Thursday, September 25, 2008

allrighty, here we go, quick pre-sleep recap:
- sky/light/color: it's all different here. i remember when i was in ireland the first time, the light and colors of the sky changed really frequently, gray to yellow to blue to sunset... yeah, anyway, it does that here too and i like it. one minute i will look out my window/go outside and it will be crazy gray and dark and then the next, the sun peeks through the clouds so easily and just stays and stays... and i just love autumn light in general, indescribably softer and richer all at once than harsh summery light.
- wind: i love how wind can be so refreshing. sure, sometimes it can be harsh and annoying and oh-god-leave-me-alone-damn-wind! but here so far it has been very rejuvenating as i'm walking from the village to campus and back, etc... especially mixed in with the wonderful lighting described above. :) but i was thinking yesterday, since this weekend is church camping at home-- i just don't know if anywhere has as wonderful refreshing wind as the mountains of georgia/north carolina. i have never felt anything like the rush of the wind and kimsey creek late at night and early in the mornings. oh man. i am so there next year.
- water: i have been buying bottled water and using our kitchen sink for water since apparently we should not drink the water in our bathroom pods. and i have to say: i miss atlanta tap water. haha, that sounds so funny. but it has an edge to it (acidic, toxic, polluted, maybe? i have no idea, but i'm used to it) that is so good and that these "natural, still, pure" waters lack. hahahaha. guess i am a city girl in that sense.
- pub culture: it doesn't exist in the states. probably mainly because you can't drink til you're 21 (three weeks! not that it matters here...) and at least in a-town they've cracked down on clubbing and stuff for those younger than 21. but it's just so... interesting to watch it happen around me, since my fellow classmates have been used to drinking for such a long time. it's just very casual and normal for them, which is fine, but it's disconcerting to suddenly be somewhere where it's not done discreetly (not that it's really discreet on college campuses, but whatever) and it's social and just a given. a couple of times my flatmates have asked me about the age limit (i personally think it should be younger than 21, even though i'm not a drinker-- if you can vote, go to war, drive a car, be independent from your parents-- you should be able to kick back with a beer.) and then exclaim, "well, i know why you came to the uk then!" but the thing is, for me... that's not why i came. in fact, i forgot all about it until i got here and was completely bombarded with it. and i still can't decide if i like pub culture completely or not. i think if the pub on campus was one with food and sitting down and quiet (ha! these are college students, clairey) i would like it better. i'm sure i'll get used to it and then go back to quieter life at davidson (or i'll become a staple on the court, haha). another thing-- i think that my american counterparts were much more "disturbed"/disappointed that i don't want to drink, they just can't understand why-- if it's legal especially, go for it! not like i have gotten super amounts of pressure, and the brits seem a little confused too (just like, "why not?") but they seem to leave it a lot easier than the americans.
- what american schooling has taught us: in my first (and only so far) class, the prof would ask questions and for reading volunteers and the 5-6 of us who are american in the class were always the ones who would put up our hands first, offer to answer or read. it made me realize that we have really been trained to give teachers what they want-- an answer, not an awkward silence. that's not what we're there for, after all. i didn't feel like we were being butt-in loud americans because we would be quiet for a moment or two, and then if we had something to say, we would say it! and the british students did participate, but it seemed to take them a little bit longer to do so. just an interesting observation.
- carbohydrates: i am eating a lot of them. pastapastapasta. ham and cheese. ciabatta bread. hmmm... it's just a bit difficult to try and figure out what i will eat for a week, what's easiest, cheapest, etc... hopefully i will be able to find a good balance. pasta with cheese is amazing though.
- trains/plane: apparently easy but it seems very complicated to book tickets! i want to go to paris soon and in order to do that i have to take the bus to the train station, then take the train into london, then go from there. for a girl who is so used to driving long distances... a change of pace!
- age: seems very fluid here. mainly bc of the drinking thing i think. i'm turning 21 in 3 weeks but that doesn't matter because i can drink now. the rest of my flatmates are mainly 18-19 years old but in some ways they seem older than me because they are used to drinking and because the uk is their home and they know it so well, so it seems like they are more experienced in everything here. i wonder if i will feel older when i go back home.
- my awkwardness in general: not much to remark on, except that it's present. i feel good here and i feel good being myself but in some ways i am just a tad awkward. i think it seems to stem from me being really independent in my thoughts and actions. but that's just me. hopefully i won't have to comment more on this later :) but who knows. it's there, i acknowledge it, the end.
- birthday waffles: you gave me a birthday waffle. i miss birthday waffles. therefore, i miss you. QED.
- there was something bigger than all of this that i specifically mean to blog about but of course now i can't remember: still can't remember.
there you go.
(rant later: american university system, money, etc. also, for some reason, i cannot seem to get an early bedtime here. also, dear obama, please win. and dear absentee ballot, please arrive. thank you.)

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