Did you know, I’m in England?

2 10 2011

England is the place where I am right now.  Homerton College at Cambridge University (the number 1 ranked University in the world).  It seems a little odd, because for two years (a year and a half for me) the emphasis on the Oxbridge program is preparing yourself for the year in England and, well, suddenly I’m here.

I’m sure you’re all wondering about England, right?  Well, here’s some information for you so you can understand a little about my current home:

England is the name of a country (think: province) on the island of Great Britain.  Here’s the English flag:

English flag

Also on the island of Great Britain are the countries/provinces of Wales and Scotland.  The Wales flag is particularly awesome:

Yes, that is a dragon

These three entities, along with Northern Ireland, comprise the political entity known as the United Kingdom, or the UK.  England does not have an international voice, and neither does Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland; they only make up the UK which is the international political entity.  This is the UK flag:

As you might notice, this flag bears resemblance to the England flag.  That’s because the Union Jack incorporates the flags of England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.  Now, you will probably also notice that there is no dragon on this flag.  In my opinion, this is a gigantic oversight, because who wouldn’t jump at the chance to put a dragon on your flag?

This is all to educate you, the reader, on what the heck ‘being in England’ actually means.  Because it is confusing.

So, I arrived in England via airplane to the Heathrow airport.  Example of England from air:

The ground! Looks very nice after being in a plane for so long.

From our terminal, we walked roughly 9,597 miles to the entire other end of the airport to go through customs and get our baggage.  We survived, and I bought a Coca-Cola because I was parched.  It was 500 ml.  The metric system is awesome, but its still weird seeing non-imperial measurements everywhere.  Due to a ticket-purchasing snafu, Hannah and I were separated at the bus stop–she ended up taking a bus through London to get to Cambridge, while mine was a direct route.  I’m glad it happened that way, because I got a bus with air conditioning and I arrived sooner.  Though it was direct, it made plenty of stops along the way, so it took 3 hours to get from London to Cambridge.

At this point in the post, I’ll let you know what I have learned about England:

1.  OHMYGOODNESS ROUNDABOUTS EVERYWHERE.  The English practically go out of their way to build the things.  Some are big, some are small.  Some are just there for the heck of it.  It is almost as if the English were unable to comprehend the idea of a 4-way intersection.

2.  I quickly felt awkward and not eloquent with my clumsy American accent.  In other words, I feel like someone with a thick southern drawl obviously must feel.

3.  The English (or at least Cambridge University) have a fetish for fire safety.  My hallway looks like this:

stairs  |_________|__________| stairs

The | are fire doors.  Yes, there are three of them in the hallway, including one smack in the middle.  In addition, the fire alarm is tested once a week on a particular morning, and there are a few middle-of-the-night fire drills per term.  On top of that, there is no way to leave our doors open.  They serve as additional fire doors.  Weird.

So I stopped at Cambridge, finally.  We got off by this gigantic, flat green.  It was beautiful out.

Ultimate frisbee paradise

I believe this was either Jesus Green or Butt Green.  That sentence was not a joke.

Then I took a cab to Homerton College.  Here are some pics of my new home:

Great Hall/Cavendish Building

Queens Wing; my doorm

My room. Yes, messy, but jet lag is evil and destroys productivity

There will be more pictures and things to come.  Once I get some good pictures about Cambridge, I’ll show them to you and explain life in Cambridge.  For now, here’s a sneak peak of a beautiful cathedral in the city center:

Fantastic.

Like I said, life at Homerton College/Cambridge will be my next post; should be in a couple days. Now, I’m going to get a 2 liter bottle of Dr. Pepper.

Cheers.

 

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