I was supposed to have registered yesterday afternoon but it turned out that I needed my passport to register and, being me, I didn't know that I had to have had it with me. I even considered taking it with me before I left the apartment and actually thought, "Nah, I have my IC with me; probably wouldn't need it."
How wrong I was.
In any case, I went back to register this morning. I meant to wake up at 7 in the morning so that I could reach school at 9 and get it done and over with, and then jump into the queue for Kofi Annan's talk at the school (I heard that I needed to show my student card to get tickets), but I couldn't sleep at night because I had a late coffee and ended up waking up at 8.
This boring information is relevant because I reached the LSE part of London (I can't even say "campus" because the buildings are all over the place but situated in one part of London) at about 9.15 and walked past the shop where the tickets were being given out. There was already a pretty long queue, probably about 50-100 people; I thought that I might still have a chance if I hurried with the registration and got back there quickly.
Registration was pretty fast except for one tiny problem caused by the fucking Manila visa people that did my visa. They apparently FORGOT to print LSE's some number or other on my visa which should have been there, so at some point during the next few months I'm gonna have to send my passport to UK somewhere to fix this problem. This is so ridiculous. Have you heard of anything more ridiculous? I paid $595 for the visa application and they couldn't even get it right? When I'm not tired, having a headache and ranting on my livejournal I'm going to write an angry email to those idiots and demand an apology.
Anyway, when I was done with registration and finally got my card, I went back to the New Academic Building shop and was absolutely shocked to see that the queue had virtually tripled. There was about 400 people queueing for the tickets and good ol' LSE only had a theatre with a capacity of 200 for the talk.
I mean, I can't get over this. I really can't. Kofi Annan is going to give a talk and you put him in a theatre that can only seat 200 people? I mean...why?!?! Eventually I stood in the queue for 45 minutes and didn't manage to get a ticket. Instead, all I managed was to almost be late for some introductory lecture thing which forced me to rush through my breakfast, which was also delayed because I woke up late.
I am so organised, it's pretty incredible.
I've been meeting some of my classmates and they've been generally nice. I talked to this Greek girl quite extensively and she's really pretty; this evening I went for some lecture on Sudan with this Swiss German girl, who didn't know what was going on, like me. I don't even know why I went, really. I don't not care about Sudan; I just haven't been following on the developments there. Needless to say, I was falling asleep, just like I was falling asleep in the introductory lecture in the morning and some general post-grad programme talk in the afternoon (in fact, I fell asleep in the latter lecture).
There was an LSE postgraduate party at some pub which I wanted to go for at first, but it was raining and wet and dark and I didn't know where it was and I just couldn't be bothered to go in the end. Story of my life, really.
On another note, I must say that I loved Rui's comment on my Facebook status bitching about the London Tube. She wrote, "You've moved on to new things to rant about! Yay! :)"
Indeed I have. I took the Tube to school this morning instead of the bus because I wasn't sure how bad traffic would be. It was my first time taking public transport in London during the rush hour and all I can say is that I really hope my classes don't start at some ridiculous time like 9 a.m. or something, because...omfg, why is there no ventilation in the trains? Literally the only times I sweat in London are when 1) the lifts in my apartment don't work and I have to take the stairs (yes, all the way to the 12th fucking floor); and 2) I'm on the Tube.
It was so bad this morning. I was half asleep, I hadn't had breakfast, my head hurt, and I was sweating. I don't know how the people around me managed to stay conscious with their overcoats on. How difficult is it to provide some ventilation? I understand the logic behind no air-conditioning, but surely it's obvious that it gets REALLY stuffy in the trains, especially when bodies are crammed against each other and the doors? I couldn't wait to get out of there. It was so bad that I didn't even feel cold when I got out of the station and brisk-walked to school in my short-sleeved top.
Also, I still cannot get over the sight of people eating actual food in plain sight on the tube. Don't get me wrong; it's obviously great and all even if it's a really strange sight for a Singaporean. But can anyone please explain to me why it's seemingly so difficult to take your trash with you when you're done eating and throw it away in, you know, a dustbin? Maybe some Londoners are confusing the Tube with the garbage bin because the trains are so old and dirty; but come on. Come the hell on. You know something isn't quite right when Singaporeans actually look pretty civil in comparison.
