In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid.
For those concerned, I did in fact make it to London. One of my group members, Ryan, turned out to have booked a spot on the seat one row behind and across the aisle from me, so that worked out well. The guy in the seat next to me turned out to be a children’s eye surgeon, and he talked animatedly about a special condition he discovered and would be presenting about in London. I chewed two despicable-tasting grape flavored kid’s-dose Benadryl and slept on and off as a result for the rest of the flight. At one point I woke up, horribly stiff (sleeping on planes is painful), and went to the bathroom, where I made the mistake of looking in the mirror. But I only did that once, and decided you can’t expect me to look all that chipper after having slept for an hour and a half on the plane.
We landed late at Heathrow because the pilot took us a ways out of our way to avoid bad weather. When we got through customs – no problem – and claimed our luggage – also no problem – and then the problems struck. First Ryan and I could’t find the guy who was supposed to be holding the WPI sign. Turns out that was because the driver had written LEE FRANKEL on it, and we only figured he was our man when I found a printout of our emailed rendezvous instructions signed by Lee Frankel. Once we found him, we had two more goup members to round up: Jamie and Mike. We paged Jamie, figuring Mike would show up on his own, and he did…in response to our page for Jamie. Jamie, however, never showed up although we paged him again half an hour later, and finally we had to leave because the driver had another job. Turns out Jamie arrived yesterday but never bothered to tell any of us, his group members. That miffed me.
We bought our Oyster cards; mine cost an amazingly reasonable £185, for zones 1 – 4 from today to July 1st. Then I got practice using it, and the tubes; a refresher course to Baker Street, where we ate at a pub. Then we came back and the guys moved into their rooms (mine had been avaliable at 9:00 when we arrived at IES, so everybody dumped their stuff in there until 2:00 when their rooms were ready), and we met up with Chris, our final member who just was here B-term too. Mike, Ryan, myself, and our advisor (Delorey) took an endless and freezing bus tour of downtown London. Very interesting at times, but very cold on the top of an uncovered double decker bus. That thankfully took us to a time nearing which we could legitimately start thinking about sleeping, although we all felt plenty tired by 1:00 this afternoon. So that was my first day in London, and I can only hope the beds are less boardlike than rumor suggets.
And I forgot body soap. So I showered and washed in shampoo instead, and will purchase soap tomorrow. At least I forgot something easily obtainable pretty much anywhere in the world.