Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Don't Throw a Wobbly Just Cuz I'm Havin' Fun!

I never got to catch up on updating, but I'll do that now. I just finished working two days in a row on a presentation for my class tomorrow (which, by the way, I am very nervous about!) Normally, I'd be sleeping, but I am sipping on my second cup of green tea for the night and eating some grapes.

This week, I've decided to go on a diet. I know it must sound crazy but as my friend put it, we notice things more about ourselves than others do. I tend to notice my face getting rounder, my legs thickening, and my arms getting more fattylicious!

My friend, Henry, whom I mentioned in the last post, has been wonderful in motivating me to work out. I always get very anxious when working out with people I don't know very well because of my asthma which is very serious back home. I can't ever finish a mile without stopping constantly after about 2-3 minutes, but Henry made me feel very comfortable and was understanding of my needs. He let me set the pace and everything (which I felt bad about) but he was so patient and never asked about my asthma problem. We just carried on jogging, and I began to forget about how slow I was running. One of the days we were working out, he even walked me up to where the cardio floor was, haha. It was so sweet. :)

The air here is so amazing. At least, in Brighton it is. I've found that in the last few days of my working out, it has been much easier to cope with my asthma. On my first day at the gym, I was able to run a little over a mile. I had to stop of course, but I finished a mile which I hadn't done since probably elementary school. In high school, I always had the nurse note and even when I tried to finish a mile, I would come close to fainting. So to accomplish this was amazing.

Yesterday, I finished my first mile without stopping at all. It took a little under 12 minutes, but I was so proud of myself. It must sound crazy, but for people who don't fully comprehend how dangerous my asthma is, it really is surprising. It's a big accomplishment. My next goal is to run a faster mile and after that, run over a mile gradually (without stopping, of course). Today, I ran a mile without stopping, again, and I ran about a mile and a half with a teensy stoppage after the 5th lap. I'm working towards going to the gym twice a day. It definitely feels good to work out.

I've been eating salad, grapes, drinking green tea (and some tea that Henry gave me), as well as lemon juice in warm water. This diet seems to be working for me over the past few days. I'm seeing results and it definitely helps that I have high metabolism. Anyway, that's what I've been up to aside from school and sight seeing.

On Thursday night, I went on my first pub tour with the school and some friends. I learned that "pre-gaming" is drinking before you go have drinks elsewhere. (At least, that's the impression I got in context from everyone that talked to me). Everyone was already having beer or wine. Upon my arrival at the meeting site, my friend, Prany, quickly motioned me to drink some of her wine. I was hesitant at first since I've never had a drink before... but I took a sip. It was ... a sophisticated sort of taste, I suppose. When we got into town, the pub hopping began. Along the way, we met some guys that were already graduated, way older than us... who shamelessly tried hitting on us. A few pubs down, I finally got my first beer-- a cider. Everyone told me since it was my first drink, it should be a cider. I got a pint and I had only 30 minutes to finish this sucker. My friend Prany kept urging me "Drink! Drink! Chug! Chug!" That was definitely like doing homework. It took me about 15 minutes to drink almost half of that thing, and by that time, I felt unnaturally sleepy. My head started to feel whoozy. My other friend, Kyle, told me that's what I was supposed to feel like, although he says for him it takes about 5-7 of those to make him feel that way. I guess everyone's assumption that I can't handle drinks is true, but it's not like I'll drink again, anyway. We went to a club to finish off, and that was the end of my night which ended around 1 am. Others didn't get back until 5 am in the morning.

Friday, I went into Brighton with Henry to get tickets for Inception. I'd been wanting to see this for so long, and he was kind enough to want to come with me! We got tickets and then got dinner at an Italian restaurant where I got a delicious Tropicale Salad and Henry got a pizza (can't remember which kind he got). Afterwards, we took a stroll down by the beach and sat on the bench to just appreciate the view and digest our food, but it was getting too chilly! We ran to the theatre after about 5 minutes of that and after watching the movie, our minds were completely boggled. We started forgetting how we got into the theatre and when I got back to my room, I noticed my trash bag had been changed even though on cleaning day, it wasn't removed. Someone had probably been in my room? Or I was just confused.

Saturday, I went to the Canterbury Cathedral. I was so excited for this because after reading about The Canterbury Tales in English 10 Honors, I wanted to see this place! And boy, it exceeded my expectations. It was better than all the Cathedrals I saw in Paris. I know some of you might think I am partial in my opinion, but in all seriousness and leaving aside my love for British culture/history and bad experiences in Paris, this Cathedral was without a doubt mesmerizing. It wasn't like any other Cathedral I'd seen before. This Cathedral had more amazing history (at least in my belief) than the ones in Paris. My appreciation for the history behind this place grew tenfold from it's unique architectural structure and unusual mosaics, tombs, and events. It was wonderful to walk through the same path as the pilgrims. To go to the crypt and see that that was the only part of the Cathedral to remain as it was over 900 years ago... I can't even wrap my mind around that.

After that short excursion, we went to Leeds Castle. I personally wish we could have spent more time in Canterbury... but oh well. Leeds Castle in itself wasn't as amazing as Carisbrooke Castle in the Isle of Wight, but everything surrounding the Castle was enough to make up for it. This place is almost divine. The half hour walk to the Castle was filled with lush green everywhere. The willows were so beautiful regardless of how woebegone they appeared.

There were black swans which I completely fell in love with. The only other time I've seen black swans was in China, so I was beaming at the sight of them. The white swans were half my size! And as graceful as they might seem in my presuppositions, they are quite feisty. Still, they completed the scenery and made it all the more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

This place is one of the best places for a date. Boy did I want this for a date. :( It made me a little sad, but it didn't detract from my reveling-in-beauty moments. I couldn't stop myself from taking a million pictures.

Here is a picture of me and one of my classmates from last session, Geraldo. It was actually his birthday yesterday, so if you're reading this, Happy 22nd birthday again! :) When we took this picture, Henry said, "Aww, it looks like you two are getting married" to which we both awkwardly said "uhhhhhh..." I think you can see it more on Geraldo's face more than mine, haha.

By the time we made it to the castle, we started to see food. Much to my dismay, I gave in to buying an ice cream. Boy did I feel guilty for having that one scoop of ice cream, but it was incredibly amazing. I got a honey flavored one which tasted heavenly. It was so sweet, and if you know me, I get giddy like a little kid. Though I had a rueful grin slip across my face, I am glad I got that darned ice cream. I tend to be way too stingy with my money and diet lately.
After that, we took a tour of the gardens before getting into the castle. I think this was one of my favorite places to be. I'm not much of a girly-girl when it comes to flowers, but maybe because I've never seen any really pretty ones that aren't over-rated. But no, here, I saw amazingly simple and beautiful flowers that normally don't seem to be appreciated. It really made me actually want flowers. I even saw one of my favorite flowers-- the Callah lily. Walking in the castle was pretty ho-hum. Looking at it was somewhat a lovely sight even if it was tiny.
Definitely a beautiful place for a date, though. I'd love to immerse myself in that breathtaking atmosphere again... I saw a wedding there. Oh man, did it make my heart yearn. I was so happy to see something so beautiful taking place in a magical-like spot. So although Leeds Castle was not much, its surroundings kept a part of my heart there for me to come back for. It definitely beats the hustle-and-bustle milieu that I have grown up in...

And now it's time for the long awaited British culture difference! People here say, "I'm going to the loo to take a wee" and that basically means I'm going to the bathroom to pee. But I'm sure you geniuses figured that one out ;)

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