Hello friends&family from the other side of the ocean! I decided to make a more organized update, so they’re divided by category and I guess you can more easily pick and choose what you’re interested in reading.
Mexican food. A classmate and I went to a wannabe Chipotle. Not very good at all! But whether it’s good mexican food or bad mexican food and whether it’s on the westcoast of California or the middle of nowhere on an island across the atlantic…. mexican food reliably gives me stomach problems.
Prêt à Manger — a nice café with a lot of good sandwiches made fresh daily! One of my favorites is the Egg salade sandwich with arugula (under £2!) and another is a prosciutto & veges in a baguette. 🙂
Pubs. Ah, the quintessential British thing-to-do. You know those scenes in LOTR when the hobbits (+ the Fellowship) drink, drink, dance on the table, drink, and have drinking contests? It’s a lot like that but with less laughter, and no dancing. A typical pub has low ceilings, dim lights, wooden furniture, and strange objects hanging on walls (e.g. the inside of a piano, a scythe, and part of a saw), and smells like alcohol.
Notable pub: The Eagle & Child, where JRR Tolkein & C.S. Lewis used to hang.
I really miss the food culture of the Bay Area, my mom’s korean food, redbeanredbeanredbeanredbean!!!!, and some decent Mexican food. C’mon, hombres… how can you even ask “What is a burrito*?”?!?!?!
*For those unfortunate enough to have never experienced this food item, let me just assure you it’s the best thing your tongue will ever experience all wrapped in a soft tortilla.
So the first Sunday I woke up too late to get to the morning service at St Ebbes (still suffering from jet lag) and I went to St. Aldates’ instead. It was pretty charismatic and a slight shock to my system. I left feeling worried that all the churches might be like this here.
Yet, still determined, I went to the 4:30p service at St Ebbes the same day and found it quite nice. From what I could infer of the sermon, their doctrine seems sound. The pastor preaches expositionally, if not as indepth as what I am used to with PJ and other pastors.
So this week I attended their ROOTS, a mid-week bible study for 20’s and 30’s, and on Sunday nigh I’ll meet up with one of the girls who is a member of the church before service.
I’ve got plans to go to London and do some shopping and sightseeing (yay, scholarship money!) but for now, I’ve just been trying to see as much of Oxford as possible before getting bogged down with schoolwork.
Tuesday, I visited the Ashmolean Museum
Cool things about Oxford…
We have the best libraries in the world.
We have cows. (Christ Church Meadows)
We have Bambi. A whole field of them! (Magdalene Deer Park)
We have shrunken heads! I thought Berkeley’s book bound by human skin was awesome… but this takes it to a whole new level! (Pitts Rivers Museum)
We have tortoises... and each Trinity Term, there is a Tortoise Race. Last year, my college’s tortoise won!
Terms are only 8 weeks long. Don’t know if this is cool yet … or suicidal.
So, British English is not too much different from American English, but it’s fun to point out the differences!
For example, pants & pants. I did not know this before I came here, but I’m glad I learned it now! So apparently, US ‘pants’ = ‘trousers’ in Britain. (Also, sweater = jumper, which I find quite odd.) British ‘pants’ = ‘underwear’!
A classmate told me a story of her American friend, who, after being drenched in the rain, entered a quiet café and exclaimed, “Oh my gosh, I need to change my pants, they’re soaking wet!!!” Hilarity ensues.
Also, trash = rubbish here. But to me, that sounds so mean! Rubbish seems to hold a more negative connotation compared to (what I perceive as) the neutral “trash.” Man, that’s a load of rubbish! Here, let me take out your rubbish!
Another, more personal one, is … incontinence. And this is probably not because it’s British English, but because I’m so dumb… This might be TMI so maybe don’t read if you’re sensitive!!!!
So the first thing I did when I came here was go to the drugstore and buy some essentials that I couldn’t bring over from the US: shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, … and sanitary napkins. But, being the idiot that I am, I went and bought a whole bunch of the wrong thing… I bought incontinence pads. So you have to be easy on me here— I just came from a 10 hr sleepless flight and a 3 hour bus ride to a strange place where I didn’t know anyone and no one knew me. So I just thought, “heck! it’s England, I guess they call it something different here!” Nope. This is not the case. What a waste of money!
Photos courtesy of my youngest sister, since I am not home to document their progress. Soon they will be yummy chicken pot pies! Aren’t they freaky-lookin now?