Good day , Birmingham!
First, I would like to apologise for the long break between posts. As I’m sure my fellow Aston bloggers can attest to, pre-arrival activities tend to consume a large portion of time!
So I arrived in Birmingham this past Thursday! The flight was long and tiring, but that was to be expected. Immigration went surprisingly smooth; it took less than 5 minutes from the time I handed them my passport to them stamping it!
After waiting in the airport until around 9:30 am, I took a cab to my letting agency. They gave me my keys and a quick rundown of what to expect at the flat. One interesting point (and I’m still undecided on whether or not I like it) is the electricity. It works similar to a pay-as-you-go mobile, in that you get a key stick (not the actual name, but that’s what I call it) that you take to a corner store and top it up whenever you’ve run out of credit. You then take the stick back and insert it into a box at the flat. The box reads it and gives you the pre-paid amount. After that, you are good to go until it runs out. I’m not sure if the rates are the same as if I were paying the electric company directly, but I plan to find out soon. As I said, the jury is still out on this and I will let you know how it goes!
My first impressions of the city are that it is very lively, and full of culture. Our flat is located in the heart of Chinatown and I’ve enjoyed the experience so far. We are just across the street from Acardian, which seems to be a great spot during the weekends. There is a wide variety of restaurants ranging from Latin American to Indian and many pubs and night clubs. If you are in the area, make sure to check them out! We are also a short walk from Bullring, New Street, and the City Centre in general. I’m really happy with our location, as I think it will be great for both of us commuting to our respective campuses.
Valeria arrived here Friday night! We spent most of the day Saturday getting the necessities and walking around the city. On Sunday we walked to the Aston campus. It was my first time seeing it in person (don’t judge me!) and I must say it made me even more excited to get started. It’s in a great location and in close proximity to a few other universities. I wasn’t able to go inside or talk to anyone, but there will be time for that in the near future.
I will be posting more frequently now that I have arrived in the city and am getting settled. If you have any questions you would like to ask, please feel free! I may not be an expert, but I will answer as best I can 🙂