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Published: December 2nd 2010
I love England. There is a very specific reason for this declaration, some of you anxious readers might think it is for the vast and varying history that indulges your very senses when you set foot on this rainy, windy, grey Island, but I assure you that it is not. Some also might think it is for their literary history that stretches from tales of King Arthur’s Court to the banks of heaven itself, I assure you that is not the reason I love England. I came to England to immerse myself in those very things yes, but instead I am finding myself caught up in a very different life, and without my conscious knowledge I have found myself looking beyond the visage of history, literature and lore to find England, that is to say modern, daily England. Now after that eloquent and mysterious introduction I am going to list the things that make England fantastic.
1. The Sun
: One of my all time favorite sayings happens to be “the sun is new each day” (Heraclites) but I didn’t really appreciate the way that the sun could light up a day until I moved to this
country of little sunlight. However, after only 3 months of being here I now relish each and every glipse of sunlight that filters through the clouds. I have come to cherish the fact that “sunny intervals” means that at some point during the day I might have the chance to glimpse the sun. Furthermore, after years being the only pasty one around, I love the fact that everyone here gets limited amounts of sun and are as pasty as I am. This brings me to my next point.
2. The Clouds
: I really never paid that much attention to clouds, besides when I am on trail. However, now I can predict perspiration from the color of the clouds. Overcast days are not just filled with one type of cloud, but are really a myriad of weather patterns stuffed together and piled on top of each other. Grey clouds, white clouds, fluffy clouds, windy clouds I never knew how many types of clouds there were.
3. The Attitude
: No one in Britain is in a hurry. Compared to them I am a time-managing, organized, workaholic. The relaxed pace in life takes time to get used to. I wasn’t prepared to enjoy
a cup of tea when I got home every day or to sit down for pudding with friends for a while just to chat. It makes life so enjoyable though. Furthermore, no one questions it. At first I thought this was a result of the overwhelming amount of alcohol and tea (they apparently have the same effect) that was imbibed by everyone, but now I know that it is deeper than that.
4. The Pudding
: By this I mean the desert. I know now that the measure of civilization should be measured by how easily you can get a tiramisu, or something as deliciously light and marvelous. (Confession: opening up a .50£ tiramisu was the catalyst of this article). Furthermore, if you haven’t encountered Sticky Toffee Pudding, Trifle, Belgium éclairs, or cheesecake next to your yogurts and cheeses in the grocery shop then you are out of luck because that my friend is a hallmark of a great civilization.
5. The Accent
: they say that Shakespeare’s accent was one of a Virginia gentleman’s. That is disappointing because the English accent in its varied multitudes of form is one of the countries masterpieces. From the posh to the Cornish each area
has it’s different accents and with that different words, catchphrases and clichés. For a country with a history dating back to the Neolithic period and around the size of North Dakota the lack of continuity is astonishing. Also, even though I have been exposed to the accent for three months, it is still hot.
6. The Shops
: I wish that I could accurately describe the difference between High Street and say State Street (in Madison). On the surface both seem to be a Mecca for life, filled with shops, places to eat and a gather spot. Yet, High Street is different. High Street has shops that people need for day-to-day life. They don’t go to a mega-store or a Target, or even a mall to purchase things but instead bustle in and out of small shops gathering the necessities of life. You can find anything on High Street.
There are many more things that endear England to my heart, one of which is my personal study schedule while I am here. Let’s just say that I don’t work nearly as hard as I did back home, which is wonderful and has opened my eyes to other aspects of life
that I missed out on. Yet for a student in Uni here I have a rather intense schedule. While I know that this country is not perfect, I have come to feel at home here, and love living here.
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