What a day! Of course I woke up late today and missed breakfast, but I had an apple left in my room so I had that with some tea. Soonafter I left to explore the campus and get my student card, bank card, and cellphone business sorted out. The International Society had a helpdesk set up and they were super helpful, telling us where to go and how to go about doing things – they even had a sheet made up comparing all the features of all the different banks! Of course as an Asian/accountant I chose the free one from Barclays. You have to get a letter from the university stating your current address and proving that you are enrolled in full time studies to open up a bank account, which thank goodness they told us about and told us where to go to get it. The carding office and letter place were in the same room luckily, so about half an hour later all that was sorted out.
Barclay’s on Oxford Rd. was a mess today! Students everywhere. It took about an hour for us to get out of there, and we have to go back next Thursday to get our card because they were too overwhelmed today with students to process everything. Apparently you need a UK bank account to get a cellphone, so I guess I’ll be reliving my pre-cellphone days for another week.
After that we hopped on a 143 and took it to the end of the line as we were told to do and found ourselves in the midst of Manchester Market!
At this point it was about 2pm, and both having had little for breakfast the smells wafting from all the tents were too delicious to resist. We both bought chicken pitta (yes pitta as they call it here pronounced PITAH, not pita with an e sound) and soup. I got jerk sauce on my pitta and the pumpkin and sweet potato soup, which was amazing.
After we were full and happy it was time to do what we went there for. Primark! As explained to us by the Int Soc girl, “it’s like… Walmart?”, to which we immediately went “ohhh, ok!”. Oh my goodness Primark has become my new favourite place to shop, everything is so cheap! The bags and accessories are the first thing you see when you enter into the 3 floor colossus, and was hard to resist. I bought some necessities, as well as a cute little quilted and grosgrain bowed coral purse, which I, in my defense, need because I don’t have any purses right now that allow me to keep my hands free. I love it!
The leopard print fleece throw is probably my favourite purchase of the day though, my room is freezing cold at night! Plus it covers up most of my horrendously hideous duvet cover, which I did not pick and very much regret ordering online as part of the bedding pack.
After dinner in the dining hall I went to the U of M’s Student Union building, where they were hosting a Ceilidh Celtic dance session for international students. Very sweaty, very fun. It was probably more fun laughing at our inability to grasp the steps than when we did figure out how to do it, although it was incredibly satisfying when we were able to do a dance properly.
Ok, time to head to bed! Nighty night.