Sept 9

Today was our first free day.  We hadn’t gone to the grocery store yet, so that was our top priority.  Our host mom drove us over to where the grocery store is, and showed us how to get back.  It is in a big shopping area, and before she left, she suggested that we check out a store called Primark.  It is the coolest store ever – it’s like Forever 21 on major steroids with cheaper prices (even after converting them into dollars).  It has tons and tons of trendy clothing, accessories, shoes, luggage, beauty supplies, and more.  I ended up getting a sweater, a scarf, and a “Keep calm and carry on shopping” bag for a total of 13.50 in pounds.  I anticipate that this store will be very helpful in the future, as it has any basic clothing item you could possibly ever need.  After Primark, we walked down to the grocery store.  Our host mom had told us to go there because it was a big supermarket (unlike the smaller markets near our school) and that it was cheap.  She was right – it was huge and inexpensive.  I got all kinds of basic snack and supplies to make lunches to bring to school.  They had lots of prepared food that looked good, so that could be an option for when school starts because we have to make dinner every night or eat out.  One weird thing is that while all meat and produce is refrigerated like in the US, eggs are just on a shelf down one of the middle aisles – not kept cold at all! We all thought that seemed kind of gross.  Once we checked out using the self checkouts (and had to get help from store workers at least twice each), we caught the bus back to the alexandra palace station, which is at the end of our block.  Once we got back, our homestay brother Benedict knocked on our door and asked if we wanted to play soccer with him, so we did for a long time.  We realized just how big the back yard is – there is a full soccer goal, space to play, a ping pong table on a patio, multiple sheds, and area that used to be a tiny pond, a trampoline, a fire-pit area, and more.  After this we ate, and then walked down to the pizza pub we found and met up with a few other students in the area.  We hung out there for a while, and then came back and watched the end of the Packer game.

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