The following is no longer true, but it was at one time, hence the name of the blog.
I'm living in England right now, finishing up my degree in Early Modern History from the University of Illinois (and the University of York). I'm 23 and most of the people I live with aren't even 20 yet, it's an adventure. So that's pretty much what this whole thing is about, just the random adventures I have while I'm here, learning what it is to be English.
Hello from Britain! Did you all know that back in the day, when the Brits with all the rest of Europe (mostly) was active in the slave trade, they wouldn't allow slaves onto the island because they actually claimed that the air in Britain was so special that no one could be enslaved and breath it? They said that as soon as said slaves breathed the air they would have to become free. Yeah, tell that to the surfs harvesting filth (Monty Python, anyone?). Anyway, on to only slightly less boring information. My flights were ok. We only pulled out of Chicago about a half-hour or forty minutes late, so I guess that's fun. I'm not sure exactly why it took that long, but they kept saying something about baggage loading and air traffic. Whatever. I didn't get a whole lot of sleep because there was some turbulance (sp?) and whenever that would happen and I would instictively think about us having hit a bump or something (having usually just finished forgetting that I was in an outrageously heavy peace of metal some 40,000 feet above the ocean) I would remember that if we hit a bump, we die. Then I'd be awake again. But fear not! I had the splendid company of Mark Wahlberg in 4 Brothers to keep me company. And then it was parts of Little Manhattan, In her Shoes, and it seems like there was another, but I can't really remember anymore. I didn't get a whole lot of reading done, much as I tried, just because I have a hard time concentrating when I'm on my way to a place I've never been before with no real known way to contact anyone, including those people I plan to meet upon arrival. Call me crazy. So that was fun. The little puddle-jumper we took from German to England was a real treat, too. I honestly wondered for a while if the pilot was just willing it to keep moving. But it did, and that's what's important. I pity the poor schmucks that flew on it next, cause I'm not sure it was up to the task beyond one or two more trips. When I got to London of course I immediately looked for a coffee shop in the airport. Actually, I did that even before I tried to contact Andy and Colleen (the friends with whom I'm staying while in London). That shouldn't really surprise anyone. Anyway, while I was trying to get some coffee I asked a nice young lady if she knew any place I could get online in the airport, she said she wasn't sure. Then we both stood there for maybe another 3-5 minutes before she asked me if I was waiting to get some coffee (she wasn't behind the counter, she was like a busser or something). I replied that I was, and she told me that I might want to go to the start of the line, not the place where you pick up your drink. I wished I could claim that I had just gotten into England and it was my first time out of the States, but I couldn't convince myself that she would believe we don't have beginnings and ends to lines in the States, so I just smiled and thanked her for the help. Then I went to Andy's and hung out with them last night and slept for a long time. Today I went downtown to get a train ticket to York for Sunday because all I could find online that was affordable was a trip that would have taken something like 14 hours. A little much for a trip of roughly 150 miles. I had a lot of success downtown and it was really fun, I even used one of those cool red phone booths just cause I thought it would be fun and I had Andy's number. Getting home was a bit rough, though. Andy told me directions to the bus stop, but I messed them up without knowing it on the way into town, so when I got back trying to find the house was a trip. I walked up and down the street I thought it was on a solid 4 or 5 towns for about 40 minutes before I walked back down to the High Street (what they call the main street in the borough - suburb - with all the shops and whatnot) to find a phone. All turned out alright in the end. It was a solid day, and Colleen even made cookies! Tomorrow we're going to head downtown again to do some sightseeing, which should be fun. Sorry this is so stinking long, for those of you who made it this far. Feel free to vent your frustrations in the comments. ;) Peace.