28 Jan 2008
washing up liquid = dish deterggent
Hello! Okay, so Ive been too lazy to type, so Ill recap the last few days. I would say that Id do it briefly, but come on, were talking Little Miss Long-Winded here. Oh, and Ive decided Im going to educate Americans on all the new lingo I learn; instead of an SAT word a day, youll have a Brit Word a day. You know youre excited.
So Friday was the International Student Induction. The programs went from 10-2:45, followed by campus/city tours. There were a variety of programs on different subjects, like Student Services, Banking, Personal Safety, Library Services, etc, etc. I cant remember most because I dont think I was awake for much of them. You just sit in a big lecture hall while people drone on and on about their topic while flashing a whole lotta power point slides at you. The only one that was remotely interesting was the first one about traveling and what attractions you can see in the area. The only reason most of us went and listened was because we figured thered be free food in there somewhere, and sure enough, we each had a 1.50 voucher in our little folders for the campus eatery Castles. At lunch, I met and exchanged numbers with a bunch of other Americans – Rob and Ashley from Fredonia and Heather and Ellie from Clarkson. We also sat with this weird kid – I hope to God he never finds this blog – named Brandon whom we defined as the type of kid who blows up their high school. Hes just that socially awkward type, but we were nice. After lunch we slept through a few more lectures, and then took the campus tour – which I wanted to do to find my class buildings – but our tour guide (like the Meet n Greet team) was this Asian international student who didnt speak English very well. Now, please dont take my disappointment in non-native English speakers the wrong way – I think it is amazing to be able to speak more than one language, but if youre going to work a job or be some kind of authority figure in an English speaking country, you should be able to speak clear and unbroken English. Its the same thing in America. I chose England because they speak English, and it was closer than Australia.
Anyway..the tour was useless except for me being able to find one of my buildings; she didnt point out my other one if we passed it. The tour made me really appreciate the prettiness and closeness of TCNJ; here, the campus is a city with big ugly buildings and trash all over the place. I love our little brick buildings and well-manicured grass, and hey, I even miss the marshy lake…theres no lakes here. Theres a few well-placed plods of grass, but thats it. Oh well, now I know what its like to go to a city school. In our induction folders, we also had a ticket for a free drink at Reds Bar in the Student Union (like our Stud, basically). So we all planned to meet up at Reds later on and then Heather, Ellie, Andy, Brandon and I walked around the City Centre. We went into Grainger Market, which sells a lot of fresh food – fruits, veggies, meats, pastries, breads – really really cheap, and then we walked around the town to figure out where there were good clubs/bars in the daylight so we might know where were going in the dark of night, lol. Brandon had tagged along, but we accidentally lost him in the Market. Oops. Then we headed back to campus so everyone could eat and do whatever before Reds.
Reds was actually fun. They were having a trivia night for the international kids, so we grabbed an answer sheet and joined in (while drinking our free drinks – I had Woodpecker, one of their ciders. It was okay, but I didnt finish all of it). We called ourselves Team America, haha. There were all sorts of trivia questions about England on there, with a few randoms (what IS the capital of Uzbekistan?) and then there was a picture identification page. We knew all of them except for these talk-show hosts, but Andys British flatmate Oliver was on our team so he knew that one, lol. Unfortunately, we lost to The Yankees…another American team made up of Brandon and these Florida kids. And we even cheated, so I dont know how we lost, lol. Were such typical Americans, eh? Then we walked around and went to two pubs, the Crows Nest and Goose, which are pretty popular. Goose was really nice, and I had strawberry cider there, which was sweet, but better than the Woodpecker. Brandon tagged along again, except he was wearing the hat they gave his team as a prize. It was a black and orange spider hat…the cap being the body and the 8 legs hanging off. He walked around town and in the pubs wearing that hat. So ridiculous. Then he kept wandering off attempting to find an ATM because he had no money, but he never seemed to find functioning ones. At Goose, we watched him reach behind him and grab a drink off the other persons table, but we told him we didnt think theyd left yet. And it was a table of these two huge fat girls and some guys, so he probably didnt want to mess with that. Jay, Megan, and I got stuck talking to him the most and we just kept giving each other looks. Its so weird, but Megan looks exactly how I think Sarah Roselli (the little girl I babysit for) is going to look; no joke, she looks like a 10 year older version of Sarah, and its so scary, lol. Anyway…after Goose we all headed back (Brandon wearing the hat) and had the night in.
Saturday during the day was boring. I literally sat around and researched Poland for when my mom visits, and then ordered some plane tickets. They were rather expensive, and I used the cheap site too, but my mom and I figure Oh well, you only live once. How many chances will we get to go to Poland? Were going to be Krakow, which is about 45 min from Aushwitz, and its got a bunch of Polish sites to see, like the big market and Wawel Castle. I have yet to book a hotel, but I need to make sure Ive got money on my debit card before I do that, lol. Or charge it on my Moms credit card.
