January 27, 2006 @ 7:48 am by sean
I’m in England.
I’m not sure what to say about it, because I don’t want to sound like I’m gloating.
I want to get better at telling stories though, so maybe I’ll attempt it here.
My first experience in England was almost not being allowed in the country. All those uncertainties I had about school were also concerns of the customs agent, because he needed more proof than I could give him. He was only trying to protect his country though, so I have nothing against him. There was a bit of fear in my when that happened though, and I’m glad it’s over.
When I arrived in Leicester (pronounced ‘Lester.’ Figure that out. I pronounced it Lie-kes-ter, which the customs agent took as ‘Lancaster’ and thus increased my troubles.) I had to figure out how to get to the school. I found out what bus to get on, then got on it with my cumbersome luggage. When I arrived at my stop I dragged my luggage like a quarter mile to get to the school. Then had to figure out where to go from there. The guy Gerald had been talking with found me actually, and took some of my luggage, and showed me where to go. Eventually I got to my room, hungry, foodless, and tired. But I couldn’t allow myself to sleep because it was only about 5:30, and to get accustomed to the time change I had to sit in my cold room and try to stay awake for a bit. It was a rough night. Quite appropriate for European student travel. So I don’t mind.
By the next night I went out to ‘Mosh’ with some flatmates and other people from around the hall. It’s a club. Now I understand why they like that Brit-pop like Franz Ferdinand and all those other groups I don’t like, because they can dance to it. Dance rock I guess. It was an experience, and worth it. I don’t intend to go back.
The next night I went for a walk around town, and ended up in a pub to get a pint of English beer. After a while I talked with a guy for a long time about rugby and American football and English history and about the UK and Europe in general. It was quite a pub experience. Just about everything I expected. Another lady talked to me a little too. But the first guy bought me another pint, when one pint is more than plenty. I drank as slowly as I could, though I think I had what is referred to as a ‘buzz.’ I didn’t much like it, and went back to the room and ate, hoping to get my bac down.
I’ve only been here a week, but it seems like much longer. Maybe since I’ve had to spend so much money already. Time certainly does seem to pass more slowly.
One night I went walking around and found myself at The Attic. A punk venue that could only hold about 30 people at most, and there were only about 12 there at all. Felt a bit more like home. Punk is dead though. The music hasn’t changed. The lyrics haven’t changed. These kids minds may not by controlled by the government, or whatever they say, but they still conform 100% to being all things punk, including doing nothing productive. Just singing about how the government wants to controll them.
Another night Kharlie and I went to a pub and watched a little of the Man U vs. Blackburn football game. Man U won, but we didn’t stay for it all.
The next day I had a proper English breakfast. Sausage, eggs, huge piece of bacon, toast, and beans. I was not anticipating that much meat. I don’t think I’ll be getting that again.
England is different, but I think I knew enough for there to be no culture shock. I still get very confused by the traffic and which way to look. The look the same, but talk differently, and with different words. They drive cars, but smaller cars. They eat, sleep, have opinions, and everything else. It’s just different. The difference isn’t as remarkable as I expected, or even hoped for. I am however, at a large uni, and the people seem to be similar to the kinds of large American uni people I’ve known, so hopefully once I get out there to other parts it’ll be a little more different. And many of the people I’ve met like America for all the reasons I don’t. I don’t feel like a good American representative, because the stereotypes they have are generally close, and I generally don’t fit them. It feels good though. I have been seeing how ‘American’ I still am though.
I do like that I can walk a lot more. And shop at a small grocer. And experience a different culture.
I’ve been reading a lot of Wendell Berry in my free time, and his words have been wonderful. I wish everyone would read his essays, and have a similar desire I have to put it all into practice.
The Bible has been good reading as of late as well.
School is good I suppose. Some thing are still a little uncertain, so it is a little frustrating. I still can’t sign on to the computers so I can’t do my autocad homework. It’s a good thing I did autocad in highschool, or I’d be screwed. One of my term long projects is a toy design. When we discussed it in my group and I did research and thought of the possibilities, I got excited. Sean excited though, no jumping up and down or anything like that. But thinking of a toy that I could make and the possibilities it carries for my child using such a toy was exciting. Wendell Berry’s words give the same kind of potential, which just generally puts me in the excited kind of mood. Good design gives me hope. I also can’t access the Internet when I’d like, so I don’t know when I’ll be able to write more. I’m signed on by means of Kharlie right now. Kharlie is one of my flatmates, and he’s been proper nice to me. All three of my flatmates have been, but Kharlie the most. There are four of us in a flat, we each have our own room, and my room is about the size of my room at home. Which isn’t very big. But big enough for one person. I have to make my own meals unfortunately/fortunately. At least I don’t have a cafeteria to go to and feel akward sitting in.
Being at a big uni like this makes me appreciate Judson even more. I miss that place and the people soo much. I’ve never felt a lonliness like this before. These people appear to be so similar, but they are different, and I have no close friends like I made at Judson. That is to be expected of course. There are such great people at Judson it’s easy really. Without the Internet and with phone calls being rather expensive, knowing I couldn’t communicate with friends back home has been proper frustrating. Everytime I think I can sign in and get on the Internet to communicate, and then I still can’t log in, there is a great dissappointment I feel. Kharlie has been keeping me good company though, so I’m not alone, but without the people I love, and without even being able to communicate with them, there is still a kind of lonliness that I have. I’m glad I have it though. If I came this far and didn’t, I would be certain I don’t love. At least now I have hope.
I won’t kill an animal, but I’ll eat an animal. I’m not sure that’s right.
I sprained my ankle yesterday playing basketball. Even in England I’m not the best at it, and Kharlie, from Hong Kong, was far better than the rest of us.