Saturday, 30 July 2011

Don't you just hate it when...

  • the university email doesn't work and you can't read/send emails?
  • someone who used washing machine #3 uses dryer#2 instead of #5 when I'm using washing machine #1? (see below)

  • your flatmates don't wash the dishes properly and there's oil left on the plates?
  • your flatmates all of whom are over the age of 20, are unable to maintain a tidy kitchen for a day?
  • you go to Sidmouth and get sunburned?
  • you have fish&chips and grease is literally dripping from the fish?
  • you have one unhealthy meal and you feel sorry for your body for doing so?
  • you have one unhealthy meal and you feel sick?
  • you find yourself alone on the beach when everybody else is having a nice time with their friends?
  • you realise that you don't have real friends?
  • you are constantly choking because of you binder and yet you can't quit wearing it because you don't want your flatmates to know that you have boobs.
  • you find from a facebook post that your cousin is homophobic?
  • your flatmates are glad when they find out that you aren't gay?
  • you want to go to bed but can't because you have to wait for the laundry?
  • chinese students talk really loudly in a language that you don't understand?
  • people know your name but you don't know theirs?
  • you can never remember people's names because they all look the same?
I just want to go to bed.

Friday, 29 July 2011

First appointment with GP

After discovering that there's a Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) in Exeter, I decided to give the NHS route a go. To start hormones from the NHS, I first need to get a referral from a GP. So that's why I went to the hospital today.

Last week, I went to a local hospital to make an appointment since I found out that the Student Health Centre will not register me until September. I thought I heard the receptionist saythat my appointment time was "twenty to five" but as I was walking home, I began to think I had misheard her for "twenty to four". I decided to be cautious and go ASAP after class.

So today was the day of the appointment. When my class ended at 3:00, I rushed back to my room to get some documents that I might need. But, of course, the fire alarm was ringing and I couldn't go in to the building! The fire alarm rings so often. It's annoying. 
Anyway, we all waited outside until it stopped. 15 minutes had passed. I packed my stuff and set off. It took 28 minutes to get to the hospital.

I asked the receptionist what the time of my appointment was. It was 4:40. I had 55 minutes to wait. I waited. It felt like 30 minutes.
The doctor was very nice but this was the first time he deals with someone who wants a referral to a GIC. He told me that there are 3-4 people who has had/is going through a sex change. That was nice to hear. He told me he will get in touch with me after he finds out what he has to do. I hope he will call me during next week...

Monday, 25 July 2011

HARRY POTTER IS OVER

I just came back from the cinema... No need say what I watched...
I
AM
SPEECHLESS!

Holy shit, my flatmates were crying there eyeballs out at the Snape scene. Who knew Snape was on the good side from the beginning?!

Of course, I read the book. But that was before the Part 1 came out which was last November.
When I finished Part 1, I was not satisfied with the cliffhanger. Although is was 2.5 hours, it felt like 3 minutes. But Part 2 was different. It was only 2 hours but it felt like 3 hours. It was packed with action but it wasn't all about action. The story line was still there and there was also humour. I am very satisfied with how they directed it. And, of course, kudos to JK Rowling.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Song & Story Night!

David told us some stories and the Japanese "English teachers" who have come for 2 months to learn new way to teach English sang the somg Akatombo and other people from various countries told stories. I read a poem by Kaneko Misuzu.
I had a good time. :)

OK Great

I forgot to put detergent in the washing machine. I wasted my 3.20 pounds.
Or should I take it as an environmentally friendly act?

Oh and there's another thing that annoys me...

...is that lots of people studying in Duryard House smoke! AND they leave cigarette ends on the ground! How rude!
It's bad enough for the smoke to stay around the air but ruining this beautiful place with cigarettes? Give me a fucking break! I hate disrespectful people who do shit like that.
It's also not nice to sit next to the guy who smokes in between breaks. It smells really bad. There's another guy who's a heavy smoker but he's considerate enough to eat mint after he smokes so I don't mind that much.

There are a bunch of things that annoys me but it's not like I stress about it.