Saturday night was CRAZY. We planned to go to Wiggle, which is Reds Bar turned into a dance club. Now, I was pretty skeptical about this; its an on campus site, it cant be that great. Clearly, I was wrong…its a HUGE deal with all the students. Drinks are pretty cheap (not the ones I was ordering, of course, but I hate beer) and they play fun music and stuff. I got a Sex on the Beach and then two Woo Woos, which Im not sure if theyre real drinks or school created, but it was Archers (like Peach Schnapps), Smirnoff, and cranberry juice. Its really really good. We all got a table and hung out with these British kids for a while. Megan and Jay came with their French flatmates a little later on, and Dan came later on too. We were just hanging out having a good time. Then we went downstairs, to I think its called Venue or something, where there was another dance floor, DJ, and bar, and they even had one of those moon jump things you jump in at carnivals, so there was a whole bunch of drunk kids doing that. Pretty awesome, lol. It took Stephanie and I a while to find Ellie and the others (we had stayed upstairs longer to finish our drinks) but then we found them and just danced. Like Ive said before, its just a bunch of white people who cant dance, so I feel comfortable there, hahaha. This is where I met Phil, some random British 24 year-old. I was actually able to tell that he wasnt gay, but I COULD tell he was a manwhore, so I danced with him, but pretty disinterestedly. He offered to buy me a drink, and I accepted – why not, theyre so expensive! – but the bar downstairs was crowded so we went back upstairs. We got drinks and sat down and talked and he had all the right things to say – you know, Youre beautiful..Youre so charming…Id like to take you out for dinner..Blah blah blah. Luckily, Im not one of those stupid girls who falls for that crap..Im one of those girls who is nice enough to listen on the outside, laugh on the inside, and then laugh on the outside when she tells her best friend. (Bree was in Maryland all weekend, so I havent touched base with her yet). So then I made like I lost one of my friends so I had to text them, and texted Dan and told him to come find me upstairs because Phil (what kind of name is Phil? Sounds so old-man pedophileish, right? Or it makes me think of groundhogs, because I think thats the groundhog in PAs name.) was getting really insistent about the dinner thing and I could only brush him off so much, lol. He told me hed take me to a nice Italian place. Buddy, please. Im from Nutley, half an hour from Little Italy, do you really think anyone in this country could make Italian food half as decent as northern NJ or NY? Come onnnnn. But I just nodded and kept saying maybe, maybe, maybe. I gave him my number too, and got his in return so I would know to ignore the call, lol. Im such a biotch. Oh well….Anyway, Dan finally found me and he introduced himself to Phil (Dans really friendly – not in a gay way – and he can strike up a convo with anyone) and then I dont remember how, but Phil went away and I was happy. Dan introduced me to his new friends Sam and James, who both graduate last year from Newcastle Uni, which is like right in the same exact area as us and use some of the same facilities, but is a completely different Uni. Dont ask, I dont get it either. James was really really cute, and I liked his sense of style..Hes out of college and has a job, so he dresses nicer, lol…he had on jeans and like a baby blue sweater with a buttoned shirt on underneath, because I could see the collar. He reminds me of someone, and I cant put my foot on it…I want to say Prince Harry, but hes way cuter than Prince Harry, and has blond hair instead of red. Maybe a little Jesse Spencer in there, just with a lot of freckles? If I think of it, Ill put it in a future entry. Anyway, we hung out with them, and I danced with James for a bit, and then we decided to head out. We went to hang out at Dans dorm, Claude Gibb, but somehow Sam and James disappeared to get food at a place called Munchies, so I met some of Dans dormmates…theyre all crazy!! They scream and jump around and make noise at all hours of the night (come on, it WAS Saturday), but they all introduce themselves and are very friendly (and were drunk at 3.00 in the morning, lol). I liked them. Dans room is a lot nicer than mine too. Im pissed, cause thats the dorm I wanted..its closer to everything on campus and you dont have to go over a footbridge to get anywhere. Its about as tall as the T/W towers, and everybody gets their own room with a shared bathroom/kitchen like mine. You can see St James Stadium (Newcastle Uniteds) from his window. Sam and James joined us later..Sam was nice, he went through Dans England guide book and was telling us if stuff was true or not, and James fell asleep so they wrote on him with permanent marker. Which sucks, because he has an interview today, so I hope it came off. They brought back their food from Munchies (no idea where this place is), and James insisted that his chips, cheese and gravy was the best thing ever. Yes, cheese fries and gravy are pretty good, any Jersey diner will serve them to you at 3.00 am..disco fries, right? He kept going on about them like they dont make them anywhere else. Well, they woke James up and Sam decided to take him home (hes not from here anymore since he graduated, but he was staying at Sams so he could make it to the interview), and then I decided to head back too. It was sooooo windy though, I almost thought the wind would propel me back to my dorm. By the time I got back, it was like 5.30 am and I passed out pretty quickly.
