Friday, October 2, 2009



I am here. Finally. I am finally in England. Goodness knows it took a dramatic force of effort these last couple weeks to make the old show happen.

Proof I am still alive... and that my room needs sprucing.

Long story short, there was some difficulty obtaining my visa. My first application was denied, which resulted in many tears, gnashing of teeth and all around stomping of feet. I haven't been so frustrated in over a year, not since handling all the logistics of Leia in the legal system after mum's death. Suffice to say that sometimes, bureaucracy is a bit awful.

View from dorm. Most freshers have family helping them move in.

Thanks to amazing efforts by both Cambridge and Creighton, my second visa application was rushed through the system. A process that is supposed to take upwards of three weeks took three days. I have some pretty amazing people behind me.

Another view from Ye Olde Dorm

So! I got my visa. Then I got on the plane. Then I got back off the plane, because the first flight I booked (which technically was the second. First one was scheduled to leave weeks ago) had some sort of mechanical plane hooblah nonsense. At the risk of electrocuting us, the pilot recommended we stay grounded for a couple hours. That meant I missed my connecting flight to Chicago.
Better believe I caught the first coach to Cambridge!

Third time's the charm, though. I finally caught a plane out of Omaha, travelled to Chicago, ate copious amounts of veggies in the process, hopped on another flight, watched a really awful movie (transformers? Why did I think I'd even remotely enjoy that?) and arrived in London.

Flying over the city made me grin, feeling like a little kid popping into Hogwarts and High Fashion all at once. I hopped a coach (BUS!) to Cambridge, half-dozing as the sun rose over ridiculously green grass. A cabby took me to St. John's propper.

Bed area needs serious help. No sheets. Nuffin :/ YET!

I walked through the entrance, tugging and pulling two years worth of luggage over uneven cobblestone. A scottish man looked at me from behind the desk. "Ello!" That's when he started to speak fast and I ceased to understand. Accents are interesting.

Fortunately, Brian Biggs (last year's winner of the Davies-Jackson) is smart... smart enough to realize how absolutely exhausted, bleary and generally incoherent I would be at this point in my journey. He left a note with Sir Scottish Man that said to contact him upon the arrival of one Miss D.D. Mercer (me. That's how they write my name here. D.D. ... eee.)

My bedroom view

Energetic and equipped with college know-how, not to mention arms made strong from rowing, Brian helpfully guided both my bags and me around campus. I was paraded through a series of rooms and filled out a good many forms. Library card, gym membership, buttery card (aka dining hall, I think), first born child, I signed for it all and was handed pamphlets of What-To-Do-TODAY in return.

There's a lot to do today.

I'm headed off for a formal dinner this evening, followed by a wine 'n cheese with some grad students, a chilling-at-the-college-bar with some undergrad students, and possibly a movie night with some international students. As a Davies-Jackson scholar, I fall into all and none of these categories at once. I'm thrown somewhere between. It's confusing, but as Brian mentioned earlier, it's also pretty amazing.

Now that my luggage is tucked safely behind closed doors and I have napped for an hour or so, I feel ready to embark on the next step of my Cambridge journey. I need to start decorating my room stat. It's as simple as dorms can be. Any suggestions?

My current closet situation: all over the floor.

And here's a random highlight of my day: a little surprise was waiting for me in my pigeon hole (mailbox). Someone annonymously wrapped up a book on baking tarts, with a postcard saying 'Welcome to Cambridge.' I wonder who...
I think I'm gonna like it here.


  1. I love that you are typing with a British accent. Amazing.

    I miss you already.

  2. Glad to see you made it over... trust me the rest is easy from this point on :)

  3. I can't wait to see what you think of Cambridge. I absolutely love it there. Make sure to check out Giraffe cafe and going punting is a must (if its warm!).