To London We Have Gone

We went to London last weekend so I could tour Western and learn where things are both at school and in the city. I apologise for needing a week to recover, but finals are next week and things have been busy.

I like London and Western’s campus. It’s nowhere near as big as people make it out to be. If I get to live in the graduate student residences like I want, it will take me the same amount of time to get to class as it does now.

We arrived on Thursday night and wandered around downtown a bit. I was having fun being lost, Dean not so much. We weren’t very far from Richmond Street though, so I figured we couldn’t get too lost. We found our way back just in time to get the bus to the school, since we were staying in their Bed and Breakfast for the weekend.

It was a little weird, since they were using the apartment-style Elgin Hall, but were renting out the rooms in singles. There was an older couple staying in the other two rooms, but I only saw them a couple times the whole weekend so I have no clue why they were in London. They were sticking around for a while anyway, since they had a lot of food and stuff in the fridge and dishes and pans and such.

We had a campus tour on Friday morning, which was also a lot of fun. We got up early and wandered, and eventually found the Observatory where the tours start. They let us leave early since we didn’t really need to see the undergrad residences (seeing as were were living in one already), so we went to the North Campus building so I could bug the department secretary about the graduate applications and see if they knew if the electives I want will be offered.

I weirded them out asking so many questions almost a year in advance, but some of the electives are offered once every two years, and I wanted to know if the philosophy class shows up more often than that since they are offering it in January. I don’t get any electives until next September, but knowing if that class gets offered more often would have helped. I couldn’t find anything out about that one. Apparently only one person teaches it, so it’s up to that person if they want to teach it in a given term. I guess I’ll just have to suck up a lot my first term and see if they’ll offer it again. The other two electives I want are offered pretty much every-other term, so I’m good for them.

After I was done being a nuisance, we hopped on the bus across town to go to the Mandarin for lunch. Mandarin is my new favourite food place, since they had pretty much everything and it was buffet. Yummy! A lot of people seem to think that way though, since it was standing-room only waiting for seats, even with a reservation. We were early though or we probably wouldn’t have had to wait that long.

One of the classrooms turns into a movie theatre at night and has really cheap movies, so Friday night we went and saw X-men again. I really like that movie. It was better the second time around. The other movie playing was The Lake House. Icky. We were going to see it on Saturday since it was hot and we didn’t want to be out fighting the bugs at night, but we went back to the apartment and bummed around instead.

We spent Saturday playing on the busses some more, checking out the malls to see where I should get groceries and such. The mall nearest campus is nice, I really like it. There is a better, larger one across town, but it’s only better if you want to shop for clothes so I don’t really care. It’s the same reason I never shop at Fairview, when Conestoga has all the stuff I need. So I’ll probably never go in there again, unless I need to switch busses there. There’s another mall on the west side of town. We took the bus there but didn’t go in, there didn’t seem to be much there. The place looked pretty run-down and not as popular as the other two places.

The busses are weird in London, because they don’t have terminals and just rely on transfers between the main busses when you’re downtown. It’s a little tricky figuring out which stops are the ones that will switch to the bus you need, but once that’s figured out it’s all good.

I found the craft store downtown. It was a lot closer to Richmond St. than I’d thought, but it’s easy to get to, and I can walk to it from school when I’m not in the mood for the bus since there’s a path along the river a block away from the store. They’ve got lots of really nice sock yarn, and the hand-painted Koigu that I have to get shipped here. It means rather than buying a bunch of the sock yarns I like, I’ll be saving up for a few of the nicer shades of Koigu instead. It’s probably better that way, since I learned from buying all that stuff from Knitpicks. You can only look at one self-patterning yarn for so long, even if you have it in like 12 different colours.

I didn’t go in the store since the owner was out on a break, instead we took the path back to school. It was a little too hot for walking that much, but for most of it there was a lot of shade. It was only the part near campus that moves away from the river that had a lot of sun.

We left very early Sunday morning even though we were originally going to stay all day, because check-out was at noon and we didn’t want to carry all our stuff around for 7 hours straight. We’d pretty much seen where stuff was at that point anyway. Like most places, it would take more than a weekend to find the more personal places. I feel good about the city and the school and am looking forward to being there.

It’s going to be plenty lonely at first, but I’m sure there will be lots of visiting going on since London is pretty easy to get to for both Dean and my parents. So I’ll see them more than I do now, but I won’t get to see Dean as much.

It’s strange, but I kinda like the idea of setting out somewhere new again. When I moved here I stayed on campus or within a few blocks of it for the entire first year, and I had no clue where anything else was or that there were so many neat places around the area. Now that I’m used to living on my own I’ll get out and about more, and can make the most of my time in London.

Thanks go to Tudor and Laura for the pointers on places to go and things to do. Sorry for asking you on such short notice. Though we didn’t get to do everything we found where a lot of the stuff is and will be checking it out on future visits.