Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oh The Things I Have Learned

Well it is Wednesday morning so I guess it is the beginning of my fourth day and I have already learned a lot. I have decided to make a list of the things I have learned because I like lists.

-When they say London is an international city they are not lying. There are as many Indians, Arabic/Persian/Middle Eastern, Asian, and Africans as there are white people. Everywhere you look a new language is being spoken, don't know how one sees a language, but you get the picture.

-English bacon is not bacon, but rather a combination of country ham and Canadian bacon. I still eat it though.

-An extensive public transportation system is far superior to driving cars. The tubes (subways) are easy, quick, efficient, and go everywhere. I don't want to say that I have mastered the tubes, but I have become much more proficient at getting from point A to point B. I still spend much of my time looking at my tube map praying I am on the Bakerloo line heading towards Baker Street.

-There are no such things as waiters/waitresses. No matter how long one sits at a table in a pub no one will ask for your order. I learned from experienced. I sat for about 30 minutes and was about to get up and complain about the service, when I noticed the only person working the pub was the barkeep. I promptly stood up and awkwardly ordered a beer. This is a sample conversation between me and the barkeep. Me: "Umm, yeah, like, umm, what is your favorite beer?" awkward eye contact Barkeep: "Well are you looking for something dark, light, hoppy, nutty, full-flavored, sweet, bitter, wheaty or Guinness?" more awkward eye contact Me: "Yes" even more awkward eye contact and a long silence Me:"Okay, you guys got Budweiser?" Barkeep: "Yup" Me: "I will have one of those." Barkeep: "That will be (some amount of money that I can't quite understand)." I then hand him 20 pounds and receive about fifteen to twenty coins back, at least 3 lbs worth of specie. Okay so it normally isn't that bad, but I am no pro.

-The parks over here are way better than parks in America. I was not expecting to be blown away by the flora and fauna on this trip, but I really have been. Regent's Park has a garden right in the middle known as Queen Mary's Garden which has about 3 billion different plants and trees and 2 million ducks and pigeons. It is quite incredible.

-People from the southern United States are way more normal, nice, and attractive than Yankees. I already knew that but there are some Yankees from schools I have never heard of in my classes, and I have some advice. NFL themed hoodies are never okay, unless you are in Green Bay in November. Oh and hair gel should be treated like a fossil fuel, use only when necessary so that we do not run out in forty or so years.

-Going to one class for three and a half hours is awful, especially if you have two of them back to back. Four day weekends sure will be nice though.

-It is possible to get 4 papers and two tests assigned in one class even if you do only meet twice a week for six weeks. That is a test or a paper a week. The good news is that we really only have class on Thursday because every Tuesday will be spent at a different cathedral around England. Thank you Lady Sophie Laws (that is my Religion and the Arts teacher, she is a member of the aristocracy, and is married to a Lord--crazy ).

-Concerts are the same everywhere. People bobbing their heads, awkwardly dancing, making out, and getting high.

-It is chilly over here. I don't think it got out of the 50's yesterday. No rain so far though. Which is a little bit of a bummer, because I really want to try out my new rain coat.

-Oh and London is legit, dog, for real.

Well that is a brief list of the things I have learned. Hopefully there will be more to come.

P.S. I totally got this British girl's e-mail address at the Andrew Bird concert. Everyone knows what that means, right?


  1. "dots not feathers" really Joe?

    No rain? In due time my friend. And I'm guessing that you heard people speaking in French, which means I wasn't totally wrong to ask if you knew French...

    P.S. And no, I don't know what that means.

  2. joe. a few things for you:
    1. i've had 2 meals in the past 36 hours with your sister. so that's pretty awesome.
    2. i think that it was probably actually the beginning of your fourth day and that you already knew that southerners are better than yankees. so maybe you should look at that.
    3. i am jealous that you are in london. go visit some awesome museums and drink some tea for me.
    4. you should also go to hyde park...that one's pretty great, too.

    okay i think that's all i got. america misses you already.
    love, caroline