Wednesday, 25 June 2014

To jet lag, and beyond!

Overheard on the tube:
"Butterfly," says Mum.
"Butterfly," repeats her young son, "B-U-T-T-E-R-F-L-Y."
"No, no dear," she responds affectionately, "B-U-T-T-E-R-F-L-I-E," and she playfully ruffles his hair.

After a nap (which hindsight dictates was a bad idea but the eyes were unwilling to remain open) on Monday evening, my wonderful hosts came home and I at last was given the chance to meet them. Josh arrived home first and almost instantly had poured me a red wine. Cheers! We chatted and ordered pizza and in short order his wife Yvette arrived home, soggy from an unexpected downpour. I cannot describe enough how friendly and accommodating these two are - opening their home to a complete (house-trained) stranger and doing everything in the power to make sure I am comfortable. After a little while, I noticed it was still light outside and, thinking it must be about 7pm, asked what the time was. "Almost 10pm," Yvette responded. I was taken aback - here I was struggling to stay awake because I thought it was early but it was actually past my bed time! The light in the sky was akin to that of about 5pm back home at the moment - and so my body clock decided it couldn't possibly be time for sleep yet.

Despite the coziness and my exhaustion, sleep was not easy coming and the next morning I woke to prepare for my job interview. I donned a pretty dress and splashed some makeup on my face and tubed my way to Imperial College, arriving about half an hour early (just in case!). My cold was at its peak and I was sniffling and coughing my way through the Underground and through the campus. The campus reminded me of Adelaide; big sweeping trees, impressive buildings (although their "Student Hub" doesn't hold a candle to either of our Hubs, but shhh, don't let them know that). I sat a short proofing test (which my jet lagged addled brain hopefully completely reasonably successfully) which was followed by an hour long interview. Again, I don't know if they liked me or if my damaged brain just rambled far too much, but it was reasonably enjoyable none-the-less and the interview panel were very nice.

I was meant to be at my BritBound Welcome Session at 11am, and the time now read 10.50am. I decided to still try to make it to the session even if I arrived late, and a couple of tubes later I descended upon the BritBound office, fancy dress and high heels and all. Justin and Kimberley from BritBound went through such things as what to watch out for when looking for somewhere to live, tips and tricks for jobs, tax, health care and more. We then went through some of the upcoming social events and I basically have to go to all of them.

We gathered our things and made our way to The Old Pube <-Family Guy joke, the Coat and Badge. At this point, I hadn't spoken to any of the BritBounders because I had arrived late, so I quickly went about introducing myself. At the pub(e), we had the  choice of fish and chips, bangers and mash or gnocci, so bangers and mash it was! Cider confidence in hand, I launched into conversation and soon found myself amongst a very friendly group of Aussies (including another Rads!), Kiwi's and Canadians. We kicked on at the pub for a little while, one saying to me "Shouldn't you sleep?" Never! More cider! You clearly don't know me yet, I thought.

We returned to the BritBound office, slightly tipsy and ready to splash down our cash for the Summer Boat Party happening this Friday. Now we had some familiar and friendly faces, it will be extra nice to go to and be able to pick people out from the crowd! A smaller group of us went on a trek to find icecream, and then we made our way back to our respective homes - when I realised that although it felt like about 2pm in the afternoon, it was actually bordering on 6pm (damn you extended daylight and your ensuing confusion!) Naturally, I stepped onto the wrong train that was heading a similar (but ultimately wrong) direction. I was luckily able to just step off at the next station and step on the right train, but it could have been a fraction more disastrous. I was intending to inspect the Hammersmith house but my exhaustion was so great that I simply could not step foot outside again. My gracious hosts cooked dinner and we wined and dined until my eyes could not stay open any longer. It was an incredibly long, exhausting, rewarding day!