Now that the video is out of the way, I can update everyone regarding my life here.

So far (three days in), it’s great! I wake up and eat my porridge in the great hall, attend a few orientation type things and explore for the rest of the day. I, then come home (back to my temporary dorm room) and write and call people through skype. So if I haven’t talked to you yet, be patient. I am getting there.

I have been to the city center twice and know most of the central campus area now after walking and running around it for a minute.

The campus is beautiful, full of rolling hills, open green spaces and gloriously old buildings. I am starting to fall in love with it. However, one downside is its immensity. It almost puts A&M to shame. It is quite spread out, which provides for wonderful landscapes, but can be hell on your feet and thighs, especially with all of the hills.

So, one thing is for certain, I shouldn’t have a problem getting in shape while I’m here!

The city is very walker friendly, and stores are everywhere! I am getting used to seeing all of the different names and brands as barely any from the States are in Nottingham. They tend to be smaller relying less on inventory in the store and more on catalogs where one can order an item and pick it up at the store.

A few bullets:

  • There are starbucks everywhere, but almost with the same regularity is another coffee shop brand called Costa, whose logo is very similar to the Seattle giant.
  • Dollar stores do exist here, but they are called Pound Worlds, which I thought was hilarious.
  • British people do have bad teeth, not as a rule, but the frequency with which they exist is undeniable.
  • The equivalent of Victoria’s Secret here is a store called Ann Summers. It looks the same but with less pink from what I can tell.
  • British people for the most part seem to be incredibly nice and willing to help you with anything
  • Big Macs taste a little different here. McDonalds, Subway, Burger King, and Pizza Hut are the chains I have seen from the US.

Another thing I have noticed is that even though I speak English and this is an English speaking country, I still have an incredibly hard time communicating here. The vernacular is quite a bit different from the United States, and even very small sayings, without context clues, are a mystery at times. It makes me a little more shy than normal, wondering if anything I say is actually going to make sense or not.

The accents vary in strength, but while at a pub today having my first pub beer, I sat close to three older men and could not understand more than a word out of every 20 or so. It was much like a different language. I feel with time I will become accustomed but until then it will all remain a mystery. I also think that accents are stronger with the older generations, while the younger people seem to be a little more clear and defined.

Well, that’s all for now. I know some of you have emailed me, and I will reply as soon as I can. However, if you would like a response quicker rather than later, only ask a few questions at a time. Once I have answered those, ask more. This way, it’s not so overwhelming to look at in one sitting. I am extremely excited and happy that you all want to share in my trip, and that you want to know so much. Thank you for caring and thanks for reading. I will try to post as often as I can. I am engrossed in an entirely new culture, up to my neck in it actually, and am slowly learning how to tread water in it. Eventually, I hope I will learn to swim.

Cheers,

Charley

A Latte, my journal and the Daily Times at Costa

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