06 February 2009

Lessons Learned

After being here a couple of days, I have had more than one revelation. Above all, I have realized that this place is freaking AWESOME. I wish I had thought to apply here for college, or done a year abroad. This might just be the honeymoon phase talking, but it is absolutely wonderful. The town is gorgeous, the people are friendly, the university is excellent, the pubs are wickedly fun. I might never want to leave. 

Walking around town, doing errands, and just observing has been a great way to acclimate myself. So far, I've picked up these things:

1. Bag your own groceries. And quickly. Otherwise, you are holding up the people behind you in the queue at Tesco

2. There are many Americans here.  Almost too many for my liking. If I had wanted to meet more Americans, I would have stayed at home!

3. It is quite possible to get IDed at the pub, even when the drinking age is 18. I know.. it happened last night. I forgot my ID, and the bouncer let me in after I told him my birthday, but the girl bartender refused to sell me a beer. And I thought getting IDed at the movies was bad..

4. Alleys are often called wynds.. as evidenced by one called Butts Wynd (hehehehe). They are very clean, and very quaint, and one today had a small garden with a bench in it. A stark contrast from the alleys of Boston, which are filled with dumpsters, trash, grime, fire escapes, and bums. 

5. They love Stella Artois (or they just sell it everywhere, including the Student Union bar). I love Stella Artois. This might be why we are getting along fantastically. Going off of this, Corona is expensive. 

6. As an upper level student I only have to take two classes. I am in class from 9-11, and then 11-1 on Tuesdays. Coming from the American system, where you are in class almost everyday for a long stretch of time, this is ridiculous.. but ridiculously cool. 

7. They let guys and girls live in the same suite in university-managed flats.  I've only met one of my flatmates so far, and it's a guy.. named Guy, from southwestern England near Wales (but not in Wales, which is a big different he tells me).  The others (another guy, Ben, and two girls) should be coming tomorrow or Sunday. We, or Ben I guess, has a Wii, Playstation, and Rock Band in the common room. Oh, the excitement that awaits!

8. Luckily for me, there are only about 3 main streets downtown, which makes it easy to navigate, and find something to do. There are bunches of cute shops, lots of woolen stores, and I'm told there are 31 pubs in this town of 17,000 people. Why can't we have that ratio back home?!?!

9. I think this is for Danny --- you CAN buy kilts off the rack. I've seen them.. in multiple stores. Also, I bought a clan MacPherson tartan scarf today. This store also had keychains, patches, shields, and MUSICAL shields for your particular clan... fantastic. I needed to get some tartan, because I heard that when you go to a ceilidh (the traditional dance and supper that's tonight), you're supposed to wear some. 

10. You can spot the high school kids right away. They are the ones hanging out in packs outside of Tesco or other stores with black uniforms and ties. It's so British, I love it. 

That's all I got for now. Tomorrow, I'm planning on exploring the ruins and the beach on the north side of town, which I haven't really seen yet. I will also finally take some pictures, and post those for all to see!!


  1. You know where to send my tartan scarf. Be on the lookout for your lovely care package, btw.

    And weird, I never once got carded when I was in London. You must've looked very, uh, youthful.

  2. You get ID'd everywhere, hahahaha! Butt Wynd was named after Dad, and it's ironic how there aren't any bums in Butt Wynd. On top of the question of why we can't have a decent ratio of cool pubs to people, I ask why we can't have a drinking age of 18. It's ridiculous. also, decriminalize weed. So a certain member of our family doesn't get sent to jail when he/she pulls a Phelps. I want a kilt off a rack, but I need to get sized, and then save money, which is a bitch to do. And for a last question, how do the high school girls look?

  3. Sounds like you are having a great time so far. Do I understand correctly that you have only 4 hours of classes on Tuesday, and that is it for the week? How does that equate to a full semester at BC?

    A little change of lodging plans. I think we are going to rent this one: www.oldadmiraltyhouse.com If you have a chance, check it out and let me know as soon as possible if this would be a good choice. It is located at 24 East Scores, near the old castle. It is available the week we will be there, and I think it would be better to be in town.

    Love you, Dad.

  4. hmmm.... i'm with Papa Roberts on this one, how does 4 hours of class = 5 classes at BC hmmm? Sounds a little shady to me Sal Gal... and living with boys?!? Gasp! Although, I do think it's funny that the one with the Wii is named be, just like our beloved Ben Keegan back home : ) I'm happy that you're enjoying yourself!!!

  5. SALLLY! everything sounds amazing! please update me on the beach and ruins exploration adventure. miss you!

    Ps. i've decided on Ascoli Piceno

  6. OK, i can't keep going on laughs from butts wynd. update.