I didn't have a converter, so I had NO IDEA what time it was.

SO! I am here safe and sound. Look me up on username is L. Schlawin. Remember, we are 6hours ahead of you....I will try to get some pics up soon.

I also learned that I miss you all and I am truly blessed to have you in my life. Stay in touch😊


2nd February 2009

I am so glad to read that you made it there safely! :) I love your list of the first 10 things you learned. They made me laugh out loud at the Front Desk and look like an idiot. But, that's okay. :) I miss you!!!!

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