Friday, 28 September 2012

Going Clubbing

No, no, no. It's not what you think.

Much like American Universities, there are loads of different clubs and societies, from drum and bass (kinda like techno music??) to American football. So off I went, like an eager freshman, in search of new ways to meet people.

I found two societies I wanted to join. The first is a recreational swimming team (I'm far too out of swimming to be on the competitive team). For less than the cost of a gym membership, I can swim for 2 hours, twice a week with a trainer. And not just less than the cost of a gym membership, we're talking about $25 for the year and $2 a swimming session (Holy inexpensive!). But it gets better. After a swim, they all go to the pub for a pint. After talking to my resident Brit, this is pretty standard. Societies meet in pubs...hell students do group projects in pubs! And in case you're wondering, the Brits swim on the right side of the lap lane.

The other club I've found is the equestrian club. They have a competitive team and a recreational team, just like with swimming. And, just like with swimming, I'm not up for competing, although I hope that changes in the next 3 years. The club provides the horses, the instructors, even some of the kit (American translation: Uniform/outfit/garb/get up). A 45 minute lesson is $22 and I get to jump ponies. They do trail rides to pubs too. Have I mentioned yet that I love the pub culture?

Horsing and swimming officially start next week...and I can hardly wait. Until then, can I find another excuse to grab a pint or two?

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Drip Drop

In Spain, the rain falls mainly on the plains...but in England it seems to fall everywhere.

I woke up this morning to the pitter patter of rain on my window. Not a bad sound all things considered, but the cloudy weather makes me want to stay in bed and drink a cup of tea (something I may or may not be doing right now...)

The rain is also great for discovering leaks. On Sunday, we had a constant downpour of water, which has caused some flooding in other parts of the country. Suddenly, we found out why our front room always smelled damp. Richard also noticed water has been splashing up the step going to our back garden into our kitchen. Time to call the landlord!

But the rain has caused some personal changes as well. Some of you know of my absolute disdain for umbrellas. They're big, bulky, people have no spatial awareness, and they take up the majority of the sidewalk all for the sake of avoiding nature's way of telling us we smell bad. I hate to admit it, but I now use an umbrella.

I know.

I think I'd rather admit defeat to fabric on a stick than show up at school looking like a drowned dog. A 20 minute walk in the rain will definitely do that to a girl.

But that gets me thinking...if England has already reverted me to joining the sea of umbrellas walking down the street, what next??

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Different world, different experiences

I hope to share my experiences here with my far-away friends so we can all be on the same page of cross-Atlantic happenings! Tune in :-)

While I expected life to be different when I moved to the UK, day to day life has still surprised me. I mean there's been the classics: looking the wrong way when crossing the road, forgetting to bring an umbrella, and walking everywhere.

But then there's more obscure changes that I wasn't expecting. For example, the Brits really do stop everything and grab tea every day at 11am. And again at 3pm. 

They also apologize for everything, especially when they're not really sorry.

And the one I really have to get used to...nobody smiles at one another on the roads. That's the tell-tale sign of an American visitor.

But I can see myself getting used to this, especially studying in a pub instead of a coffee shop...just as soon as my blisters and sore legs subside.