I'm looking forward to the personal tutorial tomorrow. It's with Andrea who just so happens to be our personal tutor. We each have 10 minutes and Andrea is going to ask us if everything is going fine and if there's anything that's keeping us from our studies.

Not much has been going on really.

I got my PIN number and the bank card for both of my bank accounts. I will be able to withdraw
money from the accounts when the card has been activated which has been done just now. Literally right now. I just got a text message saying that I can withdraw money. :) The money issue is all sorted.

I'm really enjoying the classes. They aren't difficult at all. One of the teachers, Andrea, is very nice. *wink*
We get homeworks everyday. They are mostly photocopies from workbooks so it's sometimes confusing to figure out which paper is for homework and which isn't. Also my class has a essay to write by August 1st. That's the deadline for the 1st draft. We have to write 3 drafts in total. I chose the topic of low employment rate in Japan and everyone got to choose their own topic.
Another assignment is for us to prepare for a 8-10 minute presentation about something. I think I will talk about how Japan has the best preparation for earthquakes (apart for the nuclear thing). But I have to buy PowerPoint before I can start working on the presentation. The Microsoft Office that mum got for my laptop doesn't include PowerPoint because mum thought it wasn't necessary. Obviously that's not true. What kind of university student wouldn't use PowerPoint or some other presentation software? Jeez!

We are having a Song & Story night tonight. Our teacher David Heathfield is a story teller and he's going to tell us some stories from 6pm to 9pm.

Things that bothers me:
  • Flatmates don't put back the dishes.
  • Flatmates talk loud in the corridor after 11:00. (there's a policy that students have to be quite during 11:00pm-7:30am)
  • Some classmates are late for class/never come to class.
  • Some classmates use their mobile phones during class. I don't care what they are using it for, it's annoying.
  • One classmate doesn't listen to the teacher.
  • Some students' pronunciation is so bad that it's super duper hard to understand. I feel sorry for the teachers. And I find it annoying that one of the students is the one who always comes to class late. He is NEVER on time.
  • The fact that I'm such a closet case.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

I cant believe it!

The bread is getting moldy already! Maybe I should have kept it refrigerated...

The flatmates

These are the people I share the kitchen with. I share the kitchen with 5 people; 3 Chinese, 2 Thai.
 Pang(<-HOT) (Thai), me, Husho (Chinese) (not sure about the spelling)
Me, Pai (Thai).
Summer(Chinese), Husho.

We never see the other girl(her room is next to mine). She always hang out with her friends I guess. I hope she comes and mingle with us because we are all very nice. We talked through/listened to Summer when she had a problem with her visa. I think they will be accepting when I tell them that I'm trans... But that won't happen for a while. :/
Us 5 ate dinner together tonight. They all cooked something and they were all very nice. Except for the egg that Pang made which was way too salty!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Socialising!!

I'm going out with my Iraqi friend and his friend from another Arab friend to the badminton meet. I think I actually have friends and socialising!! OMG that's not happened in a very long time... Like a year or something.

The only problem is that my knee is hurting for some unknown reason since yesterday. Maybe because I've been walking very hilly paths or maybe because of my diet. I think I'm eating very healthy but since I don't have any money, I've been eating muesli and sandwiches with only cucumber, lettuce, and mayonnaise. It that healthy? I hope so... :/

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Cost of food in the UK

As I got a request about how much food costs, this post will be about it.
Note 1: I buy the cheapest of the cheapest at Tesco. By cheapest, I mean the cost per 100g. So, for example, I could buy cheaper mayonnaise when you just look at the individual prices but you will save money if you look at the price for 100g. It's written in small letters on the price tag.

Note 2: I'm trying to be vegetarian and I don't buy meat. I cannot tell you the prices of meat.

