Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stranded in London, Day 4

Things are starting to look up, although I'm doing my best not to get my hopes up as I don't want to be disappointed again.

Heathrow has reopened their second runway and are currently relocating planes and crews back to where they're actually supposed to be. In the meantime, they are currently operating 70% of flights. From everything I've read, they've been prioritizing long-distance flights over the short-haul ones, which should mean I have a good chance of my flight leaving on Friday. Knock on wood.

Again, I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but there's not really supposed to be any more snow, so things are looking good at the moment. Everyone keep praying that I make it home. If my plane actually leaves, I think I may start crying on the plane, which could be embarrassing, although I'm pretty sure everyone will feel the same way.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Spoke Too Soon

Yes, I know that I said the previous post was my last post, but I take that back. This is my last post. And I will attempt to explain (quickly, as I hate reliving this experience) why exactly the last post did not end up becoming a reality.

As many of you know, I had a flight to leave London this morning at 10:15 am. As I post this, I would have been landing in Chicago had everything gone according to plan. As you may know, if you've been watching the news, London got hit by a snowstorm yesterday, although their definition of snow storm and mine differ greatly. Basically all of the flights yesterday were canceled, and thus Heathrow became filled with travellers who had nowhere to go. People were sleeping in the aisles, and it was impossible to move. This is the situation that I entered this morning at 6:30 am, when I attempted to check in to my flight.

There were about 5 separate lines feeding into the American Airlines counters, which basically meant a giant mob of people waiting for something to happen. No one knew what was going on, and there were very few employees walking around. Those employees that you did manage to pull aside to talk to had no clue what was going on and were thus completely useless. People could barely walk through the airport, as there were just mobs of people everywhere.

Eventually, I found out that my flight had been cancelled. My parents have now gotten me onto a flight that supposedly leaves on Friday, but we'll see how that works out. According to the Heathrow website, there will be more flight cancellations and delays tomorrow, so I'm not too hopeful that I'll actually make it home in time for Christmas. I may not make it home at all this break. I sincerely hope that won't be the case, but I don't want to get my hopes up and end up nearly bursting into tears at the airport again.

This is ridiculous and I am utterly disappointed in the Heathrow airport. This is disgraceful for one of the most important international airports in the world, and especially now, during the busiest travel season of the year. They should have been prepared for this, and I hope they correct their stupidity as soon as possible.

That's about all that I can bring myself to write at the moment, as I am furious and don't want to get myself too riled up online. If I find out any more information, I'll be updating my blog. Until then, wish me luck.

Love you all

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Heading Home


This will be my last blog post of the term, and it's going to be a bit of a short one, but I just wanted to give y'all an update on what I've been doing for the past two weeks.

One of my friends from Tulane (who some of you might know), Kimi Coleman, came to London for a couple of auditions for music grad schools and stayed with me for two days! I picked her up from the airport, we dropped her luggage off at my dorm, and then got her phone situation taken care of, and went for pizza. For anyone coming to London ever, ICCo, or Italian Coffee Company, has the best pizza that I have found in London. It's amazing. And I love pizza, so that's saying something coming from me.

She then proceeded to get me hooked on The Hunger Games (plan for winter break --> read the other two books in the trilogy) and I "helped" her pick music for her auditions. Basically, with no knowledge of difficulty level or what the judges or whatever they're called were looking for, I just pointed to the ones that sounded the most amusing and said she should sing those :) I'm just so practical and helpful aren't are I?

Wednesday night, we went out to a bar with Zab, making Kimi the first Tulane, or US in general, friend to meet him. She liked him and said he was definitely a gentleman, so I think that's a good thing! On Thursday, she had a second audition, and then left for Scotland. So, definitely a short visit, but we had a good time and it was really nice to see someone from Tulane, as I've really missed everyone.

The rest of my time has been pretty lazy. Yesterday I went to Westminster Abbey, which is one of my favorite places in London, and then wandered around Covent Garden for awhile. No, they're not anywhere near each other, but they were the two places I wanted to go. There was a man giving out mistletoe for donations, and I decided to get some. I'd never actually seen mistletoe in person and it's a really beautiful plant! It may be one of my favorites now. If I weren't so lazy, I would get out my camera and take a photo. Unfortunately for you, I have no intention of doing that.

Tomorrow I will (fingers crossed) be flying back to Chicago. There have been so many flight cancellations and delays, with the ice and the snow, that it'll be interesting to see if I actually do make it out of London. Wish me luck everyone!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I'M DONE!!! ....basically

As some of you know, my last paper for the term was due on Friday. I also had my last tutorial that day. And on Monday, my last seminar is on a book that I have already read and written a paper on. All of this means that, as of Thursday, I have been completely done with all the work I have to do this fall! To all of you in universities back in the US who still have finals, I am so sorry, and I offer you my sincerest sympathy.

As far as classes, I have one seminar left, on Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It's a really good book, so if you like The Great Gatsby or just have any interest in Fitzgerald or the 20s, I highly recommend it. I also have a couple of lectures, but that is not a big deal as there's no preparation to do for lectures. So now, I have two weeks to just hang out in London! First up on the list of things to do- buy Christmas presents.

I also need to stop by a few more museums and possibly some monuments, and hang out with my friends here, especially the ones who are leaving in December.

Well, that's it for this post. I just wanted to share my excitement at being finished :) In case you're interested, I'm listing the topics of the papers that I had to write this term. Yes, there were only four.

1. Chaucer: Whether The Book of the Duchess a secular or spiritual work.
2. Modern English Language: Subtle differences in meanings and usage of modal verbs.
3. Moderns I: The use of dialogue in the works of Hemingway and Fitzgerald.
4. London in Literature: The way in which Oscar Wilde used fashion and clothing to reveal character.

Next term I'll have another four papers to write and, again, I need to come up with my own topics. I'll be taking the same classes, so if anyone has ideas for subjects that sound interesting, PLEASE let me know. I would definitely appreciate help in choosing essay topics. First up, my Chaucer paper on The Canterbury Tales.

Well, that's it for now. Time to eat lunch and go Christmas shopping.