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November 25, 2021 / Jim Fenton

Sussex Day 1: University of Sussex

Thursday, November 4, 2021

As is usual for the first day following a big time change, we did not sleep well last night. The room was still too warm and we needed to open windows and get the ceiling fans to run at a reasonable (not hurricane) speed.

We got up around 7:30. The plan was for us to take the bus to the University of Sussex and meet Celeste at 11:00, following her morning class. We grabbed breakfast at a nearby fast-food restaurant, Leon, which was good but a bit spicier than we expected. We found that we had time to stop at a nearby Marks & Spencer store for groceries; visiting grocery stores in different countries is one of our favorite tourist activities. We purchased some groceries for our kitchen, dropped them off at our room, and caught a 10:30 bus to Falmer, where the University of Sussex is located. Bus fare, as with just about everything else, is paid for by tapping a credit card (or ApplePay in our case) on the reader. But pricing is distance sensitive, so you should tap again when you get off so you don’t pay maximum fare. We didn’t tap off, so we got overcharged a bit.

A short walk took us to Falmer House, where we met Celeste. Falmer House is the Students’ Union building, although here Students’ Union has a more literal meaning than we are accustomed to: it is also an organization that advocates on behalf of the student body, even calling strikes if necessary.

We walked through campus, visiting several buildings on the way to Celeste’s dormitory at the far north end. University of Sussex was founded in 1961, and all of the buildings were of similar architecture, mostly brick. Celeste’s dormitory room is relatively spacious, with an en-suite restroom and shower. It is part of a 6-room flat that shares a kitchen and common room.

Returning to the main part of campus, we had lunch at the Falmer House deli before all three of us caught the bus back to Brighton. Kenna and Celeste explored a nearby shopping mall while I had a work videoconference. After the meeting I rejoined them and we purchased dinner from a nearby Greek food truck, the first place that we had to actually use cash. We ate that in our hotel room before Celeste returned to the University to get some school work done.

We were able to watch a TV show from our home DVR on my iPad using a VPN to our home network. Thus far we haven’t run into any of the regional restrictions on viewing video content, but we may yet. We managed to stay awake until 10:30 or 11 to try to establish somewhat of a normal sleep schedule.

This article is part of a series about our recent travels to southern England. To see the introductory article in the series, click here.

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