Friday, June 09, 2006

this place

One week, folks.

7 days left in Europe
4 days in England
3 in Cheltenham


(not to mention, only 3 more days of being a teenager. hmm...)

So lately I have been thinking about how much I am going to miss this place. All the little things that I know I'm going to miss as soon as I go home. The things that are normal now that I don't think twice about, but I'm going to think 'I wish I would have taken a picture of that...' or 'I should have bought a couple more Cadbury bars...' or 'I would have liked to visit Gloucester Cathedral once more'. But I suppose if we are always thinking of things we should have or could have done, we don't end up doing anything. I always want to make the most of things, (I suppose opportunism is a gene...) and not miss out or take things for granted-- but there's only so much you can know and do and take advantage of (especially on a budget).

So, I have come to the conclusion that as long as there is moving on, there will be a sense of loss. The more places I travel, the more people I meet & befriend, the more things I see and do-- the more there is to miss. When I'm here I miss home. But when I go home I will miss Cheltenham. Ahhh I can't win! I guess that's just part of growing up. Maybe it's taken me this long to figure it out...

Today Steph & I went to Tewkesbury. It's a nice little town. And the best part... we found an old book shop. English majors + old used bookshop = kids in a candy store. We must have been in there at least an hour browsing the shelves. Some of them were from the 1700's. So fascinating! So, of course, we couldn't leave empty handed. So I picked up a 50p copy of Dickens' Oliver Twist and a 1932 edition of Northanger Abbey & Persuasion by Jane Austen. Steph also brought home some Dickens & Austen and a couple others. What a great find! Probably ranks pretty high on my list of England memories.

Later on, I ventured out to the 'big Tesco' which is a little further away. I haven't been in a supermarket that big in a long time. I kinda felt like a deer in the headlights. But-- I found the biggest Cadbury bar ever. I've never seen so much chocolate in one piece! Oh Cadbury, I will miss you.

Tomorrow I am going to meet my family for a picnic and see them all once more before going home. :)

The World Cup started today. There are lots of England flags and stickers and banners and football jerseys and everything you could imagine... out and around town. Storefronts, pubfronts, cars, you name it. The first big England game is tomorrow. So it could get pretty crazy around here the next few days. Those Brits like their football ;)

have a good weekend, all. And I will be seeing some of you NEXT weekend!

love from lovely Cheltenham

Friday, June 02, 2006

you can tell you're an American-who's-been-living-in-Britain-awhile when...

  1. hearing the word 'America' means a lot of different things than it used to.
  2. you stop doing exchange rate... oh, long ago.
  3. you think in £
  4. you look right first, then left when crossing the street.
  5. you just expect to get hit by a car.
  6. roundabouts are a way of life.
  7. you call it football, because that's what it is.
  8. you're in better shape from walking so much, and probably eating healthier, too.
  9. you've almost forgotten what junk food is.
  10. your ears perk when you hear an unfamiliar American voice.
  11. you don't feel like everyone is trying to sell you something.
  12. you get late-night fast food cravings... and you know there's nothing you can do about it. then they start to go away.
  13. Hershey's chocolate will never taste the same, thanks to Cadbury.
  14. but you miss Reese's!
  15. you get used to the funny keyboards in the computer lab.
  16. London doesn't seem like such a big deal after all (well, at least not as much of a big deal).
  17. you actually miss Ramen (or your friends do).
  18. you begin to identify things that are distinctly American.
  19. the words 'traveling', 'color', 'favorite' and 'organize' look funny.
  20. you start adding u's to words that don't have them... even in British English
  21. you can say "cheers" to the bus driver... and it's okay :)
  22. you say "sorry" instead of "excuse me" when you bump into people.
  23. you call it a 'cash machine' instead of an 'ATM' and a 'toilet' instead of 'bathroom'.
  24. you stop noticing British accents, in fact you can even distinguish one British accent from another.
  25. you can pick out tourists, or Americans (or American tourists) just by looking at them.
  26. You are embarassed by the American tourists (and roll your eyes when they say Birmingham when talking to Brits...ugh.)
  27. you realise that you CAN survive without your cell phone.
  28. you know your umbrella at a personal level.
  29. you stop checking the weather forecast because you know it will rain at some point in the day.
  30. you enjoy the luxury of clean and efficient public transportation.
  31. when people ask you what America is like, you actually have to think about it.
  32. you know what 'top up', 'mind the gap', 'you alright?', 'zed' and 'quid' mean.
  33. you are the proud holder of a Tesco Clubcard, and maybe even a Matalan card.
  34. you know what cider really is.
  35. you know blackcurrant.
  36. you understand, maybe even agree, when they say, "America has no history."
  37. you're under 21, and it's funny to think that drinking alcohol is illegal.
  38. you know what the locals think of Tony Blair, and you kind of (kind of) understand the political cartoons in the newspaper.
  39. seeing a tall man is a rare and notable occurrence-- he must be a foreigner.
  40. you see travel adverts for vacations in New York and you think, 'Who would want to go there?' (ok so maybe I've never been there... but, still.)
  41. you are running out of money. and you're mad at the dollar for not going very far, and mad at the pound for being so expensive.
  42. you are just beginning to realise (realize?) what it means to be American.