Long time no post. I wanted to make sure my account was still up and running. It is. Yay! I’m not going to write a ton because I already have my own blog: Russellmerlot.blogspot.com but I will write a quick bit.
As many of you know, I am currently in Birmingham, UK studying at Newman University. That’s right. Same name. This experience so far has been great. I completely recommend it to anyone who is interested. In fact, if you have questions or are thinking about studying abroad, you should email Cheryl Golden or myself asap to learn more. You can look up Dr. Golden’s email in the directory, but mine is Carbaugh193836@newmanu.edu and I’d be happy to answer any queries.
5 Things I miss from home (besides the people):
- The prices- It may seem like it is cheaper here, but a five pound notebook here, with the exchange rate, is actually 8 bucks. (UGH)
- Meat- First of all, it’s hard to find any meat dishes like at home. The burgers are NOT the same. And secondly, I’m terribly afraid of my own cooking. I’ll most likely give myself salmonella. -__-
- My parents’ house- Washing and drying is more expensive when I can’t just take it home to do it. Also, raiding their cabinets. Groceries are expensive. Also a working heater is a blessing we too often take for granted.
- My cell phone- Yes I have it with me. No it doesn’t work abroad. Yes I have a UK phone. No it’s not an iPhone. Yes I can call whoever I want. No it isn’t free. Yes I can use the WiFi. No my apps don’t work due to the firewalls. Yes I like saying yes and… No I don’t think it’s annoying.
- The weather- Sure you all have snowpocalypse and deadly hot summers, BUT AT LEAST THERE IS VARIATION. Birmingham forecast FOR THE YEAR- cloudy skies, moderate chance of rain, cold, cold, cold. And also… cold.
5 Things I will miss when I return home (besides the people):
- The freedom- I have to admit, living on my own in a new country and having to make new friends seemed daunting, but it really wasn’t that hard at all. It’s like summer camp only with less rules and adult supervision. My time at uni is kind of a stepping stone for when I leave here. This Summer, I will be truly on my own and going wherever I feel whenever I feel it. How empowering is it to say Hmm. I suppose I’ll go to Athens today. Or I feel like adventure. I wonder if any of those boats are headed to that island? I’ll go ask. So incredibly awesome. It’s indescribable. I do have to say that I would be much less excited about it all if I didn’t have Skype. I love talking to my Mom, Blake, Ethan, Panch and Jit, and everyone else back home and I probably wouldn’t enjoy it here as much if I couldn’t check in with them often.
- My accent being cool- Oh my GOSH. I LOVE your accent. “Who me? Oh shucks. Of course I will repeat that sentence for you in my super cool American accent.” I’ve never had people actually want me to talk as much as I do. What can I say? Except everything because I say it all so awesomely.
- Improv workshops- I have really grown attached to teaching improv to everyone here. My pupils are very enthusiastic and show a lot of promise. I love it. I’ll be very sad to let it go in May. Also it is fun to hear them say “Larry, Curly, Moe” with a confused look on their faces because they do not know who the Three Stooges are.
- The baguettes- Holy bejeezus. Goodbye grocery budget. Goodbye abs… (Haha. I totally didn’t have abs)
- Hogwarts- You just think I was at Newman University in Birmingham. Think about it. They were just too lazy to come up with a good cover story, so they just used the same name. FYI, I received great scores on my N.E.W.T.s and O.W.L.s and I am simultaneously marrying Ron, Harry, Hermione, and Neville. But the older, hot Neville. Not the chubby one with fake ears.
5 Things I’ve learned:
- How to cook (kind of)- I’m slowly learning how to cook. It’s a necessity here unlike in the states. At home, we have a cafeteria and are REQUIRED to have a meal plan until we are a junior or unless we live off campus. Here, there are no meal plans. You either cook, spend all your money eating out, convince your friends to feed you, or just eat cereal and basically starve. So far I have cooked chicken, bacon, pasta and meatballs, and rice with mild success. I will work my way up to baking and other more complicated dishes. For now, this is fine.
- Languages (also kind of)- I am learning snippets or other languages such as German, French, British slang, Italian, Flemish, Spanish, and I am actually enrolled in a Dutch class. Hallo. Het is mooi weer. HA. Not really. See post above. Google translate THAT.
- The Dutch love mayonnaise- Seriously. They smother their fries in it. And anything else. Pizza, toast, bananas. Okay not really bananas. At least I haven’t asked. One of my Dutch friends even got two tubes of mayo in the mail.
- Chinese food here is another species of food altogether- I don’t know. I thought it was a mushroom… but it had tentacles. Also, Daisy (from Hong Kong) cooks alien soup at least once every fortnight. Not sure what planet the ingredients are from.
- How to use public transport- Bus timetables are uber confusing when all you’ve ever done is drive yourself or be driven by others in their personal vehicles. School buses are SO not the same. Trains are completely different altogether and don’t get me started on the metro. JK. Metro is easy. It’s the buses that I really had trouble with.
And actually, I like what I wrote here so much that I will now copy and paste it into my own blog. That is all.
Over and Out.