Posts Tagged 'norwich'

One word: Stokage.

So it’s been two months now – two months and two days, to be exact. I have had a Tahoe-filled, World Market-tastic summer full of friends, family, and tanning. Basically, I did a fan-fucking-tastic job of absorbing as much Californian amazingness as is physically possible in 63 days. I have little to no time left in lovely little El Do, and then it is off to the airport, then to Las Vegas, then to Gatwick, where the FABULOUS Laura Wells will be picking my fine self up. To finish up this paragraph of really direct, fact-filled sentences, I’m going to say that my summer was perfect.

When I arrive back in England, I won’t be going straight off to Norwich. I’ll be near Brighton for a few days with Laura, and then I’ll be lugging my ridiculous suitcases off to move into the HOUSE off on Unthank. You know, the HOUSE HOUSE HOUSE!!!! that I’ll be living in this year. Just kiiiind-of excited about that. Because I’m amazing, I got THE best house-warming presents EVER for my three ridiculous guy housemates. I would totally show them off here, but on the off chance that any of those three crazies (I love you guys) read this, I’ll keep it a surprise.

These days when talking with people, be it at work or with friends, it’s inevitable for the, “So…which do you like better, California or England?” question to come up. As follows, it is then inevitable for me to not know what to say. Do I like England more than I like California? I don’t know. California is my homeland, I fucking love it and always will, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. At the same time, I love England. I love it. I can’t imagine spending three years there and not staying. Both places are absolutely, incredibly amazing. So basically my plan is to marry a rich English man and just jet between the two. I’ll let you guys know when I come up with a better plan than that.

For now, though, just getting back to England will do. Getting back into the whole living-in-another-country thing should be interesting…and by interesting, I definitely mean TEN KINDS OF HOLY SHIT I’M BACK AWESOME =]]]] . I cannot wait. This year, I can at least pretend I know what’s coming…and if it’s anything like what I imagine, I will have plenty to write about.

Dust off your transatlantic, guys. 48 hours and I’m back.

xxx

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Reggie, Manfred Mann, and other reasons not to complain.

I have been here for nearly six months and today, for the first time, I attended church at Norwich Cathedral. It was long overdue, I know…but as they say, better late than never.

The service was amazing. It took a little longer to walk there than I thought, so I was about ten minutes late. Thus, when I entered from the small door in the back the choir was in the middle of singing a hymn. I can sit here and try to tell you how amazing it is hearing a monstrously huge pipe organ and the incredibly talented Norwich Choir harmonize in a 900 year old cathedral, or you can just trust me when I say that it gave me goosebumps. I still can’t get over the fact that people regularly attend church in such an awe-inspiring, spectacular place.

Among other religious firsts, I’ll note that this was the first sermon I ever heard where it was preached that part of the listeners’ Christian duty, in terms of achieving world peace, is to help put a stop to climate change. I’ve grown up in a pretty conservative church environment, so needless to say, pro-environmentalism (if you decide to call a simple decision to live sustainably an environmentalist attitude, rather than a simply logical one) was never really a sermon theme. Don’t get me wrong – I loved my church growing up, and it was hardly preached to drive a Hummer and never recycle. In the same vein, though, I highly doubt many members of the LCMS church find themselves voting on the left side of the ballot. It was, simply put, interesting to see church from a visibly more traditional view (900 year old building, traditional liturgy, etc.) while hearing a slightly less traditional sermon.

When I got up for Communion, I was advised by the woman sitting nearest me that I should bring my bag with me to the front of the church, as sadly before people have come in during service and “nicked” the bags of Communion-goers. Seriously. How much of a conscience do you lack if you steal purses from women while they Commune? Things like that in the world make me pray that my faith in karma is not misplaced. Anyway, the reason I mention it is because after service the same lady spoke to me and chatted with me for five or ten minutes, asking me if I was visiting, or if I attend church at home, etc. It was just really nice that in such a huge, intimidating church setting the members are still incredibly personable and, well, nice. I really, really enjoyed myself, and now that I have myself a bus pass, I’ll try and go every Sunday.

Last weekend was spent in utter relaxation, sleeping 10+ hours both Friday and Saturday night, wearing pajamas for most of both Saturday and Sunday, and curling up in bed eating take-out fish and chips and finishing Devil’s Brood (Sharon Kay Penman = HISTORICAL FICTION LOVE).

This weekend has been 48 hours of compensatory productiveness. I woke up and left for town at the unheard of hour of 9:00 AM with a certain Laura Wells and then proceeded to pick up my paycheck, do some much-needed exploration of hole-in-the-wall Norwich shops off of Haymarket, and pick up a week or two’s worth the groceries at Iceland. It was pretty awesome when I arrived back at the flat at 12 and only found one or two people awake. Since it was a particularly gorgeous (albeit FREEZING) day, I brought a blanket out next to the lake and laid down in the sun. Within half an hour enough clouds had showed up to block out the sun, so that was the end of that. Still though…it was absolutely fantastic. Even more so because I made myself a bacon sandwich when I got inside.

