When I finally made it to the city of Wilming, I had only spoken to two other people. There was the border guard, who asked a few questions (very impolitely), and the taxi driver, who I couldn't get to stop talking, even though I couldn’t understand a word he said. Was he even speaking English? I tried replying to him making noncommittal noises, but ended up desperately staring at my phone, trying to give him a clear hint that I wanted to be alone with my thoughts. I needn't have bothered; he just seemed to like the sound of his own voice, and it didn’t seem to matter whether I responded or not.
The next person I met was the secretary at the admissions office, who brusquely gave me a huge pile of papers, brochures and forms to fill out and return the next day, ‘Don’t lose them’, she admonished, and topped it all with a map with a big red X showing me where my ‘digs’ were. Before I could ask any questions she was speaking to the next student. I tried to figure out where I was, and realised with a sinking heart my accommodation was miles away. I took a wrong turn several times, avoiding eye contact with anyone I met, and dragging my rather noisy and wobbly suitcase behind me, it felt as if one of the wheels was about to come off, maybe it was a sign of things to come.