34 hours until freedom

I am on Day 9 of the 10-day quarantine at FIE housing. A floormate and I have made a countdown for 11:59 p.m. on Sunday the 27th, at which point we will flood outside and enjoy the first fresh air we have gotten in what feels like two months. 

Settling into my room and getting to know my floor mates has been wonderful, and I’m glad the UK and FIE are taking quarantine seriously, but I am so ready to get out of here. The beautiful floor-to-ceiling window in my room is teasing me. Queen’s Gate Terrace is beautiful, I can see the Queen’s Arms pub just down the street, I hear people walking by—I can see freedom but I can’t reach it. 

The past 9 days have consisted of a lot of Friends (which they have on Netflix in the UK, yay!), a lot of wine and a lot of naps. But I will share with you the few highlights from this week: 

I was excited to see Marmite on the grocery store’s website, a super salty yeast extract spread that’s popular in Britain and the Netherlands. My father grew up in the Netherlands and my family and I go to visit his side of the family there every summer, where I eat a lot of buttered toast with Marmite. I had some floormates try it out. It is very concentrated and very salty, so I warned them to lather the toast in butter and take the tiniest bit on their knife. But Chuck did not listen to me. He took a thick spread on his knife and put it over the tiniest corner of his toast, and no surprise, he hated it. Not the reaction I wanted. 

Thank goodness for the common room. Every night the 11 of us have squeezed into the little room with a couch and a few chairs. These nights have consisted of White Chicks, Mean Girls, a Crazy 8 competition and lots of get to know you games. 

One of the Floor 2 residents, Austin, who loves to cook, made some of us breakfast one morning. I was expecting my breakfast during quarantine to be peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but we gathered ingredients from everyone’s personal fridges and he threw together a delicious potato hash scramble topped with avocado and goat cheese. 

We all eagerly awaited Day 2 and Day 8, the two days we had to take our pre-ordered covid tests and drop them off at the Royal Post box around the corner. The less than two minute walk was exhilarating. 

After my first photojournalism class, which was online because it overlapped with our quarantine, was from 9- 6pm, so I treated myself with delivery pizza (on the right). I ordered from Adora, an Italian place, and got the most wonderful pizza with prosciutto, mozzarella, arugula, tomatoes and sourdough crust. If you are ever in South Kensington, I recommend the Parma Adora.

A Message from the Office of Global Engagement:

The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.