It’s been about two months since I moved to England, and I’m now completely past the culture shock phase and on to the phase of adjustment.
After suffering from the worst cold I’ve ever had, my shelves are now fully stocked with cold medicine, and I feel like I’m prepared for consumption at this point.
Aside from being sick in a foreign country, my worst fear was actually adjusting to the food. Luckily, that’s been fairly easy. I’m a super plain eater, so I actually don’t know why I was ever really worried.
There’s also a lot of American chain restaurants here. I think I’ve seen more Burger Kings (yuck) and KFCs (double yuck) here than I ever saw in Maryland. They really need to bring Chick-Fil-A across the pond. And Wawa.
But they do have one of my absolute faves from back home… T.G.I. Friday’s. One just opened in Reading’s main shopping area, and I got the bartender to make me the closest thing to an orange crush. Next time, I think I’m going for the long island. I had never tried one before, so Meridia let me take a sip of hers, and I’m in love. I think I’ve found My Drink.
Future travel plans?
Planning for future trips and checking off places on my travel bucket list has truly been the key to moving past culture shock and into adjustment.
I’m spending Halloween in Edinburgh and then heading over to Dublin for a few days. The universities here have a week off from school called “enhancement week”, which is supposed to be a study week. I swear these people are never actually in class. It’s odd, but I’m grateful for the chance to travel.
Next weekend I’ll be in London with everyone in my study abroad program. It’s a big celebration for some guy (named Guy) that tried to blow up parliament. A truly inspiring holiday.
And right before I come home for Christmas, I’m going on a three day trip to Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam. Super pumped for that one.
As for right now…
I’m currently waiting for my laundry and half terrified I didn’t set it for long enough. I’m also a little afraid that I don’t have enough coins to dry any of it. I think my thirty minutes is up. I’m gonna go check now.
*Twenty minutes later*
It’s all good. Nothing seems soapy and it turns out the dryers are huge and only one pound for each load. So I’m in the clear. Yet another new experience I’ve survived.
Some final observations:
1. I’ve noticed that Americans are generally a lot friendlier and easier to become friends with than Brits. The British are very nice, but a bit cold and standoffish at first. They have nice accents though, so that’s a plus.
2. Though after a month of living here, I’ve become pretty numb to the accent. Unless they have a unique dialect or say a specific word differently, I don’t really consciously notice the accent anymore.
3. I finally understand why some people actually adopt a bit of an accent while here. I don’t think it’s something I’ll take home with me to the USA per se, but if you’re around it enough, you do start to talk a bit differently. Conversely, there are also times when I hear my regional American accent get stronger. Or maybe I just notice it more.
Well, now that my laundry crisis is averted and my unfinished Dickens essay continues to loom in the minimized section of the screen… I should probably end the post here.
If you’re studying abroad, and worried about the culture shock phase… take a deep breath, it will pass.