Since my blog has become part of my day-to-day interaction with my family and friends back home, I figured it might be worthwhile to take every Friday to talk about my experiences in Europe. Everyone at home is clamoring for pictures of where exactly I am and the community I am living in. Let me just say – it’s a beautiful place.
1. The scenery here is beautiful. It’s a shame that it rains so much because when the sun comes out – England is transformed. I love the fact that Leicester has a number of parks to explore so that even in the city, there is greenery to be found.
Also, the swans on the river are much more majestic looking (and big) than the more prevalent geese and ducks in Maryland.
2. I was wondering how the public areas in Leicester stay so clean, and last night I discovered the magical street cleaner that emerges around 5:30 p.m.. I’ve actually never seen one before (as strange as that sounds).
4. I don’t know if there is another Maryland in the world that is famous for its chicken, but I know the Maryland I grew up in is not that place. Still, the other three Americans in my building (two of them Marylanders) found this just as amusing as me.
5. Leicester has one of the biggest open air markets in Europe. It’s chaotic, but the prices are insanely cheap, some cheaper than the US (even with the conversion rate). I think I know where I’ll be getting all of my fruit and “veg” for the next few weeks.
6. There are more KFC’s in Leicester than there are in my hometown. How weird is that? Also, I can’t believe how classy fast food restaurants are here. There is literally modern art in the dining area. So much for play land.
7. Europeans smoke like crazy, so I can understand why there are ashtrays in trashcans, but the gum thing…I don’t get. Is there a specific reason gum can’t be mixed with the rest of the trash?
I can’t believe I’ve been in England for six days already. There is some culture shock, but it’s not totally debilitating, just a vague wondering of home and missing my friends and family. Class still doesn’t start for another week, but I thrive better with projects, routine, and things to keep me busy, so I am ready to jump in.
The British students will return this weekend (it’s been only international students this week), and I am looking forward to mingling with some of the local students and really starting to get into the swing of things.
There are 84 days until I return the US.