They say getting there is half the fun but right now it has been the meat of my adventures. Traveling from airport to airport I am just – phew – so tired. I almost missed my connecting flight from Philly to Amsterdam because of my previous flight delays. After hearing about other people’s horror stories, I am glad I didn’t miss a connecting flight. All the airports were interesting and reminded me of huge shopping malls. As I was people watching, I noticed many people were on shopping sprees. Many of shoppers were holding an assortment of colorful bags, all with some recognizable commercial logo. This “airport mall” mentality was especially noticeable in the Amsterdam Airport.
Once out of the hustle and bustle of the airports and being padded down and felt up for the last time, I was free to walk out into the crisp, clean and cold Leeds air. I love cold weather, so instantly I was having an amazing time. Passing through the countryside in the car on the way to the university was something out of a postcard/screensaver/scene from any cheesy romance flick. Either way, it was really pretty and extremely green. The trees here seem to engulf the streets, as if somebody decided to build their home in the middle of a mini forest.
During the day the university is your typical British Colonial 13 colonies Harvard and Oxford type architecture. At night it looks more like a scene out of a Harry Potter movie. You know the one where something could be lurking in the shadows, only to find out it is one of Harry’s paranoid delusions. But then I guess any unfamiliar territory fits into that category. On campus, there are, again, more trees and many open fields between buildings allowing room for the casual game of football, rugby, cricket..etc.
Speaking of football (fútbol), I couldn’t have picked a better day to arrive because I was able to catch the big game between Man U and Barcelona. A group of us went down to “The Box,” a local pub, and experienced the chaotic fun that is yelling at a screen for “your” team. You know that feeling you get when Dirk hit the three in the last 5 minutes taking the game into overtime, or when Colt threw the perfect pass to Shipley for a first down or (insert favorite sports historic moment here). Well that was the wave of emotion spread throughout the pub when Barca scored, making the game 3:1 putting a proverbial seal if you would on the Champion League title.
All together not a bad way to start my stay in the UK.