Hello Brighton!

I have just arrived from the United States to study at the University of Sussex and it has been quite a pleasure to be welcomed into your lively, bustling city.

Before Wednesday, January 4 my knowledge of Brighton was that it was a city in England and I would be living right outside it until June 26.

After choosing England as my study abroad country, I made the actual university decision based on cost and courses, as opposed to my personal familiarity with the area.

To be perfectly honest, it wouldn't have surprised me if it was the Tulsa City, Oklahoma of England.

Have you heard of Tulsa? Yes? Maybe? What’s in Tulsa you ask? I don’t know either.

However, I didn't actually have low standards for Brighton before arriving (and I don’t have low standards for Tulsa if I ever go there) but I knew it wasn't London.

Regardless, I can say it has been a pleasant surprise to arrive and explore the city.

If I’m to tell you my story I must start at the beginning.

I arrived in London at about 6am.

I didn't sleep at all on the plane because I was hoping to stay awake until that night and maybe avoid jet lag altogether; the only hitch was that the night before I only got about four hours of sleep.

The arrival was, obviously, pretty exciting and I think the excitement is the only thing that kept me going as long as I did.

After going through international travel, customs and baggage claim, I needed to wait about three and a half hours before my coach left from London to Brighton so I tried to walk around the airport to keep me going unfortunately my section of the airport was surprisingly dull.

I sat to read. Then I woke up!

I asked the nearest person what time it was because I have literally been without mobile communication or a time telling device ever since I turned my phone off in Boston.

She said it was 9:39, which I understood as 10:39, which was one minute before my coach left for Brighton.

Immediately I crammed my cart somewhere, grabbed my stuff and hobbled off as quickly and awkwardly as possible to get to the bus station on time.

I actually managed it, and even got onto the bus without realizing it was an hour earlier than I was meant to leave and they let me on without a word about that.

Once on the bus, I ended up falling asleep again, before we even managed to get past the airport, so I missed all of London at that time.

However, I did wake up before we got to Brighton and I got to see it.

Eventually, when I got dropped off, I asked someone for the time. When they told me it was about 11:30 I couldn't believe how early I’d arrived, until my distinct recollection of the woman in London telling me the time was 9:39 began to make sense.

I decided to wait another hour so as not to disrupt the time that I told my host family I would be there. The waiting was still pretty exciting because I was near the pier and I could see a lot of cool shops.

Then I met my host family and learned, to my delight, that they are also really awesome.

They have really helped in giving me such a delightful first impression England and of the city.

Everything I've mentioned previously is mostly just circumstance and my daily activities as opposed to stories.

My first actual story of England has to do with the bathroom.

While I was exploring on my own I stopped in a small bathroom in one of the buildings to relieve myself. After I’d done my duty I began searching for the handle or button to flush.

I couldn't find either, so my best guess was a red, handled string hanging down near the toilet.

Upon pulling the handle, the bathroom filled with flashing lights and blaring horns and immediately afterwords I saw a handle to flush the toilet.

After doing that successfully and washing my hands I found a “reset” button for the alarm and tried repeatedly to turn it off.

Eventually I gave up and had to go find the nearest person I could to save me.

It was a girl working in a café located in the building so I explained the situation, and she actually went to the bathroom, went in, pressed the EXACT SAME RESET BUTTON I TRIED 10 TIMES, and bid me farewell.

So that was awkward… Regardless, though, I’d still say it has been great so far, and with that I bid you all good day.

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