The Lion King, Broadway, How To Deal With Being Ill In Another Country and Our First Fire

If there’s one thing you absolutely must do when you’re in NYC, it’s go and see a show on Broadway.

Why? Ok, I’ve been really lucky to have seen a few major shows in London, and they have all been incredible. But seeing a show in New York City? It’s a completely different experience. It’s amazing; the settings, surroundings, atmosphere and just general feeling you get from being there, it completely takes your breath away, I absolutely recommend to anyone who is lucky enough to visit here to do all the major attractions like the Empire State, Statue of Liberty and Ground Zero, and if you can fit in going to see a show too. Do it.

Where to eat: Juniors – Times Square on Broadway
“Where every night is opening night!” (so cheesy, I love it) anyway, so Juniors is this really cool authentic American Diner on Broadway which sometimes has Broadway stars signing autographs on the balcony outside. (We walked past the cast of Matilda the musical as we walked in.) Had the Steak Cheeseburger and Fries, Pineapple Milkshake (try it, seriously) and Chocolate and Vanilla cheesecake (SO GOOD), and a pretty good bill at the end considering we were in the middle of NYC. It’s an awesome little place and really sets the mood for seeing a show and it’s right around the corner from the Minskoff Theatre.

The Lion King
For the 2nd time of seeing it in my lifetime, it was amazing. I’m definatly one of those people who get’s really really into something when i’m watching it, and I absolutely love the theatre. My eyes well up as soon as they start belting out

“IT’S THE CIRCLE OF LIFEEEEEEE!!!!” and don’t even ask me how much I cry when Mufasa dies.. (it’s really sad ok.)

But seriously, if you ever thought about going to see it, Go. I don’t want to give too much away, and i’m sure anyone else who has been lucky enough to see it will agree, it’s an absolute must seeee.

Being Ill
So this year’s fresher’s flu finally caught up with me. Being ill/poorly/under the weather or sick when you’re in another country is nothing short of depressing. (I love the term ‘i’m sick’ in this country, as it seems to encompass every single possible illness ever.) But seriously, the other day I felt so ill all I wanted to do was be at home, in my home bed, with my home TV and be hanging out with my mom. So, I decided to do some research, and I found some great tips online and got some lovely advice from friends who’ve also had experience of living away,

So here is a run down list of the best things to do when you get sick in another country:

– Surround yourself with home comforts (tea, tea and more tea)
– Don’t try and be clever and go out that night (…)
– Stay hydrated, it is ridiculously easy to get out of the habit of drinking enough water when you move away
– Watch all the TV shows/movies you’d watch if you were poorly at home (New Girl, Big Bang and anything Monty Python)
– Avoid dieing in bed all day and if you can venture out into daylight, do
– Use the opportunity to catch up with as many friends/ family as possible to combat homesickness
– Be proactive, take your meds, catch up on work and take your time to rest

I can’t *cough* i’m sick.

So I get a call from the lovely Shanice (the other English person from our group of 3 from Aston University) the other night going: “SAM!!!! My house is on FIRE!!! So I ran over like an absolute mad women from the other side of campus, fearing nothing but the worst, I literally had visions of flames coming out of the windows, the fire spreading and the whole Upper West being up in flames when I got there..

On arrival however I was greeted with this image: A huge crowd outside the house (it wasn’t up in flames luckily, it had just been the oven in the kitchen) loads of firemen, security and Shanice standing outside in her bright pink slippers, shaking like a leaf, holding her suitcase and trying to explain to me that she had only been trying to cook Fish and Chips.

I honestly don’t know what was funnier, the fact she had her suitcase or the irony that she had been tryng to cook the most British dish possible.

Luckily after calming her down she also saw the funny side. (If you need someone to be serious in those situations I am not the person to go to) But in the end nobody was hurt, it was only the stove, a kettle and a bit of a the wall that had been damaged and everything else was fine, and to be honest I believe in those situations that’s all that really matters, objects and items can always be replaced, people can’t, so if you’re ok, and everyone else is ok, that’s all that really matters. So whilst we waited outside I did the only thing that every English person in that situation would do, invited her over for a cup of tea and a chat whilst everything finished calming down.

In other news, I MADE THE TEAM!!!! 😀 The Official Fox Ultimate Team!! Literally so happy and i’m so so psyched to be on it. The whole team are an amazing bunch of people, everyone’s so chill and welcoming and just up for a laugh. 

More on that the next few weeks!

Below, pictures of the week:

Sam x

The Lion King NYC
That Suitcase

Becoming an international..

So we have this thing back at my University in England, called the ‘Aston Aunties.’ They are current Aston University students, who volunteer over 2 weeks to help the International students and then normal UK students, arrive on campus and settle in. I have been lucky enough to have been an Aston Auntie greeting new International students straight from the Airport and helping them settle in over the week. I have always felt like I appreciated how nerve wracking it must be to come to a new country, unknown to its ways, words and customs and have always tried to be very welcoming.

It wasn’t until 3 days ago I fully appreciated just how nerve-racking, stressful and scary it really is to move to another country. Even to an English speaking student (I am in awe of those of you who have done placements to non-English speaking countries this year and before.) The moment occurred to me when I went to The Mall with my family to go to a ‘Target’ (USA version of a Wilkinsons) to buy a duvet and some pillows. Honestly, I have never, ever felt like such a foreigner in all my life. After about half an hour of trying to explain to the nice American shop lady that I already had bed sheets and therefore only needed a duvet to put inside the said bed sheets, and she kept running off to bring back different things that in no way represented a duvet. Eventually she pointed to the “Comforters” (which kinda look and feel like a duvet but with a funky pattern on it) and we gave up and brought that.

It was during this increasingly comical conversation that I experienced the sheer “omg, i am a real fish out of water here” moment and I realised just how completely and utterly naive I had been of the whole endeavor of moving to a foreign country for a year. I suppose now looking back, out of all the situations to have that realisation in, attempting to buy a duvet in the middle of a department store is probably on one of the less stressful moments to have that in. But still after leaving the mall, quickly having to say goodbye and drop my family off at the train station (as they were getting the plane back to England the next day)and continue in the taxi to return to campus, I did have a minor meltdown.

However, after only a few hours of being on campus that feeling had completely vanished. The people I have met the last 3 days have turned out to be some of the kindest, funniest and welcoming people I have ever met, not just from America (I would just like to comment on just how amazingly polite and friendly Americans are to complete and total strangers) but from all over the world. There is currently a group of us internationals hanging out before the rest of the campus returns on Saturday and everyone is from everywhere. Australia, Hong Kong, Iran, China, Tanzania, Ghana, France, Abu Dhabi, Russia, India.. you name it.

So what have I got up to the past 3 days?

I’ve been hanging out with the rest of the international students, had orientation (where they tell you things like fire safety, bears on campus and how you shouldn’t have a motorbike in you room), sat outside in the sun and had lunch on the Hudson river, moved out of my temporary accommodation and into my new apartment where I will have an actual roommate (whaaaat), gone to a party, seen some of the local wildlife on campus (they have ground hogs! which kind of look like beavers) learnt about the history of the College, drank out of red cups, played Beer Pong and learnt how to play Flip Cup (i’m pre-warning any of my friends in England that you will be taught this game as soon as I get home) and generally had an amazing time of things so far! The weather here is absolutely gorgeous and the views are amazing.

So I am now about to go and have tea with the other internationals and see what tonight brings. I will leave you with a picture of the Beer Pong, my new house and nice picture of the river.

Sam x