I spent most of my day today recovering from yesterday’s adventure. I slept like a log last night, this morning, and some of the early afternoon. However, the morning did hold one very very exciting surprise.
I don’t know how anyone gets along without a good crockpot. They’re just so convenient, and there are so many delicious recipes. I’m very excited to cook with it, but I have a lot of leftovers to work through before I get that far. If there’s one thing I know, though, my mum loves me! And amazon.co.uk means she can order things that are local to me, and save on shipping. Three cheers for the internet!
The weather is still a little nicer than it has been, which means venturing out in the afternoon (when it gets dark) is actually an option. After dinner I visited the pub nearest my house, Franklin Tavern. It’s named for Benjamin Franklin… naturally. I was hoping it would be kindof a neighborhood place where I could perhaps meet some people who live in the neighborhood. Strangely, it didn’t have a bar to sit at. It was also full of people my parents’ age. I had decided to give it a solid shot, though, so I sat down alone and fiddled with my portable electronic devices. An very friendly older man started talking to me, and shortly afterwards his son walked in. The guy introduced me to pretty much everyone in the bar. It does seem to be a very neighborhood-like place, where everyone knows everyone.
The guys son, Matthew, took me to see a few of his own favorite Brighton spots. He’s pretty new to the city as well, but has had time to scout out a few good things. I have to say, though, people here have a very different definition of what is “nearby.” It was dark and cold outside, I was very tired, and I said I wanted to stay close to home. 30 minutes later, we arrive at pub just outside Brighton Station. Based on my adventure last night, the only way I knew how to get home from there was to walk 45 minutes into the next town (Hove) til a perfect stranger offers me a lift. It was a nice little place though, called Queen’s Head. The chandeliers were very pretty. I’m very jealous that most places around seem to have gorgeous chandeliers. It was right across from Cafe Coho, where I’d spent my first few hours ever in Brighton (re: http://annablanck.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/day-one/ ) . Afterwards we stopped by an Irish pub, Molly Malone’s, that usually has live music later in the evening.
On the way back, we walked by a KFC. I wanted to see if it tasted very different over here, so I just grabbed ooooone little chicken strip for the road. It was actually tiny, hardly larger than a chicken nugget, but it did seem exactly the same as what we get in the States. The primary difference to note is that they don’t sell mashed potatoes at KFC over here. In fact, the only side available at all is one that KFC doesn’t offer in the states: chips. Frankly, they should have stuck with the mash. The fries were not good.
I stopped in my house for just a moment. It was an incredibly full night. My roommates were having a board-game party with all their friends, which looked and sounded very fun. It made me very sad to leave again. I really want to be friends with my room mates, but it has been so hard to meet anyone here that I really needed to follow through on the plans I had made with James. As it turns out, we really are neighbors. He lives right by me in a big house with his girlfriend and a bunch of guys, I think about six of them. They were moving around too much so I couldn’t really count.
We all walked to a house party that once again challenged my notions of proximity. It was much further than I felt like I’d been lead to believe, and I knew I’d have to find my way back somehow. It is amazing how many college students can fit into one of these tiny houses, and also amazing at the noise level the neighbors must be putting up with. Everyone was very nice and I had nice chats with a few different people. I ducked out early, since it was already pretty late, and I knew there was a good chance of losing my way getting home.
The English give directions very different than we do in the states. Rather than “Go right, take a right at the stoplight, go left when you get to the library,” and so on, I was given the following help when I left the party: “Oh yeah it’s back that way, and in a bit there’s that street we crossed, then walk for about fifteen minutes and cut through one of the allies.” Of course, it’s now raining. Things are also getting dodgy because when I recognize a place, I no longer know if I recognize it because I’ve been there before on one of my adventures, or if I had seen it before when I was wandering around lost. So nothing is a landmark for me unless it’s a very very big landmark.
About a block later, I encountered a six way intersection and was completely at a loss. Do you know you have to be 18 to get a driver’s license here? It’s because their streets are nonsensical. Fortunately, there always seem to be people about, so I ask someone else how I might get to Lewes Road. “Oh, that’s a ways off. Yeah, and you have to walk up hill a lot. It’s that way,” he points, “so just go down afdhkjgf and up sfkjhasdfluhas and across adskjhffhfjk and you’ll be there.”
I don’t know if it was the pointing (I’d been headed, once again, in the opposite direction) or if I’m slowly getting better at deciphering English directions, but that took me straight home.