September 19, 2013, by Ellie
Bangkok, Arrival and Week One
It’s been a long week, and it’s not even over yet! It started on Monday, right after a weekend in Bangkok (which was fantastic by the way – Thai cooking classes, night bike tour through the old city and temples, floating markets…). I got up before the crack of dawn on Monday to get myself to the airport to hop over to KL.
The airport experience was…interesting, at both ends. On the Bangkok end it was very hectic, I spent a long time standing in a long queue, and I was only partially convinced it was the right one (thankfully it was!). When I got out at the other end, it turned out there had been a glitch of some sort and the pick up didn’t go according to plan. I wound up waiting outside a coffee place for 5 hours! In the end I made it though, and everyone was as helpful as possible so no harm done.
I arrived on campus late in the afternoon and ran into a load of people from my course right away, which was nice! Then came signing into the accommodation and hauling my extremely heavy and multiple suitcases up 3 flights of stairs – I’m on the top floor of the furthest end of campus, lucky me! When unpacking I really started to question my decision making skills when I found fluffy slippers and even a single lonely pillowcase in my bag. The halls are definitely basic but they do the job and I’m starting to even like my little room quite a bit (I think there is possibly a lizard in here somewhere though, I saw it go under my bed and haven’t seen it since!)
The days since then have been non-stop running around trying to get every form filled out and every box ticked. There’s a lot to take in and get done including registration, signing up for tours and Freshers Week, getting a medical, opening a bank account, meeting the personal tutor…the list goes on. I’ve been constantly exhausted, sleeping like a rock every night (once I managed to buy the right sheets. First time round I got polyester, it was like sleeping on a tent!)
This morning I got my medical done; apparently I was the 50th patient and also the hardest person to get blood out of so far…Then tried to find some sort of breakfast food in the canteen, but gave up and had aubergine curry instead. Nothing like eating outside with the view of palm trees and a dragon fruit smoothie to round off a morning! I spent the afternoon getting my chest x-ray, followed by a long overdue catch up with my fianceé over Skype. (That’s one of the hard parts about going to the other side of the world, you really miss the people that you’ve left behind.)
Finally to round things off, I spent this evening experiencing my first ever mid-autumn festival! There were lanterns, there were stories, there were mooncakes. There were some very entertaining games involving impromptu acrobatics. I mostly just enjoyed the chance to do something a bit different, hang out with my flatmates and meet a bunch of new people. If you’re debating whether to get out there as a new arrival at any of the campuses, I say go for it!