After having my first full night’s sleep since arriving in England yesterday morning, I feel I am finally capable of filling you guys in on all of the crazy things that have occurred!
So far England has consisted of tons of fabulous architecture, a lot of walking, and some embarrassing tourist-like actions on my part.
Here’s a tip for anyone planning to spend a significant amount of time in a foreign country: learn how to count their change. It sounds rudimentary and incredibly insignificant, but you do not want to be the person who just stares at the guy behind the register when he would like to know if you have exact change.
I’ve also experienced larger crowds here due to tourism than I have anywhere else in my life. (Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but it’s still a lot of people). You have to understand, Detroit, Michigan does not have tourists, so this is different for me.
Yesterday was Alice’s Day; a holiday (kind of) that is celebrated by many of the Oxford patrons–and a bazillion tourists–about Lewis Carroll’s work Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland, which he wrote during his time at Oxford. It was adorable; with people walking around like the Mad Hatter, March Hare, and Alice. They had tea on the lawn of the church next to my college, and thousands of people came to spend the day in Oxford.
According to my instructor, this is the busiest time for Oxford as far as tourism goes, and I’ve learned this in more ways than one. I have a room facing out from Brasenose College toward the road; this means that I have a lovely view of the church and grounds that are outside of my college. This ALSO means that it can get very noisy during the day as tourists pass through the small commons in waves.
That church that I was talking about a second ago is a huge stop for tour groups. I have heard the exact same C.S. Lewis spiel given about 4 times today alone. Normally I wouldn’t find this bothersome seeing as how I do not plan to be in my room for much of the time, but every once in a while at night a drunk fellow or two will pass by screaming pub songs.
I need to learn some. Maybe then I can sing along 🙂
Also, DO NOT walk on the grass. That’s a super huge big no-no (unless, you know, you want to offend the world). Grass: no walking. Not on the university grounds, at least.
The other huge difference I noticed between England and the U.S. goes as follows:
In England, bathrooms, lavatories, and showers are three completely different things (in three completely different rooms). Where in the United States saying “I’m going to the bathroom” means going to the same place as “I’m going to take a shower” or (if you’re really blunt) “I’m going to pee”, in England these three things take place in three separate locations. This, of course, cannot apply to every single restroom in all of England since I have not been to every single one, but I was completely turned around after my sleepless night on the plane when I walked into the shower room and could not find toilets for the life of me!
Okay, that’s it for right now. The next chapter(s) of the fanfiction will be coming either later tonight or tomorrow (English time). Sorry if this post was kind of abrupt but I’ve written it like three times because of wi-fi interference and I’m about to pull me hair out. Plus I need to start on my homework 🙂