Last Tube-related rant: I hate how Londoners don't queue for the train. I absolutely hate it. This is one of the many reasons why Taipei will always be my favourite city despite my love for London (which, to be honest, mainly stems from my love for British/English Literature). Obviously I don't know what it's like in other cities comparable to London, but I just think that a world class city like London should have world class people, too. I used to always complain about Singaporeans not queueing for the train, but at least some of them queue for the MRT at certain places; so far, I haven't seen anyone queue at the platforms when waiting for the train to arrive.
Apart from that, the Tube is actually bloody efficient. I love how it comes so fast and how it takes me 30 minutes max to get to school, including all the walking I have to do from the station to the nearest bit of LSE that I'm able to reach. The changing trains isn't really that annoying too despite the 10 million stairs I have to walk up and down. It's not really like Singapore when I get pissed as hell waiting like 4 ridiculous minutes for the train to arrive; here, it comes in 2 minutes max (caveat: on weekdays) and I'm only pissed as hell when I get on and it's stuffy and I can't breathe. The upside is, too, that I'm 3 stations away from the interchange to the central line, and when I'm at the interchange, I'm 4 stations away from Holborn where the school is. At least the suffering is short.
That said, I'd much rather take the bus. 1) I can sit in comfort; 2) it's direct to LSE and drops me way closer to the campus than the tube; and 3) IT'S NOT STUFFY AND I DON'T SWEAT. I took the bus back twice today and I was so relaxed that I was even listening to music!1!!!omg!!!! I heard that there are weird people on the bus but I haven't come across any yet, so that's that.
Speaking of weird people, I'm pretty convinced that living in London is making me racist and heartless. I won't elaborate on the first point because it's pretty bad. On the second point, and I will preface what I'm about to say by saying that I'm slightly ashamed to be even typing this, whenever I see "beggars" sitting at Tube station exits with a suitably miserable-looking paper cup in their hand and wearing suitably ragged-looking clothes and sometimes with a dog, my first thought is, "Get a job." I literally feel no shred of sympathy for them and I consider myself a bleeding heart. They look perfectly able-bodied; they're not missing limbs; they are not some poor desolute old grandma or grandpa; and all they appear to be is perfectly lazy.
Okay, I'm not being fair with that last point, and I don't mean it. But what I'm trying to say is that the beggars in Bangkok broke my heart and I usually buy tissues from the grandmas selling them in Orchard Road or at MRT stations in Singapore; but the beggars in London just annoy me. Surely getting a job, even one as unglamorous as cleaning toilets, would be better than begging at tube stations?
Anyway, enough about that.
I don't feel like studying.
I don't really know what I'm doing here.
I'm hoping it comes together when the time comes, whatever that means, whenever that is.
At the same time, I still want to get a distinction (the LLM classification - distinction, merit, pass). I didn't spend all this money to come here, immerse myself in a new city and force myself to adapt to its miserable weather, just to leave with a crappy merit (obviously a pass isn't even a thinkable option). In fact, I want something more than a distinction; but I can't really tell whether I'm making things up about my own abilities or whether I really can do this.
I guess after 3 years of being out school, it feels daunting, the prospect of doing gross exams and stressing out over papers. I love doing the latter and hate the former, but it's the latter that's actually making me more apprehensive. I don't know how to explain it...so I won't bother.
I should go to bed. I don't really miss home. I'm quite lonely sometimes but even in those moments I don't miss home. I expect I'd start missing home when winter hits and I'm even colder than I usually am; but right now, it's great being away from everything that's familiar save a few things (Wei Chuen, Mag, some friends, and obviously my tennis; it's been so long since I last played and last laid eyes on a tennis match that I think I've forgotten how to play). The weather could afford to be better and I quite honestly am at a loss in regards to what to wear to avoid shivering when I go out at night; but it's been pretty okay. I hope it gets better.