As my last post shows, I was exhausted after my trip. The flight stuff was all great, got through immigration just fine, etc. I was a little nervous (and I knew this because I started to sweat!) and only picked up 4 of my 5 suitcases. Yup, the maths teacher can’t count!
A girl named Candice, another Canadian, met me at Heathrow. We took the train from terminal 1 to terminal 5, the tube to Victoria Station, the train to the Impact Teachers office. This took 3 hours and include multiple flights of stairs. Let me tell you, in England chivalry is NOT dead! Many lovely men helped us carry my 2 humongous, heavy suitcases. Thank you to all those men!
I was pretty dead on my feet at the office and will be going back in next Thursday to complete all the paperwork, get a bank account (Barclays), and find out all the things I need to know. The office people were super nice. It looks like a really fun place to work. I do find it rather ironical that most of the office staff are not former teachers.
I then took the train from Clapham Junction (the closest station to the office) to Tonbridge. So neat to go through the countryside. Most of the track was bordered by grassy banks and/or thick trees. Occasionally there would be a break and I could spot some of the beautiful Kent countryside. It was truly breathtaking. I befriended the train conductor who turned out to be a transplanted Canadian! He helped me get my luggage (which just doesn’t do justice to the amount of baggage I brought) off the train and up to street level. Again, more chivalrous men were involved as well as rather banged up luggage trolley!
Paul (my landlord) and his girlfriend, Sue, picked me up at Tonbridge Station. Somehow, they both made me feel right at home within minutes. (Mom, don’t read this next bit out to Dad.) The glass of wine might have helped! I’ve discovered that I quite like the British definition of a curry. It was very good, even as left-overs the next evening!
I was so tired and so happy to go to bed. I had been traveling for upwards of 36 hours with only a short nap on the plane between Toronto and Iceland. I slept hard and long; 15 hours in fact!
Erin’s Travel Tip: pack less, ship more later.