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Wednesday, 7 October 2009

A Warm Welcome Week

Note: High resolution images of some of the following photos are available on Flickr. These photos are marked with [AoF] tags (Available on Flicker) in their captions. Click on the photos to view their higher resolution images.

After arriving at the University of Nottingham, I participated in the University's Welcome Programme.

The Welcome Programme included several activities. I registered with National Health Service (NHS), during which I got two vaccinations. I collected my university card. I opened a bank account. I registered with the University after joining a very very long queue, stretching over 30 metres.

The queue to University registration.


Participants of the Welcome Programme are offered free on-campus accommodation for two nights. I got a nice comfy room in Sherwood Hall, located at a corner of the University Park campus. It's got a big window with a great view.

Sherwood Hall.

Sherwood Hall room
[AoF] Window of my room in Sherwood Hall.

The Sherwood Hall is obviously named after the forest in which Robin Hood purportedly stayed during his time.

During our stay in Sherwood Hall, we were given free food for breakfast and dinner too.

Clockwise from bottom left: muesli, paper napkins (not meant to be eaten), juice, toast, egg, and some sort of a bread.

It was then that I first ate a classical English breakfast.

Toasted to a golden, crunchy perfection!

The toaster. It has a small conveyor belt, on one end which you place your bread on, and toasted bread drops down the other. The bread in the picture above was toasted by this toaster twice.

Muesli -- my favourite among the lot! Raisins, oat, nuts, almonds etc all mixed up, crunchy and nice.

Jay (in green) and Donny's apple.

We had our meals in a large dining hall. We lined up (again and again) for our meals there.

The dining hall.

We were also entertained by the Week One committee, who prepared dances, skits, and performances on a Friday night.

Dance performance. Pardon me for the extreme noise of this picture, it was a little dark and my camera was pushed past its limits.

The Committee really made the Welcome Programme literally welcoming. They sacrificed their time, effort, and energy to make us feel at home. Those performances weren't of world class standards, but I still enjoyed them. Thanks a million to them!

One of the performances that night. This is an Irish or Scottish dance, I can't really remember. Again, sorry for the grainy video, nothing I can do about it.

People say that time passes by quickest when you enjoy. That must be true, because before I knew it, my temporary 2-night room turned into this.

My Welcome room the night before I checked out.

A big mess.

The following morning, however, after some time of packing, the room looked almost exactly as it had when I first checked in 48 hours ago.

A bus came few hours later and I was brought to my home for the rest of the year -- Raleigh Park. This is the end of the nice hospitality, I thought. It's not everyday you get free food, young man!

Raleigh Park
[AoF] Sillitoe Court of Raleigh Park. My room is among these blocks.

But how wrong I was.

During my first two days in Raleigh Park, a tent was set up near the bar, providing free burgers.

The guy frying patties. He was so good he actually flipped the patties with his bare hands.

Edmund preparing his burger
[AoF] Edmund preparing his burger.

Raleigh Life Till I Die
[AoF] James eating his burger by the wall with the words "Raleigh Life Till I Die!".

That, my friend, was some kind of hospitality.

Edmund enjoying his burger!
[AoF] Edmund, in front of the Beach Bar, truly satisfied.

Thank you all for making my first week in UK a blast!

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