I arrived in Houston at around 6.30 pm on Sunday evening, so I’ve been here nearly five days. Hardly qualifies me as an expert on Houston or Rice, but:
Impression #1: Houston is very, very flat unlike Armidale, which is very, very hilly.
Impression #2: People in Houston and especially at Rice are very, very friendly and helpful.
Impression #3: Squirrels are seriously cute. They are everywhere I go and they seem to come in two colours – two tone grey and grey and reddish-cream, like this one here, which I photographed in a tree near the Rice Student Centre. I can understand why they are considered pests, but we don’t have anything like them in Australia!
Impression #4: The graduate reading room at Rice is a good place to work – quite, comfortable, attractive surroundings, lockers that you can lock your laptop into while you wander the library, wireless connection to the library catalogue and the rest of the world.
Impression #5: It is going to be really good working with April. So much of what she says about Thomas makes so much sense to me!
Impression #6: What I tell our international students about culture shock is true – being in a very different environment really does slow down one’s brain – I’m still finding complex coherent thought processes challenging, although I got over the worst of my jetlag very fast (thanks to melatonin tablets and a very long walk caused by not having a map with me and going the wrong way for a long time before I realised it).
Impression #7: People at Rice and in Houston are really very, very friendly and helpful . . . even if the occasional one is as geographically challenged as I am. I can help lost people on campus too, though, because now I never leave the home without my trusty campus and Houston maps. 🙂