I’m going to level with you: I don’t know how to write a blog and I don’t have much to write about.
I’m 21 years old. I have virtually the same practical experience as an infant. I can tell you stories for the next eight months, but it seems to me that a blog should have some coherency. I should have a message or something. I don’t want to incessantly post stories that are of no benefit to anyone other than my mother who uses this blog to track my whereabouts and to confirm that I am, in fact, alive. Hi, mom.
I spent some time thinking about what idea or issue I wanted to write about in this post, and came up with the following gem:
So, growing up. What’s up with that? This sounds like a doomed opening line for a comedy routine. Like a really, really bad comedy routine. One that ends with tomatoes or whatever people throw nowadays. Beer bottles probably. Man, that’s dangerous. People: don’t throw beer bottles. Throw toilet paper or something. That’s soft and suggestive of the quality of their material.
To defend myself, I had just experienced the very illuminating task of using my hard-earned money to buy laundry detergent. I had never purchased laundry detergent before, and I did not enjoy the transaction.
For your sake and my dignity, I’ve decided to stick with anecdotes for the time being. In the spirit of brevity, I’ve compiled a collection of short stories covering the last two weeks of my life here in the UK:
My housemate Pepe decided to cook something Spanish sounding for us. It was an omelet with potatoes and onions, and I could walk downstairs and ask him, but I don’t feel like moving. As the token vegetarian, I was assigned to the salad.
I waited to go downtown to buy ingredients for the salad until around 5:00 because I spent the better part of the day trudging through Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Nevertheless, I boarded the bus to town to get the mixin’s. However, it was Sunday, and all shops close at 5:00 on Sunday. As do the buses.
In the sequel to my first night in this country, I walked forty-five minutes uphill in the dark. Because it gets dark at 6:00 here. Also, I accidentally off-roaded it, and was certain – and I mean absolutely certain – that I was going to be murdered. I lived. Either the murderer chickened out, or I’m a super good runner.
The kitchen smelled fantastic. I hadn’t eaten because I had not gone grocery shopping in over a week, so I was really feeling these omelets. I was practically salivating in our kitchen when Pepe frantically said he needed my help flipping the omelet.
Okay, so I don’t have any culinary skills. Another thing I don’t have: hand-eye coordination. So, when Pepe asked me to support his movement (I have no idea how to articulate this action – use your imagination) as he flipped the omelet in our pan that is too small and was covered with a plate that is even smaller, I was not optimistic. And rightly so. Before I knew it, the pan was upside down and half of the omelet was on the floor.
As we stood there looking at the egg that now covered the counter, stovetop and floor, I’m fairly certain we had a similar thought that can be best explained as: In this moment, I realize that I am suited neither for adulthood nor early adulthood. I have no idea what I am doing and the egg on the ground is a representation of this fact.
As is often the case, things turned out perfectly swell.
Pepe finished cooking the omelet. I supported five more flips, each more successful than the last. I am told that has more to do with the consistency of the egg than my talent at supporting others, but nevertheless. We had a great dinner. Really, it was fantastic.
Afterwards, we spent the better part of twenty minutes cleaning up egg, but it was worth it. Despite the walk uphill, my near-murder, and the omelet fiasco, we had a household dinner. #Success
Clubbing with Ezra Pound
Despite the fact that I am only in class for six hours every week, I am still enrolled at a university. To maintain that status, I went to the library to read up on the Fascist and Anti-Semite, Ezra Pound. I promised to meet friends afterwards at an on-campus club.
Problem: I still had my backpack.
And that is how I found myself dancing to “Stacey’s Mom” in the middle of a fire-safety violation amount of people with my backpack on. Really worked my way up the social ladder with that one.
Whitstable: Take Three
Last weekend, my housemates and I walked to Whitstable. To be clear, I voluntarily and knowingly walked roughly six miles to a town I had already visited. If you know me personally, take this to be a testament to my growth as an individual. And here’s the kicker: I didn’t complain. Not once.
If you are my mother, you will have read my previous posts about five times a piece and easily remember that my first night in Canterbury I inadvertently started a journey to this town. I followed up on this unwanted adventure with a nicely planned trip a week later – an account of which can be seen and read in earlier posts. Well, I now feel that I deserve the keys to the city.
In a Subtle Subject Change, I Have a Pitch
This winter, my good friend Alyssa is traveling to Panama, and needs help to get there. Financial help, she’s not hitchhiking. We bonded over a shared love of exercise (joke), and now she’s traveling to Panama to teach dance at three orphanages as a form of therapy and cross-cultural understanding.
In case you didn’t gather as much from the previous sentence, she is easily one of the best people I’ve ever met; and the very fact that she’s going on this trip is a testament to that fact.
So, here’s the link. Check it out: Get Alyssa to Panama
Consider it my early Thanksgiving, Christmas, or just I-am-away-from-my-family-for-all-major-holidays gift. Or as a good deed, pay it forward type of situation. Whichever is more convincing.
Note: Please appreciate my surreptitiousness.
I expected the Canterbury Cathedral to be incredible. Therefore, it didn’t surprise me much that I was overcome with awe upon first seeing it. Nevertheless, that building is fantastic.
I realize that I can get worked up over seemingly mundane things, but people built this Cathedral. Actual human beings constructed this building out of stone.
I can’t even properly play with Lincoln logs.
Earlier this week, I went with a friend to a joint fundraising event for the Kent Snowboarding and Live Music Societies. While I love snowboarding and wish the best to those who choose to ride down a mountain, I was more interested in the live music. Our first week in Canterbury, a band called the Aztec played at a campus event, and this was our opportunity to see them once again. They sound like angels. They have a saxophone. I mean, come on.
To understand our mental state, know that while listening to melodious harmony we were drinking Cluster Bombs – some sort of alcoholic beverage (unimportant) rimmed with Pop Rocks (important). In retrospect, this is a very aggressively named and creatively made drink.
We danced, listened to two sets, and then casually and confidently made our way back to the bus station after a successful night out on the town. However, and this should come as no surprise to you, the buses stopped running. We misread the timetable and after thirty minutes waiting for a nonexistent bus, we came to terms with the walk ahead of us.
I say ‘we’, but that is generous of me. I have not reached complete acceptance yet. As can be evidenced by my request for a man’s cigarette, so “I can burn this bus station to the ground.”
I have some growing to do.
However, I would still deem the night a success. I would even deem the walk home a success. Entirely because we passed a Subway, which was miraculously still open, and bought three cookies for a pound.
. . .
I’ve found that life is generally the same on this side of the Atlantic. The humdrum of life is pretty universal. I still write papers, buy groceries, and sleep through my alarm.
If I were going to try to send you a message (and not in a terrifying mobster sort of way) it would be to not get too caught up in the humdrum. While I’m in the midst of a hefty amount of reading, it’s easy to forget that I’m here – in the UK. It’s easy to buckle down, attend to the tasks of everyday living and forget to look up. It’s easy to forget that adventure is right there, if you really wanted it.
Maybe we should live as though we were abroad every day of our lives. We should see adventure, whatever form it might take, as necessary. Not something to be put off for a later date, an imaginary date when the issues of everyday life won’t get in the way. Maybe we should appreciate the time we have here – wherever here may be.
Those are my two pence.