Saturday 4 October 2003, A level Year 2, Warwick, England

As part of the university application process, we were encouraged to visit campuses in person. We could only choose six universities to apply so we had better think carefully about them. Today was Warwick University’s Open Day, so Dennis and I went for a visit. Both of us were interested in the Economics Department there.

I was by now a veteran of UK public transportation systems. The fact that we needed to change between taxi, bus and train to reach Warwick from our school was no deterrent to me anymore. A piece of cake really. I could not believe I got lost by getting on the wrong half of the train last time. How would someone not get simple things like that? This time, I had booked train tickets online in advance. So I would know exactly which coach and even which seat I should sit, not to mention cheaper fare as well.

Early in the morning, Dennis and I left our boarding house with the most recent issues of The Economist magazine and the day before’s Financial Times. We planned to read them on the way just in case we would be asked questions about current affairs like when we interviewed for A-levels. For a big day like this, we would leave nothing to chance.

In theory, theory and practice were the same, but in practice, they were different. However great our plan was, we ended up chatting all the way about our lives, the school and university. Maybe we were still not good economists yet, everything except the comic page in that magazine was just so hard to understand. Instead, we gave us a nice treat at the KFC for lunch which was both our favorites.

When we arrived at Warwick, we found it was a tiny station. But we were not too surprised. Even if Warwick was the county town of Warwickshire, hey, we were in England. Everything was supposed to be smaller but smarter. Didn’t we become smarter by simply attending school here in the past two years?

The only surprise for the day was when we asked which bus we should take to get to Warwick University. We were told Warwick University was not in Warwick or even Warwickshire. It was near Coventry in the West Midlands! “So back into the train station if you still want to make it, you lads!”

Maybe we still had a lot to learn about England after all.