Saturday, May 21, 2011

something happened to me on the way into london...

I was detained at immigration today at Heathrow Airport as a "mandatory refusal." Apparently even though I am not getting paid for my legal work this summer, I still needed to obtain a certificate of sponsorship in order to enter the country. I guess things would have been easier if I had not replied that I was in London for an unpaid internship. The standard procedure is to put mandatory refusals immediately on the plane and send them home. But the woman at immigration was very nice and helpful. I forgot the exact word she used to describe my entry, but she informed I will be detained the next time I try to enter the UK to be asked a lot of questions about my time here.

I was able to purchase an Oyster Card at Heathrow airport. Hooray! That's made getting around the city a lot easier. Figuring out the train changes to get to the area of London where I'm staying wasn't too difficult but my inherent inability to discern direction led me far astray once I was above ground.

I ended up doing some accidental sightseeing. Misled by signs that said London Eye (that's also the name of the hostel I'm staying in), I walked over to the London Eye pier where the famous ferris wheel and glass building are. I also saw Big Ben, the House of Parliament, Westminster Abbey from the other side of the Thames. Unfortunately at that time I was also hauling around all of my luggage. My poor Wakamatsu...

Still looking for a place to live for the next 3 months. And trying to get a cell phone. Hopefully with GPS to correct for my lack of a sense of direction.

Apparently I left my laptop charger in Atlanta. That wasn't going to work, ya know, with that whole work thing. So I had to head out to the Apple Store in Covent Garden. Getting there by train wasn't too difficult. Finding the store, on the other hand, was. I wandered around the shopping plaza for awhile looking for it. Again, no sense of direction. On the weekends the place is full of people and also street performers. I saw a guy painted in silver body paint pretending to be a statute. And a musician playing covers of American pop songs (like "my heart will go on...") Eventually I found the store. $95 dollars for a charger that only works in England.

This trip hasn't exactly started out well, has it?

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