Hiyah folks! Today I wanted to update you about my first week in the UK. Sorry, I am behind. I have not had half as much wifi connection or time to write as I expected. SO I will be recycling an email to my friends and family to use as a blog update.
Today we dropped my mom off at the coach (bus) station. She is heading back to America. This officially marks the end of the first leg of my trip. I wanted to give a quick update about what I’ve done so far:
We have spent the majority of our time with the Higgins family in Wales (a family whose mom took care of me a lot when I was in late elementary school. They moved from North Carolina to the UK in 2008 and I’ve missed them a ton ever since). It was crazy to see her lil boys who are all grown up now. I have also really really enjoyed meeting their daughter who was just a baby when they moved, but is now seven years old and as sweet as can be. In fact, I need to finish this email quickly so I can go think up some more stories because she has already exhausted my supply and is constantly demanding more. (as I write she tries to take control of my keyboard so she can write THE END and thus help me to finish this blog post that is in her opinion, far too long.)
So far we’ve toured Oxford, walked through Cardiff, met new friends, driven to Paignton (a small touristy village on the seashore), gone charity shopping, learned that British food is in no way as bland or disgusting as I expected, played at the dangerously perfect playgrounds (most of their park equipment would be illegal in the U.S., I guess they don’t worry about litigation too much), and enjoyed a long walk along the seashore.
It hasn’t all been bells and whistles though. While in Paignton, we spent one night in the hospital’s waiting room due to my mom’s swollen foot (she ended up being okay). It was a looong wait but we were entertained by a bunch of young drunk guys who stumbled into the waiting room in the middle of the night. One of the boys had hurt his finger pretty bad while punching someone in a bar fight. The guys took turns reminiscing in the glory of the fight and offering their howling friend horrendous advice (“O mate, I think when it is that swollen you ‘ar sposed to cut it off. Want me to cut it off mate?”) It was all quite a scandal around the tiny hospital. After a policewoman came and kicked the guys out, security guards and janitors all loitered around the nurse’s office to gossip about the ruckus.
For those of you who don’t know, I am considering attending university here in Cardiff this coming fall. So on Friday I took a tour of the campus. It is not unbelievably beautiful or historic. However, it is pleasant and functional. It is just nice enough to like without being so nice that I can’t imagine actually coming here.
The weather is mostly cold and rainy. Many different people have reminded me that in the United Kingdom you have to get used to experiencing all four seasons in one day.
I am starting to appreciate America more. A normal house in Charlotte would be a mansion here! There is a whole lot of elbow room and other conveniences that you have to be willing to forgo when you come to the UK. .
Vocabulary differences I’ve noticed so far:
trash = rubbish
cookie = biscuit
sneakers = trainers
rain boots = wellies
Rest room/bathroom = toilets
Pants = trousers ( I made the mistake of asking a little girl about her pants and getting quite a stare since pants in the UK mean underwear!)
Tea = black tea with a bit of milk (if you ask for tea you will NOT be given a basket with a variety pack of herbal teas and green teas and black teas to choose from. Tea is black English tea with milk and sugar. The end.)
Everywhere I go there are little reminders that I am in fact in another country. Despite the differences and inconveniences, I love it here and am more determined than ever to move here as soon as possible.
That is all for now. I hope you all are having lovely days filled with little adventures wherever you are.
I AM TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO UPLOAD PICTURES PROPERLY. SORRY! Until then, please forgive me for lack of photo evidence.