Yesterday was a relaxing day. I didn't have any class because as I mentioned earlier, for the first summer session I only have class from Monday to Wednesday for an hour and a half. What better way to start a 4-day weekend than go back into the lovely city of Brighton? I met up with some new friends I got to know in class to do some grocery shopping. One of them apparently knows someone back home originally from Fresno but who now goes to UCLA. Small world!
We first went to a mall that I didn't even know existed in this city! It had an H&M, McDonald's, Quizno's, Borders, and some other stores I can't remember. I definitely didn't expect to see Quizno's or Borders here, though. We didn't do any shopping, unfortunately. The people I had gone along with needed some phones like me since I already had one, so that was the first thing on our agenda. One guy told me he was going through culture shock because he realized that people in the store don't come up to help you. I guess again, we can see how spoiled we are with people always at our feet asking whether we need anything. I think this only happens in some places here, though, because another phone store had a kind gentleman who asked us if we needed help picking out a phone. I was also wondering, what exactly is culture shock? I don't think I've gone through it, really. This guy I was hanging around was telling me how he went through all these culture shocks like people not offering help, people driving on the left side of the road, the food not being good, etc. These seem like small things that I either expected or didn't think was such a big deal. To me, it seemed like just seeing a bug with a missing leg, but I could imagine it as something natural in nature. Isn't culture shock something where you struggle to cope with something drastic?? I'm not sure I'm describing this too well.
My dad was telling me that after leaving Brighton and going back into London, he and my mother had gone to have some tea at the Saint James Hotel where they were obviously segregating Asians on one side of the room from all the white people. My dad sounded a little upset and confused and shocked. This is something that would catch me off guard if it was as obvious as he made it sound. Now, isn't that something like culture shock? I mean, perhaps it's just racism and segregation in a different category itself in its entirety rather than culture shock, but wouldn't culture shock be something to this effect? Something that makes you unable to cope with something so different you aren't used to?
I don't know... what are your thoughts on this?
Anyway, we ended up getting some lunch at a buffet. I ended up not getting the buffet and just spaghetti because my tummy can't take very much and I needed something that I could take home for money worth's sake. I was expecting my spaghetti to be more tomato-ish tasting, but it was very watery. I'm getting used to food here being bland and flavorless. (Naturally, I'd do the british spelling: "flavour" but I think I should retain some American things in this blog :P ) After debating about whether we needed to leave tip (which we didn't think was necessary), we wandered around and found our way to the bus stop to get to the grocery store.
When we got back to campus, I tried to get some tickets for the "Pub Crawl Tour" which is where they take you on a pub tour across the city and you eventually end up at a night club. I was debating on whether I wanted to do this since I don't drink and club, but I figured since England is known for pubs (among many other things, of course) I should try the experience. It turned out that 400 students had already bought the tickets and 50 students including me could not get them. So instead, I went to Brighton Marina for some bowling. Now this was interesting.
Apparently, bowling isn't a common thing and they don't do it very often as we do in the US. We had some fish and chips before bowling :) By the end of bowling, I had won! I was so surprised because I'm used to bowling with people who bowl far over 200 points, and I had only bowled 120! That was an experience if ever, and perhaps you could say it was a good ego/confidence booster for me, haha. I consider it a good thing since I don't have much confidence to begin with. Before we retired, we went to McDonald's for a 75 pence soft-served ice cream cone. :) Got home at 11, and I slept peacefully. That was my day yesterday... tonight I am going to an ice-cream party so I have been doing lots of reading since I have to sleep early to go to London tomorrow. Woohoo! Sorry for such a long post, I'll try and keep them short in the future. :)
Some other things I learned: Students go to "college" for 2 years which is what we take naturally as 4 years and then go on to a "university" for a certain degree, and that is 3-4 years. Also, they don't have the terms "freshman," "sophomore," "junior," or "senior." They just use the terms "first year," "second year," occasionally "third year," and rarely "fourth year." For words like Norwich or Warwick, they don't pronounce the w in the word so it is actually said like "Norich" and respectively, "Warick." Leicester is also said like "Lescter." Kind of like... molester, haha. Lastly, I heard a lady say "Just sign your scribbles there!" Interesting, huh? Over in the U.S., we'd say "Sign your John Hancock!" :P