An Update from the Jet Lagged

Nodding off, napping, awake
Groggy, but not grumpy (yay!)
Time zone turnaround

I started writing this at 5:19 in the morning. I’ve been up since about 2:45am. I have to be at the university for orientation at 9:30am. I really should probably be sleeping, considering I was nodding off during orientation earlier today (until, of course, the bagpipe demonstration).

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This is a still from a video I took — I’ll try uploading the video to YouTube (so I can avoid paying for WordPress to host videos…) Anyway, it was my first time hearing bagpipes live!

Today (er, yesterday?) was the first time I visited the University of Glasgow campus.

Just like yesterday, I refrained from taking it all in through the lens of a camera, but tried to soak it all in with my eyes as much as possible. Still didn’t stop me from snapping just a few pics, though. And by a few pics, I really just mean two. Oops.

Though I don’t have more picture evidence just yet, UofG is absolutely gorgeous. I’d mistakenly believed a rumor that the first few Harry Potter movies were filmed here (I think I’d blabbed and bragged about that exciting “fact” to just about everyone I talked to about Scotland, so I’m so sorry and embarrassed for perpetuating misinformation!) but at least there’s also still the rumor that JK Rowling found the inspiration for Hogwarts right here on campus. Can’t wait to keep exploring over the next few weeks.

And I’ve already picked up some UofG swag.

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I swear I’m being responsible with my money, Mom.

The bag (left) features notable alumni from the University. I’m already obsessed with it — can’t wait to use it everywhere! I’ll especially be using it for groceries. You know, they charge 5 pence for each plastic bag you use at the grocery store here. America, take note. Be green.

The adulting continues.

Having lived on campus with a meal plan throughout my entire time in college, I’ve never really had to cook for myself. Of course, there was the occasional meal I’d make for myself at home — I will always pride myself on my breakfast skillets — but I’ve never had to be as self-sufficient in terms of food as I have to be for the next semester. It’s a welcome challenge, though. I love food. My parents are great cooks, and I know I’ve picked up some of it just by being around them when they’re in the kitchen cooking apritada and adobo and torta. I’m so looking forward to putting that all to good use in the next few months.

My cabinet is already well stocked with soy sauce, garlic, onions, bay leaves, rice, and so on. Thank God for Panlasang Pinoy. I can’t wait to make the food I love for myself, and eventually share it with my flatmates.

Speaking of my flatmates…

I shared more lovely moments with them today. Like I touched on briefly in my last post, Piedad “Pia” and Maria are both from Chile, Wendy is from China, and Annaliese and I are the representation for the US in Flat K.

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I didn’t take any pictures at the botanic gardens on my first visit except for this one — oh, Glasgow. So ‘obviously’ sassy. I love it.

Pia took me through the Glasgow Botanic Gardens today on our way back from orientation — I have the option to walk this beautiful scenic path right through the gardens every single day to the University if I so choose! — and she shared with me her plans of becoming a primary school teacher in Chile. We had such a wonderful, engaging conversation about the education systems in our countries.

Though I haven’t been able to spend much time with Wendy quite just yet, she’s so sweet — she very kindly offered Annaliese and me some of her ramen before we headed out to Tesco for another grocery run. Annaliese and I bonded over lugging massive amounts of groceries on the ~10 minute walk back to our flat — when you’re weighed down with a week’s worth of groceries, a 10 minute walk feels like an eternity — and we got to reap the rewards of our exhausting journey with Pia and Maria as we enjoyed a late dinner and snacks. We shared music and laughter and culture together. Pia’s got a killer taste in music, both in Spanish and otherwise, and I loved that we had some Mumford and Sons, Of Monsters and Men, and Brandon Flowers going on as we sat around the table.

Before that, though, Annaliese and I had discovered our common love for musical theatre — a common love for, in particular, just my absolute and blessed luck, Hamilton.

And we got to share Hamilton with Pia and Maria tonight.

The above photos are stills from Annaliese’s snap story — she got me rapping all of “Guns and Ships” (a talent which I am incredibly proud of) while preparing my dinner — and caught Maria’s reaction. So glad she did. I know tonight’s going to be one of my sweetest first memories of being here so far.

Finally, quick thoughts on my plans for blogging while abroad…

1) I’m kind of annoyed with myself that I’m not supplementing my posts with more pictures, but I promise: I’ll be snapping photos as much as possible. Just going by the practice of experiencing through my eyes first and a camera lens second.

2) I don’t know how often I’ll be blogging. I haven’t set a schedule yet, and I’m not sure if I will, but for the meantime, I’m using my jet lag to a constructive advantage. Every second, I’m thanking God and marveling in the absolute blessing it is to be where I am right now. I want to document every single moment of this experience, and thankfully this blog provides the opportunity to do just that. Friends, family, and strangers reading this, thanks for coming along on this adventure with me.

It’s now 6:16AM. Good morning, Day 3.

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