One of my amazing finds yesterday, among other things, was a perfect little record shop near Haymarket. It’s just one small room overstuffed with vinyl, with brown-and-honey-colored speakers that remind me of my grandparent’s house hooked up amidst framed album covers and blasting Manfred Mann. I picked myself up a vinyl Cat Stevens album, partly because it was Cat Stevens and vinyl, and partly because it came with an original poster of shirtless, lei-bearing Cat Stevens playing acoustic at some unnamed blue-walled venue. It’s on my wall being epic as I type…I am in love.

Sadly, I have no academic misadventures to report or to amuse you with. That’s doubly disappointing since I seem to fail at constancy these days…you’d think I would have embarrassed myself tenfold since I last wrote.

I can, though, report that I nearly have my housing situation worked out for next year. That, combined with my realization that in terms of rent and bills I will be financially independent next year, AND with the fact that on the twenty-third I turn 20, makes me feel very, very strange. And adult. You’d think that the whole living in a foreign country bit would go a little farther in acquainting me with feeling strange…but alas, the feeling is just as bizarre now as it was a year ago.

Wish me luck though, guys. No matter how the current numerous roommates situation works out, I’ll be living with three boys. Having no brotherly experience, I’m sure this will be quite an adventure…though, if nothing else, the material I’ll get over the next two years will be boundless, and unavoidably amusing.

Speaking of the other gender, I have a new man in my life, and his name is Reggie. He’s not actually a man in any way, shape, or form. He’s my anthropomorphized phone, and he fucking OWNS. I can now skype anyone at any time via Reggie, and in what is bound to cause my death, I have unlimited access to Facebook as well. Because skype is awesome, I was finally able to get one of my epic friends from my old church on the phone the other night to play six months of conversational catch-up. Communication can at times be a bitch, but skype goes quite far in terms of making it simple. I’ll be doubly making use of that now, as Prue, one of my best friends here that hails from Australia, has left England and after six months of being abroad, returned to her half of the globe. FAIL.

None of you can see (that is, none of you that are reading this and are not one of the ten people I live with), but MY ROOM IS CLEAN. This is absolutely unheard of, as I usually live in a state of general explosion, where the only clean surface is my sink…and that’s only on Wednesdays, when I have to move everything off of it so that Paula, the cleaner, can wash it off.

That, plus the fact that my new tongue-piercing has officially healed and I have the new, much shorter bar in, makes life quite nice at the moment. I can say, temporarily, that I have no complaints!

Let’s try and keep this going, shall we?

A weekend of win.

I’m pretty sure that no matter how long I live here, I will never cease to be amazed by the price of public transportation. The fact that it costs almost exactly the same for a return bus ticket into town and a train ticket to the beach forty-five minutes away completely boggles my mind. With that figure, you have to decide if it’s the bus tickets that are really expensive or the train tickets that are really cheap. Sadly, I’ll let you know that the latter is the truth. Taking the bus around Norwich is expensive as fuck – it’s £3.50 for a return bus ticket into town. That is almost exactly $6.00.

Oh, and the worst part is that with the way the currency works here my brain gets even more confused. Here’s how it works: in America, if you have a handful of change, there is nothing exciting about it. You find a pocketful of change and if you’re lucky and stocked up on quarters, you might have a dollar or two. Here it is the opposite. A pocketful of change could well be £5 or more – that’s like having a coin purse of $10 easy. And hey, go figure, after 19 years of coins being worth nothing, I don’t find it very hard to spend coins and not feel bad about it. Yeah, generally not a good idea.

Complaints about cost and currency (to be fair, their coinage looks fucking awesome) aside, me and my flatmates took advantage of the otherwise amazingness of the English public transportation system this weekend and had a trip up to Cromer to see our first bit of English ocean. It was colder than you’d know, but that was okay because it was perfectly beautiful.

As if the beach itself was not amazing enough, the seaside town of Cromer was ten kinds of picturesque and even came with a variety of fish & chip shops at which you could purchase said fish & chips and proceed to sit on the pier and eat them whilst watching the gorgeous ocean. Sunlight fading, smell of the sea, fantastic people at each side, and the boardwalk slowly lighting up – I think you can imagine how amazing it was. Gonna have to say that my first English beach experience was definitely epic win.

Speaking of epic win, the awesomeness of this weekend did not stop at the fantastic day trip. Nope, I pubcrawled it up in Norwich with Prue, Laura, Zach, Maggie, and Joao. We made three stops – The Bell, Delaney’s, and The Prince of Wales, if I recall correctly – and had many an adventure at each pub and in transit. Nothing like a midnight chip run to make your evening. Though I must say, the fact that we then had the entertainment of three 24-packed flatmates at home (courtesy of a £3 deal at Sainsburys) when we returned around 1:00 AM wasn’t so bad either. Did I say I love where I live? ‘Cause I kind of do.

All you have to do is toss in a free showing of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People (mad props to Laura of free movie ticket and energy-saving fame!) this morning and a very successful shopping trip at the City Centre and BAM! you have how awesome my weekend was!

Epic win guys, epic win.


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photo cred to myself and Maggie J. Moxie