Then I slept until 2:15 yesterday. Needless to say, I didnt do much else with the day, lol. I attempted to go to the gym after I paid for it online, but the girl at the desk said you need an induction in order to start using it. Um, they have treadmills where I come from, I think I can figure it out, but nooooo…there was no one on staff to do that, so I made an appointment for 9.00 am (dont you like how im using the British way of writing time?) today. Which was a fiasco, but more about that in a minute..I ended the night by going to McDonalds with my flatmates and their Spanish friends. Of course, I didnt actually eat McDonalds meat or anything, I just got frozen yogurt. Figured that was safe. All the kids spoke in Spanish so I was a little left out, but it was nice of them to invite me. A bunch of them got Happy Meals just because the toys were little board games, like Operation, Twister, and Guess Who…they all got Operation. I almost wanted a Happy Meal, but what would I have ordered? I could have done what I did as a child and just gotten a Cheeseburger without the burger, lol. (It NEVER occurred to me to call it grilled cheese) Then I just went home and fell asleep rather quickly, considering I had only woken up 10 hours earlier, lol.
This morning was a fiasco. I went for my gym induction bright and early, and the lady showed me around, talking in her little British accent. Its a decent gym, bigger than TCNJ (obviously, its a bigger school), with classes and whatnot. The coolest thing though, is that all the treadmills/ellipticals/bikes on the first floor of the cardio/weight room have TVS on them. No joke. Right where you put in all the weight/age/program info, theres also a TV screen, and there are different CHANNELS to choose from. Like whoa. Then theres a second floor with more ellipticals and treadmills, but not as high tech. So we continue our little tour; Im shown the little gyms (theyre actually squash rooms, for squash matches…I have absolutely no idea what squash is) where the classes are held, and then the big gym where I can reserve a spot if I feel like playing a little basketball or football (with whom? myself?). Okay, so fast forward to the part where Im salivating over those beautiful advanced technology machines, and they tell me I paid the wrong thing. NOOOOOOOOOOO. I told them that there is a list behind their desk from the International Office with our names on it, but this did not work. You see, I paid for the 55 6-month membership online, but its only for the other campus, Coach Lane, gym…which is 4 miles away. So the International Office worked out a deal with the City Campus sports centre and gave them a list of all the names of the international students (i.e. ME) studying this semester so we could use City Campus instead. Clearly these employees were not informed of this or something, or maybe I confused them by paying online and screwed everything up. They told me I have to go back and do this 10.50/month thing, but I just got back to my room, tried not to cry, and emailed my beloved Rob Carthy (I better watch, someones really going to think Im infatuated with this man…Im just infatuated with the idea that someone in a college office could be so competent) to ask him what to do. But I think I either sent the email wrong (I tried using my cool new Northumbria account) or hes away, because he has not gotten back to me. If I dont hear back from him by after class tomorrow, Ill email Melissa from my TCNJ email and ask her, lol. Seriously, I just want to use the gym before I freak out on myself about eating and lock myself in my room so I cant get to the kitchen. (Totally not lying here, Im starting to stress about food.)
Anyway…the rest of my day was spent out shopping – I finally got a straightener! And a laundry basket! Woot woot, go me. Andy said laundry is expensive – 2 for wash, 1 for dryer. I got so spoiled with TCNJs free laundry service. Later on, when Dan got out of class, we went into the city for beer pong supplies. We found ping pong balls at a sports store, and just these random plastic cups at Wilks…but I think Im going to have my mom bring real red Solo cups, because British kids are fascinated by them, lol. Maybe I can sell them and make some money off of them..
This evening I made myself some pasta for dinner, and then just sat around with Brian (Hong Kong) and the Malaysian boy (no idea what or how to say his name) in the kitchen and talked about differences. Malaysia speaks decent English, and he sounds very intelligent..knows all about computers, income taxes, exchange rates, and law, since hes a lawyer, lol. He doesnt like the UK much, but he did talk about when he went to the US like 10 years ago to visit family. He was just saying how expensive and long it is to get around the country. Yep, were a pretty big country. Brian doesnt speak English as well, but he contributed a little, and he played his keyboard (that they found out for trash once, lol) a little; he plays very very well. I feel bad hating on them for not being able to communicate well, because they really are all very sweet people. So from now on, I am no longer going to complain about the language barrier.
Oh, a few updates from throughout the day, since I started this this morning: Phil called about 5 times. Get with it Phil: Im just not interested. And James friended me on Facebook, so I was like yay! That is all I have as far as British Local News.
And now Im going to go to sleep, since I have class tomorrow at 9.00 am and I have NO IDEA where the Squires Annexe building is. Im going to get up early and study the map, lol. Hopefully, it shant rain after the gorgeous weather we had today (48 and sunny…soooooo nice!)
stop yer racsist whining and go back home if you dont like it. jeez.
31 Jan 2008
18 Oct 2011 – start of travelblog
posted Monday January 2008