Ok, so here are the food I have bought so far.

fresh milk 2.75 litres?  1.49 pounds
Muesli      2.09
Bananas (more than 10 pieces)     1.15
Bread     0.47
Cucumber (1 long one)   0.80
Yogurt    0.55
Jam    0.29
Lettuce   1.00
Orange squash (Mix with water to drink. squash:water=1:9)   0.28
Mayonnaise   0.93
Salad (prepared mixture of lettuce, carrots, purple cabbage)   0.75
Tomatoes x6     0.95
Cornish Pasty   1.49
Mild Cheddar Cheese   3.45

Other items that I bought are:
Tooth brush x2 @Boots     0.70    (I later found that the ones at Tesco are cheaper 0.10 for 2)
Bath towel (on sale)   11.00    originally 22.00
flip flops   3.99
Lunch (crape,coffee)     4.65   (we ate at the cheapest place we could find.)
mobile phone (cheapest one available)   17.99


There is a Chinese supermarket where you can buy Chinese/Korean/Thai/Japanese/many other Asian countries' products including rice. They sell rice at Tesco as well. I think it's cheaper to buy it in Tesco but I'm not sure.

Hope this helps Vicky! :)

Phone situation sorted.

So I went out after my flat mate came back. I successfully got the cheapest mobile phone that was available. 17.99. I borrowed 20p because I only had 17.79. I'm so glad that I can now submit my number to the centre and complete my registration.
My friend bought  lunch boxes at the 1pound shop. There's 6 boxes in one package so she gave 3 of it and I will pay her back. I packed y lunch in the box this morning. :)

yes, it's pink. IT WAS THE CHEAPEST ONE, OK!? lol

It took a while for me to figure out how to use it when I got back because the instructions are so brief. But I eventually was able to save some useful numbers. When we were having dinner, I saved my flat mates' numbers as well.
So I thought this phone was a temporary one until iPhone 5 comes out but now I think I'll keep it until it breaks. Flip phones are cool. I have an ipod touch (that I only use for listening to music) so I guess I kinda look like I have an iPhone. :P

This morning was chaos.
I was told that I had to get to the INTO centre that's located 15 minutes from my room before 9:00 to check my schedule for this week.
Last night, I wondered why I had to go there. I was told that we were going to be taught at the Duryard House. 2 minutes from here.
Nevertheless, I went 45 minutes before 9:00.
I couldn't find my name on the chart.
I asked the lady.
She phoned the person who was in charge.
I had come to the wrong place. I guess I was somehow told the information for the people who are taking another course.
I run back asap.
I was afraid of being late on the first day.

Class starts at 10:00.

WTF

Monday, 4 July 2011

First day at INTO

I walked a lot. And I'm exhausted. That's what I thought of today.
Here is what happened today.
All the people who is taking pre-sessional English met up in front of Duryard Hall and we walked to the INTO centre. It took probably about 20 mins. We were out of breath by the time we got to the top of the hill. It's SO steep!!!
We walked to another building and had an introduction and a test. The test was dictation, grammar, essay writing, and an interview in the afternoon. The interview was to access our speaking skills and also to get info about us. There were two tutors who were in the interview room and when my interview finished, I heard one tutor say "Exceptional" behind my back. I assume he was referring to my speaking skills. That made me a little more confident. :)
After the interview, I went back to my room to find the cleaners doing their job. So I went outside to wait for them to finish. While waiting, a guy came out of Duryard Hall (were the interview was held) so we started talking. He's from Iraq and 26 years old. Mohammad. Not sure if that's the correct spelling but whatever. It was very interesting talking to him. He's going to study post-grad bio science. He worked in Iraq for 4 years diagnosing patients by taking many kinds of samples (blood, skin, urine, etc). His work can't make any mistakes because mis-diagnosing someone and giving the wrong medication may lead to death. he also told me that he's from Baghdad and it's "safe" now but war killed 2 of his friends. I put quotation marks on safe because I don't know the standards of his safe. Not as safe as Japan, I imagine...
Anyway, it was nice to make friends with someone who isn't Chinese. There's another person who's not from China; she's from Switzerland. I think her name was Sebina of something like that but I'm not sure because we didn't talk so much. All the other people are Chinese. I'm so glad my two of my flat mates are Thai. There are 5 other people that I share the kitchen with and 2 of them are Thai. Which means 3 out of 6 are Chinese. And probably 95% of the international students are Chinese. What. The. FUCK?????!!!!???? Why are there so many CHINESE PEOPLE???????? They are EVERYWHERE!

