Letters from the dorm: New horizons in fine old city

Letters from the dorm: New horizons in fine old city

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Covent Garden in London's theatre district gears up for Christmas.
Covent Garden in London's theatre district gears up for Christmas.
"Gaudy things enough to tempt ye / Many a bargain, if you strike it: / This is London! How d'ye like it?" So goes John Bancks' 1738 poem about London that was mentioned in one of my literature lectures. As much as I love Hong Kong, London is beautiful and full of vitality. After settling in and successfully submitting three monster-size mid-semester essays, I've found more time to explore everything this historic city has to offer.

The freedom of university life is so exciting; there is so much to see and I can go anywhere I want! I occasionally take a stroll around different parts of the city, observe people, trees and traffic, or have cheap lunches with old school friends who are also studying in London. Annoying Tube (the London underground) delays happen frequently, but the London street scene is fascinating.

Walking to class every day, I see street musicians, lost tourists, the River Thames - and then of course there's the occasional rain. I even walked past the red carpet being unrolled in preparation for the latest Twilight film premiere. I love wandering around museums; there are so many free exhibitions about art, fashion and history - my favourite is the Victoria & Albert Museum which helps open your eyes to different worlds. I also get student discounts when shopping - and don't even mention the yummy dishes in Chinatown or the gorgeous weekend food markets!

Hall life is equally enjoyable. I stay in one of the biggest university halls in London, so I get to befriend students of different nationalities and from different London universities. Every Friday I meet friends to discuss art, music and books, and every Saturday night a group of us Asian students squeeze into one room to watch the BBC's Sherlock series. (Have you seen it? It's so good!)

Christmas lights are all up and the city's looking festive. With two weeks until the end of my first semester, I've finally found my pace - and living the inspiring university life as I've always imagined it.

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