- Boarded plane without incident. Took sleeping drugs. Spent the rest of the flight in a doze during which I alternated between hating Delta for not turning off the lights and planned the destruction of the child who kept kicking my seats. The plane was half empty so I got to lay down properly, which was a big plus.
- Landed earlier than expected and zoomed through customs. The lady was very kind and gave me a few tips and some new information about my student visitor visa. Quite a contrast to the fellow who nearly didn't let me in last time.
- Got out about an hour before I was supposed to meet an alumni friend of my dad's, who had offered to take me to Reading. (This was a huge blessing, because I'd been really stressing about hauling my stuff through public transport.) I got on the internet briefly. After a bit I got up and withdrew some money, then found him waiting. We set out and had a pleasant drive to Reading. There was some confusion once we got on campus (I forgot how confusing college campuses are before you know your way around) but then we found our way.
- I got my keys and was told my room number. We hauled everything inside, and I tried to open the door. My keys didn't seem to fit properly. I kept trying, because I normally have a hard time with keys/doors. Finally I pushed and realized the door was a little bit open. I looked into a room full of stuff and thought, "Oh my gosh, I have a roommate. How can I have a roommate? I was not prepared for this!" And then I saw that the person lying in the bed was a young male. Embarrassed, I quickly retreated. It took a moment to overcome my paranoia of roommates (which even the possibility of scared me to death) and to assure myself that I'd been told to go to the wrong room.
- We hauled everything back out. It was only as we were going back to the security office that I realized my keys actually said they were for the room right next to the one with the young man. We returned and I ran in. The keys opened the room, and it was empty, clean and pretty. We hauled the stuff in and parted ways. Again, so very grateful for his help.
- Shortly after he left, someone knocked on my door. It was a girl who'd been outside smoking and who had held the door for us. She introduced herself and said that she lived next door. I apologized about the incident and we chatted lightly for a few minutes. Apparently the boy was her boyfriend.
- Set off for town because what I wanted more than anything was proper sheets. Got lost on the way, made a pit stop in McDonald's and forced myself to eat a little. Continued on my route, munching on what I could whenever the knot in my stomach let me. Located the recommended store and grabbed an armful of everything I'd need–including a really cool Union Jack pillow that I've wanted for a long time (but cost a ton in the states).
- Packed all this into my rolly dufflebag and backpack, then set off for the university. I had planned to catch a bus, but I couldn't find the stop for the right one. In the end I just walked the rest of the way (about a 20-30 minute trek). It was probably good for me, to work out some of the jet lag. I made it to my room and fixed up my bed. I rested a few minutes and made myself eat something. Then I set out for orientation.
- Orientation went well. There was a lot of information. But everyone seemed nice, especially the workers. I made connections with a girl and a guy from Rhode Island who are staying in my same hall. Afterwards we went in search of shampoo (for me), tissues (for her) and asprin (for him). All these things were acquired. We went to find food, and ended up in a kebab joint. It was pretty good, and fairly cheap.
- I went to my room and skyped with Mom while I unpacked everything. It made it much less overwhelming. Got my room in order. Decided to try plugging my multiplug thing into the adapter on the wall. This was a bad idea because it exploded and then all the lights in my room went out. I think they might have gone off in other parts of the flat, too, because I thought I heard someone talking to security. But for the moment I am too tired and sore to take care of it. I'll deal with it in the morning.
Tomorrow I'll be registering at the health center, getting my student card, and finalizing my schedule. And going to get a few more start up items. And putting all my paperwork in order.
Overall: an exciting day.