All entries for Sunday 25 September 2005

September 25, 2005

Day 2

My night was really rough after staying up to message someone on the Internet. I couldn't sleep properly on the hard bed and kept on longing for my soft, queen bed at home. I woke up, and immediately tried to get a shower. It took me ten minutes to work it out – you control overall flow by twisting, but temperature by pulling and twisting. This means it remembers the temperature you want, which is really quite nifty.

I then got some breakfast, branflakes. There were more arrivals, including one girl who'd apparently bought the contents of a local hardware store. She was friendly enough, and it was curious to see her mother going through exactly the same motions mine did. Maybe I act a little decadent and spoiled? Hmm, introspection.

Anyway, I phoned Olga and went out to do chores with her. Queue-o-rama. I had to queue for 10 minutes in Cost Cutters to get my sarnie for lunch (chicken and mayo, prawn and mayo, egg and mayo triple that was quite nice). I had to queue for 25 minutes (luckily with a wireless signal) to register with the doctors, who just referred me to the health centre as I have a Critical Condition. Pfeh.

Then I queued up for my NUS card, the queue actually managing to extend down two stories, out of the building and across the entire courtyard. That took 45 minutes. When I got there they wanted my enrollment printout which I realise I'd left behind. Being annoyed at the length of the queue I just opened my laptop and showed them the page that I'd saved and printed. They accepted it, though I got the most filthy look imaginable. I then went and fetched my welcome pack.

Welcome Pack

  • 2x Pot Noodles (did you know that can give you scurvy?)
  • 2x Pepperami Noodles (well, it may have protein in it)
  • 1x Unisex Deodorant (the Lynx effect: you're cheap)
  • 1x Mango Drink (very nice. No negative comment here)
  • 2x 'Long Lasting' Condoms (probably unsuitable for gay people…)
  • 1x Energy Drink (those things give me heart palpatations)
  • 1×6 pack Hair Gel (go on the razz looking like someone puked on your head)

Is it me or are Endsleigh on advertising overdrive? I have their insurance and I've already been given 3 different leaflets about it. Half makes me want to cancel out of annoyance!

Anyway, headed back and showed Olga my room. She was jealous! I also got to the common room and found the power for the speakers on for the PS2, which was nice, suggests someone other than me is actually playing it as opposed to thanking me (my ego will blow if inflated any more!). I also found out that you aren't allowed to use wireless to extend the network so I turned down the power on my router to absolute minimum so it won't permeate the walls and disabled ESSID broadcast, and enabled encryption with an incredibly strong password.

As I went to the kitchen I hung around in the central kitchen and waited for some people to show up. Lots of friendly faces, most particularly a Catholic drama school student and a very nice young lady in a pink top who seemed to be in every conversation going. We got talking and oddly the main discussion turned to where people were from and whether they were state or public school. Lots of people seemed to be 'aggressive state school likers'. I'm not the only one!

There was random banter. I can only remember a few strands of conversation:

  • Outrage at the lack of TV signal (even analogue) given the prices we paid for the rooms.
  • Registration, and what it felt like to leave your parents.
  • Where in the world people'd travelled to. I won! (Sydney)
  • How bad everyone was at cooking. Even I tried it, but for some reason everyone now assumed I'm a scatty-brained Master Chef.
  • Societies, where I managed to come out. Everyone seemed cool with it. The Catholic drama student seemed a bit uncomfortable but assured me he was fine. Then we went into a complete fiasco of cooking and I made myself far too much Spaghetti alla Putanesca and ended up stuffing myself and cooling some for later.

We ate, and then we all settled down to listen to some music whilst I made paper planes and got asked how old I was. It's amazing how much all of our tastes differ. I got a panic-stricken call from my mother because I hadn't heard my alarm to ring her as I was having far too much fun.

We then went to The Bar again. It was noisy, but as I was turning to leave one of the people from the corridor spotted me and managed to convince me to stay. We did, and one of my neighbours performed at the Karaoke. She was simply stunning, to the point it wasn't Karaoke, more a cover. Still, there were plenty of bad Karaoke acts afterwards to make it up, and I found that JD and Coke isn't a bad drink. Oh, and that Warwick bars are disgustingly expensive (said JD and coke was £2.80).

We came back and had some random discussion, but I think the girls were a bit drunk as they kept on linking things back as innuendo. Two girls came in with handbags and cake and were intolerably posh, sneering at pretty much everyone else. They left to have a smoke.

