Off to Europe
Written by Mick Sloan|
April 14, 2014
Somehow, this is my last week of classes. I turned in my final assignments for the semester today, and tomorrow I’m taking a trip to London, then to continental Europe. I’ll be visiting London, Paris, Munich, Salzburg, Antwerp and Brussels over the next couple weeks.
I don’t know how this semester went by so fast, but it was an eventful one. When I showed up at an academic building on the first day of class — a Monday — I was politely informed that none of my three classes met on Monday. Turns out I had the wrong schedule. It was a great start. But now, I really feel like I have the hang of the “studying” part of studying abroad.
I stopped going into the wrong lecture rooms by mistake months ago. I can find a room with a printer without somebody first taking pity on my confused face and telling me where to go. Academically, I took a crash-course in UK news, watched tons of crazy advertisements and somehow made something that almost resembles an iPhone App. I had a more eye-opening academic experience than I expected here.
And now, I’ve had my final class here at Cardiff University. I couldn’t be more excited to spend the next couple weeks confusedly walking around new countries. It’s all a lot to process. For example, my dad asked me what I wanted to see in Paris, and I told him I don’t know. I just want to go there and see what it’s like. It’s the same for all these places. In this blog, you’ve read all about my mystified reactions to places like Bath, Brighton, Caerphilly and, of course, London. That feeling never gets old. I don’t know what to expect, other than that I’ll be amazed.
Seeing Europe has been a longtime dream of mine. I knew I’d get here eventually, but I didn’t know when. Now I am here, and I don’t know when I’ll have the chance to come back. I want to make sure to relish every moment.
I don’t know how much I’ll be able to write while I’m gone — which is too bad, because I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say. I won’t have a laptop, but I’ll probably be able to write some smaller posts on my phone if I get good enough Wi-Fi. You can also expect a massive post of pictures when I get back. For now, here are some random thoughts.
▪ I got a haircut yesterday at a barber near my flat. When I walked in the guy was doing bicep curls with dumbbells and didn’t realize I was in the store for ten full seconds. It was weird and sort of made me fear for my hair. But he did a good job, so it’s all good.
▪ I managed to fit all of my stuff for this trip in a backpack. I’m really hoping the straps don’t break. The backpack will have more of an adventure than I will.
▪ I’ve watched several sporting events here, including three soccer matches, two rugby matches and the Super Bowl. None of these games were close. I hope that trend doesn’t carry over when I get back to the US.
▪ To show respect for Kanye West, I really want to tell somebody to hurry up with my damn croissants while I’m in Paris. But I also don’t want to anger any French people. My total inability to speak French will be annoying enough, I’m sure.
Thanks to everybody who has followed all of these long and confusing blog posts. I’ve really enjoyed sharing this experience with you. Given where I’m going, I think there will be some fun posts ahead. I hope you enjoy them.