Thanks to all who have written in encouragement of our crazy adventure! We very much appreciate the support and are super happy to hear so many of you are enjoying the blog.
The past few days have seen us getting our feet under us a bit more. Chad has made a couple of visits to the university - the first was for his "induction" on Tuesday. We weren't exactly sure what to expect apart from it being a bit of a social hour for international students to schmooze. I stayed home for the morning, planning to meet Chad in town later in the afternoon. While I was happily perusing the want ads in various universities, I received a text from Chad: "Awkward". He's promised to post about his experiences thus far, so I won't say much more except that if any of you has been placed in a situation surrounded by people you have never met and with whom you have nothing in common, you'll have an idea of how Chad felt at this event. His orientation with CDAS (The Centre for Death and Society) later in the day was much more fruitful, and he was full of excitement when we met up at a tapas bar later that afternoon.
As you probably know, Chad was here in the UK back in March for a week (see the blogs from March for that adventure). While he was here, he met a few members of the department, specifically two women who have been super awesome since we've been here. The first is Sheila, who tirelessly exchanged e-mails with us as we searched for a living arrangement. She was the one who came and checked out the house that we're not living in, and we are mucho indebted to her for putting our minds at ease about housing. Her cousin, Cecily, was here last Sunday, and we met up with them in Bath before heading over to a flat that had recently been abandoned by one of the former professors at CDAS. She had left a variety of furniture and "stuff" in the flat, which was getting cleaned out later this week, so we got to peruse her remaining belongings and scored a bunch of kitchen stuff. YAY for free stuff! Later, the four of us went to one of Sheila's favourite pubs and then out for sushi - conveyor belt sushi. Yes! A fun time was had by all, and it was the first time since we've been here that I felt kind of normal, going out for food and drinks with friends.
The other woman Chad met in March was Tara, and when he came to meet me at the tapas bar on Tuesday post-induction, she came with him. She was super sweet, really wanting to get to know me and we exchanged info. I think we're going to dinner sometime early next week. I really appreciate the effort that she and Sheila have both put into introducing themselves to me
and really going out of their way to make sure I don't feel left out, particularly when Chad hits the ground running at school next week. I encourage any of you out there to try to make new folks feel more comfortable and at home...it's a scary position to be in sometimes!
I realize I haven't said a whole lot about James and Sophie, our housemates. They're awesome. There's a really comfortable vibe at home, and even though we've only been here for a week, it seems to be a really easy living situation thus far. As a couple, we've never lived with anyone else, so I think we expected it to be a bit more difficult, but James has been great, taking us on a drive around to get acquainted with the area, and Sophie and I have found that we have lots in common, and have even started talking about training for the Bath half-marathon in March together. We're all heading out to some cocktail bars in Bath with them and a few of their friends tomorrow night and are very much looking forward to it.
Finally, one of Chad's professors, Tony, gave a ring this morning and invited us both to dinner at his house on Saturday night. How sweet is that? He's also leading a "field trip" around Bath next Saturday, to which family members of CDAS students are invited, which includes lunch at a Thai restaurand and a tour of Bath Abbey. Rock. The following day, my aunt and uncle, Dave and Barb, meet up with us in Bath. It will be SO AWESOME to be with people who I've known for more than five minutes :) I cannot wait.
In other news, the train schedule has still got me turned around a bit. I do have the homepage for the National Rail on my (SWEET) mobile phone, but we often still finding ourselves sitting at the platform for ridiculously long amounts of time. I long to be one of those people who dashes up the stairs to the train and jumps on it just before it leaves. Sitting around wasting time at the train station - or anywhere, really - is not one of my favourite things to do.
Sorry for the scattered update. I filled out a few job apps this morning and am getting a bit done with sitting in front of the computer...especially on a beautiful day in Keynsham (side note: It's been sunny at least part of every day that we've been here, and straight up gorgeous on a few occasions. I don't want to talk about it too loudly, though, and am knocking on wood as I type because I've how finicky English weather can be). Look for Chad's first post sometime in the next couple of days.