Two Weeks Down Across the Pond

So I’ve been in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (what I’ve learned is the technical name of the country I’m in) for two weeks now.  I just finished up the pre-sessional class today that all the American Students are taking, British Politics and Culture. All I have left to do to earn the credit for it is right a big paper that’s due in a couple weeks. I sign up for classes tomorrow (Friday).  They are still kind of old school here, all of the studying abroad students from around the globe have to physically go to the individual professors and tell them you want to take their class. I’ve heard it can be quite frustrating and could take hours, but no big deal.

So I read a newspaper every morning and there has been two major subjects that take up its entirety; CHHHHAAAAANNNNGGGEEEE aka Hussein Obama and Football (lil Rugby too).  Some Brits over here are just going crazy about Obama. There was an inauguration party on our campus, and the BBC was their to tape us and stuff.  It was so fake. They had shots set up where they would have groups of people chanting “change” and “yes we can” on cue. And kept telling everyone to get more excited. The paper and our British politics/culture professor take ever chance they get to take shots at Bush (for the stupidest of any reasons) and every chance to blow Obama.  As for the other half of the paper, I am becoming very educated in the British past time of Football. Its a lot of fun to go to pubs to watch games and get in on the action and hooligan it up. FYI I am following the clubs of Manchester United and also West Ham United. I really really want to get to multiple football matches and also some rugby, hopefully be happening soon.

Speaking of past times, I have been an ambassador to America’s past time over here. No, not baseball (although I did wish I brought my glove).  But I am speaking of course of Beer Pong. Rick Reilly actually just wrote a column on it on ESPN.com’s front page, it might still be there. My flatmates and other Brits I hang out with have never heard/played of it, except for a few who had learned from previous terms American ambassadors. Chalk up One for America, I’ll keep a running tally for everyone on each sport I manage to beat these pansys at.

The exchange rate is at something like 1.39 to 1 today, the worst it’s been for the Brit sh pound in over 20 years,  good for me I suppose.

Last Saturday we had a free field trip to Cardiff(Wales biggest city). I saw the Welsh National Museum, Millennium stadium (amazing) and many other things. Me and a few others basically just wondered around the town center for a lot of the day. It’s a very cool city. There is a big castle (Cardiff Castle) right in the town center too. Oh and there was a giant Palestinian protest going on in the town center. They were protesting the violence in Gaza strip. And of course had “world’s number one terrorist” posters/sign all over (you guessed it, Dubya). While walking around we had a Palestinian walk up to us and ask us for money for their support, and we answered No, giving away are thick American accents, you had to be there to see the look on his face, ha.

I’m officially signed up to go on a trip to Amsterdam over V-Day weekend. Its organized by the student union here. Was 138 pounds for all the transportation and two nights in a nice hostel, not bad. This will most likely be my first big trip out of the United Kingdom, so it will be nice to be with a group who know what they are doing, but we Can do whatever we want once we get there. As sister Ashley reiterated to me yesterday, Amsterdam isn’t all about “coffe shops” and the red light district. I know this. But I do feel anybody I tell back home will automatically assume this and it will be what I spend my entirety of the trip doing. False. I have actually read up a lot on the city and it seems like an amazing place. Between the architecture, the canals, everyone’s flying around on bikes, and the museums including Van Gogh’s, I’m really excited.

So these first couple weeks have been  relatively slow to what the rest of the term holds in store I’m assuming. The main reasons for this being I’m still getting used to a new place and culture and things to do, all the British students are just starting to finish up their two weeks of finals and will be starting to party ten times as hard as we have seen so far, and finally its Winter here! This rules out things like going to the Beach. What a terrible winter too, its crazy to see the weather get as low as the high 20s (mainly be mid-40s so far) and pretty sure I won’t see snow til next year back in the states. Wait, I take that back, instead of backspacing, I’ll just continue. There is a ski/snowboarding society here I’m thinking about joining, that goes to this indoor hill every week and organizes trips to the alps. I really want to snowboard in the alps, money might be an issue there though.  I’m still working on networking for my other favorite leisure sport- golf. Hoping I can make friends with someone who can take me to their local country club/course and let me borrow some clubs.

One final subject I haven’t touched on, that some of you may find surprising, is that of food. I’m getting along fine with the food here, its not that drastically different. But one main difference is that of the proportions they give you here, or the lack there of. Some places are fine, but others definitely don’t focus on obesity like I like places to do back in the states and pile the food in front of you. But its probably a good thing in the long run. Because as many of you know, I will eat anything and everything put in front of me. Oh and I have only been eating one meal a day basically. Unless you count a Pint of Guinness as dinner. But yeah I figure it will save me money, and its not like I’m starving my self so don’t worry about me.

On the subject of food, a few of us Americanos did make a trip to the American embassylast Sunday, or more simply known as TGI Fridays. We had a good old all-American night. Burgers, Budweisers and NFL playoffs. And they fell in line with the lack of proportions that places give you too.

Ok, wow that was probably to long of a post, sorry for those of you that I bore. But I really haven’t told to many people about this, so please feel free to pass the link around to anyone who might be interested and try and read up on me and my what should be about weekly posts.  Oh and I don’t have time or the effort to proof-read these, so you can deal with the errors, ha sorry.

Cheers!

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