Ok, so this is pretty much the first time I've had internet since I got to York. I'm not sure why I just said "pretty much" becuae in point of fact it is the first time. But anyway, I don't even have it in my room yet, that's still an ordeal in the works, so I have to use this shady computer lab and let me tell you, there's not a dell in sight. Or a mac, for that matter, before you creepy mac-people get all excited. I'll give you all a quick (yeah right, who am I kidding?) run down of what's gone on since I got here.
On Sunday night, I got to the university around 6:30 or so and got into my room by about 6:45. York is set up in what they call colleges, which are essentially just areas of the campus. I'm in James college, which is one of the few if not the only one without its own pub. Kind of a downer, but I'm sure we'll deal with it. It's also kinda removed from campus a little bit, but not as much as some of the others. In fact, it's only about a five minute walk from where the History Department is, so it could be a lot worse. So within James college, there are several buildings of "dorms" if you will. They're separated inside by flats (floors), each of which has its own kitchen and in James, each room has its own bathroom. Lucky me. I was met at the door by two kids, John and Jenny, who saw me coming and let me in, showed me my room and invited me to the kitchen where everyone was. I dropped my stuff and went in to find about 10 people standing around; immediately someone said, very loudly, "everyone, this is joe." And then they all turned and looked at me...silence... I still don't know who it was that said that, but I should find them and thank them for that awkwardness. But everyone turned out to be very nice, even though I immediately forgot their names. I left then and tried to figure out how to make the internet work in my room. This is an ongoing process, as I mentioned earlier, so that first night was not terribly effective. When I got back I was pretty tired, so I just went to bed. The rest of the flat proceeded to play hide-and-seek outside, which was pretty entertaining for me to watch from my window as I fell asleep.
Then yesterday I met with the other U of I'ers here and we ran some errands and then walked to Aldi to get cheap food. I was surprised to find that the walk to Aldi passes through the pasture behind out barn back home (the "bottom ground", for you Quakers and siblings out there) - be sure to watch out for the manure...no, seriously, and then a perfectly randomly placed army base as well. It's a pretty scenic trip, I assure you. It all takes about 20 minutes or so. After walking all over the world and buying groceries, I got back to M-block (the building in James where I live) and was promptly invited out with the flat for half-off italian somewhere downtown York and then the possibility of a pub on the way back for the aforementioned John and Jenny's birthdays. I accepted and we (all 20 of us) had a pretty fun evening in which I asked them a lot of probably very stupid questions about conversational english here and things like that and then exposed them to my best southern drawl and the farmer walk (ang, you know what I'm talking about here). I think tonight we're going to go to some inter-collegiate quiz night thing in which different colleges are pitted against each other in a quiz game while, of course, downing as many cans of - you guessed it - whipped cream as they can. Yeah, sounds...interesting. Oh, and Clay, turns out "Bob's your uncle!" is a pretty common phrase here that means good job, and the guys told me that I would probably hear it a lot more often if they could only get a little more beer into themselves. We'll see what happens there.
So for now, that's all that's going on. I hope things are well there, and remember, Bob's your uncle.
p.s. thanks for all the happy comments and emails, they're much appreciated.
5 months ago