So, bedtime again. Hopefully I'll be able to sleep tonight… I'm missing home a bit less now I've spoken to parents on the phone.

First Day

Well, today was a little bit odd.

I woke up this morning, tired. I got up and immediately started packing things up. Apart from a few issues with the computer at home having a cross-over cable incompatible with the cable modem, everything went according to plan. We got into the car after packing (Dad had a conversation with our opposite neighbour who suggested my parents buy a house in Coventry and rent it out… nice idea, but a very big up-front cost that'd be impossible to weather).

The drive to Conventry was a bit heated. Mum was getting hungry and fretting about having a hypoglycemic attack, but got very defensive when I said panicking would make the risk greater. They were also worried about a massive tailback on the motorway we were on in the opposite direction.

We arrived and were stunned by the Warwick campus. Absolutely stunned. No litter, and beautiful. We got directed by a kind traffic warden to park off-road given the trailer and the need to eat, and found a bar beginning with an X in the Student's Union. I was very surprised to find it had wireless available. I checked the traffic and there was nothing mentioned.

Food was good for me, though mum thought hers was bland. I had Nachos, not knowing what they were and never having had them before, mum had honeyed chicken, and dad had the special, a beef sandwich. As for drinks mum had a diet coke, dad had a pint, and I had freshly squeezed orange juice made from the most complicated contraption around. It wouldn't look out of place in a steampunk novel, feeding in the oranges, squeezing them AND throwing them away.

Then we wandered down the corridor to register for the Warwick health stuff. I got the forms but was told I needed to know my room, so we wandered to where the horribly written and confusing enrolment guide said, the Rootes building. From there we were told to go to my building, Arthur Vick. Mum asked more questions but I was fed up of waiting, told them to stay around whilst I checked my room out.

I got to the building and it was stunning, with a fountain in the yard and nice, clean buildings made of coloured brick. The tent was full of charming, if maybe very rich, characters and they let me have my keys with only an emergency contact form, another random filled in and a promise to give them photo ID. I got AV building 1, room 1. Easy to remember if I get drunk!

I checked my room briefly. It was lovely.

I went back and we headed to the vice-chancellor's speech. Dad and I dozed through it. It was a very marketing-driven and clichéd talk but it seemed to be from the heart and not rehearsed to death, it struck me as having spontenaity. The jazz band before-hand was pleasant but they were playing it way too safe with their improvisations except for a stunning trumpetest who belted out what he wanted to play with zealotry.

We arrived to the room and started unpacking. It turns out all my neighbours are nice and the place has a shared kitchen/lounge to twelve students. I've put my PS2 in the social room because I don't play it enough and want to share something. I met the someone in charge of the rooms and a tutor as they walked in and invited me to an Arthur Vick welcome trip at 20:00.

Unpacking was relatively easy, but it took me ten minutes of airwave-crawling to find out there is no digital TV signal present in or around Coventry at all. Bugger! I only have a digital TV card and a meticulously set up MythTV installation that I was addicted to. I may have to socialise! Mum got very edgy when I was doing that. She hates me fiddling around on computers when she's around. We had a major row and I stormed off to finish packing as she was belittling all the stuff I was doing whilst simultaneously saying I was belittling all the parenting she'd done in her life.

Anyway, we made up, and they left. It was a very brief but strong goodbye. I won't adjust to this for ages. I want to go home already. I popped in to see a friend from school called Olga. She was friendly, gave me a game to play. I hope I can run it in Linux with WineX.

I went on to a supermarket and bought a load of crappy sandwiches and ate them, carefully skirting a chanting crowd of Freshers cheering and raving around someone with a megaphone. I headed back to my room just in time for the meetup. I met two people and talked to them but they actually seemed annoyed with the way I commented and tried to inspire discussion/debate with any subject they came up with. Maybe I need to tone down my talkiness.

The bar was HORRIBLE. Noisy and full of people getting way too drunk. I left after a lemonade and went back to Olga's, who showed me Doom 3. Very pretty, but very boring. Played like Doom 1 after a boring Half-Life style introduction. Bang, bang, bang. bang. I think the fact the lights kept going out was meant to be creepy. I just walked through the rooms shooting until I got bored.

I came home, logged on to the Internet and half-heartedly decided to try the blogging system. So, here I am.

This is really weird. I feel like I'm in a dream!

September 2005

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