My mother suggested I write about cultural norms I’ve learned in Europe so if that doesn’t interest you then skip right over this. First thing, most of the time you don’t tip here. This usually makes service suck. No one gives a frack if you get your food in 15 minutes or an hour. Usually you order at the bar and they bring your food out and don’t bring you a check for another 89 hours. Second, you don’t put your dog on a leash and it’s not really socially acceptable to pet dogs but they are ALL SO CUTE. Third, groceries are soooo much less expensive then eating out where in America it’s usually pretty even depending on where you go. This morning I went to the market next to my flat and got 3 zucchinis, brussel sprouts, 3 apples, 8 clementines, garlic, butternut squash, grapes, and a head of broccoli for 4,70 pounds which is about 6 dollars. Forth, I never know where to walk. Like the cars drive on the opposite side so I should walk on the opposite side? No people just walk wherever they find themselves walking. Fifth, don’t talk in the tube. Almost all the time the tube is SILENT (and a bit sweaty). Sixth, they don’t use dryers here. Like I’m pretty sure that even the wealthy people don’t use dryers. Seventh, the UK is super advanced when it comes to bank cards and basically everyone has touchless cards and I’m here still using my swipe card that doesn’t even have a chip in it yet. Eight, the stop lights go red YELLOW green and back green yellow red. It’s weird like a yellow light from the red light just means a green light but whatever. Ninth, there is take away and eat in here. It’s cheaper to take away then to eat in even if you are at a McDonalds where they aren’t serving you. Finally tenth, drinking is so different here. People will drink during their lunch time for work and just go back to work a little tipsy. The drinking culture is just a lot different here and people drink so much more casually then in America.
Dublin is a beautiful city. I really love the little cobblestone roads with Irish flags hanging out the pub windows and the accents that just seem a bit more serious then the English accent that I’ve been used to. My favorite thing about it though is the sound of seagulls in the city!!!!! We spent the day at trinity college and the famous Temple Bar which was absolutely amazing and exactly what I thought of as an old Irish pub. Today we took a train to a small town on the coast about an hour south of Dublin. I really needed to get out of the city life and explore some open fields and fresh air. We walked along the cliffs and ate fish and chips and sandwiches and scones and ice cream. Increasing in pounds (lb’s) and decreasing in pounds ($) all at the same time. It has been a weekend of indulgence and I think this has a small something to do with the fact that I’m reading “Eat Love Pray” by Elizabeth Gilbert. (highly recommend for any travel lover) I’m currently deep into the “eat” part so all I want to do is eat nonstop. I’ve ate literally at any and all times during the day. The best thing about Europe is that they have some different way of counting calories that I have no motivation to understand hence nothing has calories. (Don’t hate me Oprah) Hopefully I pass this part of the book soon or I’m gunna have to buy new pants. We did have a small mishap in Greystones though. We basically missed our first train then watched our second train come and go on the opposite platform after waiting for it for about 2 hours and I stepped in dog shit. But as my great friend Casey Neistat says “the adventure doesn’t begin till something goes wrong”.
This past weekend my roommates and I traveled down to good ole Munich, Germany. As you can probably guess it was filled with beer, pretzels and camping. Yes, we camped. This is how our travels went: took a taxi to the train station, a train to the airport, a plane to another airport, a train to another train station, another train to a bus stop, and a bus to the campground. We checked in and immediately chugged a beer and found our tents. We had an odd number of people so I decided to have a random tent mate. Her name was Luca and she was a darling straight from Mexico. I thought we would hit it off but she didn’t come back to the tent still 6am!!! (SMH Luca) Considering I can’t even look at a beer for another 3 weeks I would say the weekend was a success.
Here’s an update on my normal life now. I’ve been drinking A LOT of tea and I eat about a zucchini a day. I feel like a smoker considering how much second hand smoke I breathe in from these Brits. My roommate and I run a good amount along the Thames river which is sooo beautiful. I really enjoy my international finance class because I feel like I can actually use the material I am learning while I’m over here which is cool (only took 14 years of education to feel that way). Overall, things are going so well and I am absolutely in love with London and never want to leave.