After arriving home from a day at sixth form, I was met with a very anxious speech about how we had to be out of the house in 5 minutes. I had not even packed yet. I ran around like a headless chicken and then found that I was ready at least half an hour before my mum. Disclaimer, I am not a great one for long car journeys or being in a small space with one person for a very long time. The trip to Nottingham was 5 hours… I will spare you the details.
Everyone always says they hate SATNAVS but I swear that without it we probably would have ended up being irretrievably lost. As it was, we drove around in circles for an hour because someone had thought it was a great idea to insert a tram line which was unclear as to if cars could drive on it. After a very tense trip, we managed to at last find the right entrance to the car park and found a “very nice car park man” who told us how the pay chip worked. This man was the highlight of mum’s trip, apparently, car park men attitudes are the make or break for choosing a university…
When we finally made it to the Premier Inn we found our room, dropped our bags and headed out to get some food. Anyone that knows my mum knows exactly how she gets when she’s hungry, but for those who don’t… she is the definition of “hangry” (angry and hungry) and she speed walks everywhere with her little legs struggling to keep up with her stomach. Needless to say, we sat down in the nearest restaurant we could and this ended up being a Thai street food restaurant called ‘Thaikhun’. Considering we had been driving for 5 hours we thought mojitos were well in order and ordered some vegetable dough-balls for starters. I am not usually one for spicy food but I have to say my spicy seafood noodles were pretty great. If you’re ever in Nottingham go check it out, it is definitely somewhere I would go back to.
Mum being Mum decided to grill the waitress as to the universities (Trent and University of Nottingham) and the general viewpoint of a student, she was only too happy to tell us about the nightlife and as mum drank more of her mojito she got more and more animated, I can’t say mine had the same affect but that may have been because apparently they ‘slipped’ with the rum shots; hers ended up with 4 shots while mine only had 3. Not for the first time this weekend, she started telling the waitress about the “very nice car park man”. Throughout the waitress kept trying to get mum a refill, I think she wanted me to end up having to carry her back, luckily mum can actually hold her alcohol pretty well and we made our way back to the hotel only a little tipsy.
The next morning, we got up fairly early and got on the tram which the “very nice reception lady” told us about. It was only £1 for a “city short hop” and this got us all the way to the train station (literally at the other side of the city) in less than 10 minutes. That’s not to say it was stress-free though, we did think we’d got on the wrong one for about 3 stops and had no clue where we were going to end up. It was getting tense when we actually made it to the station because we were meant to get a bus, not a train. I have to hand it to the University… they were organised. Every 5 metres there was a student with a blue top saying “student helper” and they directed us to the buses.
There was so much in the booklet that I had circled the relevant things, first was English in the Trent building and we went and found a seat. The professor who spoke was clearly passionate about his subject and the modules all looked so good that I was having second thoughts about the joint honours with French as it means that I could only do 3 from English and 3 from French. Near the end, two students spoke and one was a girl who does the same course I would be doing. After the talk mum decided that it was necessary to go up and grill the poor girl (we actually got a lot of information from this so I guess it was worth it), we had to leave the room at one point because the next talk had started. Unsurprisingly they were on a first-name basis by the end. To make things worse, when I had finally dragged mum away from her newly adopted child we bumped into her again in the toilets… and then later on in the day on the grass. She must have thought we were stalking her. Throughout the day I kept spotting her and purposely steering mum in the opposite direction to avoid any more awkward interactions. Oh, and yeah mum did end up telling her all about the “very nice car park man”.
We decided to go and have a look around the accommodation, unfortunately, this tour was outside of campus which meant that we had to pace it back to the next talk… which we found was in a different building to the one we arrived at. If any of you have ever been to the University of Nottingham you will know about the massive hill that you must go up to reach the Sir Clive building, yeah… well, we had to essentially sprint up this near vertical hill to get to the talk which we were already late for. We threw ourselves into this room, dripping with sweat, 5 minutes late, to find a Spanish woman at the front (we had thought this talk was about studying abroad in France) We plonked ourselves down in some spare seats and found that she was finishing her talk. People asked questions which she didn’t answer and I couldn’t help thinking that maybe it was her who was in the wrong room. We decided to walk out because we clearly were both at the end of the talk as well as probably being in the wrong one.
We went to a few more talks, the last being French. We made our way there only to find a talk already happening and the powerpoint saying ‘studying languages abroad’ meaning that this was the talk we had missed and gone to the wrong one. After waiting outside for a few minutes another girl and her dad appeared, before our talk had started we essentially knew their life story.
On our way back we walked through the town… all I’ll say is that it was refreshingly open and busy compared to Plymouth!
Oh, and yeah before we left we had to go talk to the “very nice car park man” who was just as “jolly” as the day before according to mum. If you read my previous post about the imaginative gift in the hotel room… I did say next time I stayed somewhere I would attempt it. Well, I did indeed try it… I take my hat off to them, it’s time consuming and incredibly hard… in the end I gave up.
[Sorry for the long post!]