It all started about the same time I first watched Madeleine. From the first moment I saw the Eiffel Tower, I wanted to go to Europe. My obsession with going abroad grew and grew, until my thirst to venture out among the cultured, cobbled streets of that foreign continent was finally satiated.
Fast forward to my junior year at SUNY Fredonia. I finally made the decision to take a semester abroad. The first choice I had to make was what country to spend the majority of my time in. Although France was my first selection, several things repelled me and led me to my final decision. If I were to study in France I would have to live with a host family, walk to classes (up to a mile away), struggle to understand a language that I only had a basic grasp on, and force myself to eventually try frog’s legs. England it is then!
When I bought my ticket it was official. I would become an international student at the University of East Anglia. And after about 10 hours in the air and 10 hours sitting and waiting for the next flight, I finally arrived. Today is my eighth day here, and although the national language is English, it is most definitely still a foreign language. To name just a few differences, noodles are not noodles, they are Ramen, all other noodles and dishes made from them are called pasta. Tea is a type of tea, not just the drink. If you ask for chips you will receive fries, and if you are saying thank you or goodbye you let out a chipper cheers. If that’s not enough, cars drive on the opposite side of the road, dogs are hardly ever on leashes, and if you’re hoping to have a turkey sandwich, forget it. Hope you like ham!
On the bright side, the view from my flat window is absolutely wonderful.
If you look really closely, you may see the sheep or horses that live in the pasture beyond the bog. Yes, my backyard consists of a stream, a boardwalk that loops around a selection of bogs, and a pasture filled with Shetland ponies. Win.