Living the British Life

Dear Friend,

Since coming to England to study, I’ve been amazed to find that things I didn’t expect to surprise me, did, and things that I expected to be really different really weren’t. For example, I thought I’d really get used to the cars coming on the opposite side of the road. It’s just a matter of looking right left right instead of left right left. The reality has been a whole lot more difficult to adjust to. One way-streets and intersections have proved the most confusing, and I find myself always looking the wrong way first!

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I also expected there to be obvious differences in the language, such as slang terms and the obvious pants-trousers distinction, but there are so many more than I imagined! For example, they say “fruit and veg” instead of “fruit and veggies,” and “pavement” instead of “sidewalk,” and the terms we might use to describe college or university, such as “school” don’t apply: “school” is elementary and junior high, “college” is the final two years of high school, or your residential college at university, and “uni” is university.

york-minster-46-1.jpgI’m making a conscious decision while I’m here to do and see as much as possible. Even though it’s a bit pricey to travel, I want to see the home of the Bronte sisters, the Lake District, and Edinburgh. I want to eat treacle tart and make flapjacks with golden syrup (and take tins of it home). I’m drinking tea like I do back home, but all of a sudden it’s more British with the beautiful pieces of china I bought. Stuffed Yorkshire pudding, fish and chips, and beer are culinary treats I’ve tasted, and I look forward to trying more!

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I’m so excited about this trip, and I’m so pleased to be here. Seeing York Minster the other day was almost surreal, as the sun shone through the stained-glass, and as Kelly, Julie and I looked out over the city from atop the tower.

It’s so beautiful, and I’m so happy. I think I have to come back again someday.

Sincerely,

Annemarie

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