I went back to my room after talking to Mohammad, I went back to my room, watched Youtube, went out to the city to buy some more food, came back, had the fire alarm go off TWICE!!!, had a meeting with my flat mates, and here I am now blogging about my day.

I hope the alarm doesn't go off in the near future........ You will be fined 30 pounds if you don't evacuate within 4 minutes! WTF??
My meals today:
(breakfast) muesli, banana, bread and cheese and cucumber.
(lunch) bread, cheese, cucumber, banana.
(dinner) salad, mayonnaise, CORNISH PASTY!!! yum!!
lol

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Shopping & exploring.

I went to the city centre with my next door neighbor Pang (Thai girl) and 3 of her friends (1 Thai girl, 2 Chinese girls). It took 40 minutes to get there because we walked slowly but when I came back alone, it only took 20 minutes.
We went to get what we needed and met up again to have lunch (crape, not so nice to be honest). After that, we went to the cathedral that I went last year in April. Lots of people there since it was nice and sunny.
I went and got a note pad so that I can keep track on my money. Other things I bought were:


  1. bath towel

  2. food from Tesco (muesli, milk, bananas, cucumber,yogurt, lettuce, and jam)

  3. flip flops (I've always thought flip flops were cool & everybody's wearing them)

In total, I spent 32.12 pounds and I still have 22.88 pounds. I have a tiny bit of fear of spending money because I barely spend my own money. (I like earning it though!) So I got nervous when I went to Tesco and spent 11 pounds but change of currency helped. If it was in yen and at Aeon, I would have panicked and though I'd run out of money.


Anyway, I came back on my own and rested for a while and went outside to make a video of around here. Not exciting but here it is.



video


I took my PC back to my room and went out for a longer walk around the buildings. There was a Chinese girl alone and her listening skills wasn't good enough to catch what the INTO staff said on the phone. (all students have to move into their accommodation either yesterday or today and if they arrive after17:30, they have to phone the INTO office.) I helped her. I met her later and her room is two houses away from my house.


After helping her, I walked down road away from the city centre. I walked this way because I thought the sea was that way. I later found oout on Google Earth that the sea is in the direction of the city centre. But one good experience was that I got to see a railroad engine.


That was basically what I did one 2nd day at Exeter. Tomorrow is when life really starts. There is going to be an induction programme tomorrow from 9:15 at the INTO building.


BTW it's nearly 10pm and it's finally getting dark! I guess I'm nearer to the North pole than when I'm in Tsukuba!




video



video

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Exeter, yo!

Arrived 20 minutes ago. Exhausted. My room is on the ground floor and these are photos of my room that I took using the camera on my PC because I couldn't bring my digital camera.
My next door neighbor is a Thai girl and she told me there's another Thai person on this floor.
Coming from Heathrow was the Chineseest experience I had so far. I met the taxi driver and he told me we have to wait for another two students. They both turned out to be Chinese. On the way here, another two came in. Both Chinese. As we, 1 Japanese/British and 4 Chinese, waited for the accommodation to be sorted out, some residents passed by and most of them were Chinese. They are everywhere!!!!!!

BREAKING NEWS:
My sheets are very pink.






Friday, 1 July 2011

9 hours until I leave...

I'm going to watch Bridget Jones so that I don't cry myself to sleep tonight. But I might cry while watching the DVD. I've been having a big lump in my throat all day today and I had to press my lips together so that I don't cry during work.


My mum's going to wake me up at 5:45am just before she goes to work.
Will I:
a) wake up and burst out crying, or
b) cry after she's gone and have to wear sunglasses to go get breakfast from family mart, or
c) not cry at all until I reach Exeter?

I hate crying. I get a clogged up nose and red eyes... :'(