Monday no. 1

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Found this adorable snowman with snowdog today. But not much else. As it turns out, there wasn’t actually much to see in the direction I hadn’t explored yet. Buildings got bigger, traffic got heavier, Brighton became very urban very quickly with little to see or do. I asked a lady what I would find if I continued on, and she said it was all just housing after that. So I turned back and did a little more walking around closer to home. I did find a few university student housing buildings, and what might be one of our actual campuses–although not the one I’ll be going to. I found my campus yesterday, near all the good stuff.

So I thought I’d just share a few of the odd things I’ve noticed about Brighton. Mostly about cars.

1. The car exhaust smells very, very different.

2. The reason sidewalks are so large on some blocks is because there are no driveways, but still a space in front of the house to park. I realized this today when I was walking and a car pulled right up on the sidewalk at the next intersection, drove straight towards me, and then turned into one of the house’s front yards. I’m surprised I didn’t notice this before, actually. Cars parked in front of houses with no driveway to get them there.

no driveway

no driveway

car on sidewalk

car on sidewalk

3. It is very difficult to cross the street. I only cross at crosswalks, when the little green man lights up to tell me it’s safe. That, or just follow very closely behind someone who looks like they know what they’re doing. I never know which way traffic is coming from, if the street is one way, what the lines on the streets themselves actually mean. You can’t look at the parked cars for more information. Apparently, you can park in any direction you want, on either side of the street. I confirmed this with my roommates. Alice, during a trip to Seattle, had her rental car towed when she parked facing the wrong way. She was shocked that’s not how we do things in the States.

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4. Everyone here, men and women, wear long and chunky knit scarves. And since it snows so rarely, everyone is walking around in galoshes. They must be wearing thick socks.

5. Contrary to popular belief, there IS peanut butter here. And I thought I was going to have to make my own! Actually, it didn’t seem to difficult to make, so I might still try it.

6. They have very weird potato chip…err, I mean “crisp”… flavors.

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7. They seem to watch more American TV and films than we do. Since being here, I’ve joined my roomies in watching Lawless, Babe, The Expendables, Footloose, 30 Rock, and Inception. I’ve only seen one British TV show, but it might be my favorite show ever. It’s called “Take Me Out.” The catch phrase for the show is “No likey, no lighty.” It’s fantastic.
Alice works at a pub with an upstairs that is 1920’s prohibition speakeasy themed. Last week they even staged a fake raid, with actors in 20’s police uniforms. Did they even have prohibition in England? No! There’s also a rockabilly boutique called DOLLYDAGGER in the lanes, and I saw a restaurant called “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” I’m beginning to think they like America a lot more than they let on.

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8. I haven’t seen any tupperwear.

9. Everyone seems to do their eyeliner the same way I do.

10. My internal voice has started to sounds slightly British.

I know there’s more than that, but I can’t remember at the moment. I need to start taking notes when I notice these things. It’s pretty funny. Like my mom always says about Canada, it’s like someone stepped on a butterfly. My new debit card should arrive tomorrow (Yay! Thanks Mom!) and my food supply hasn’t quite run out yet, but I’ve been eating as little as possible to make it last. My parents ordered some delivery for me for dinner tonight though, and I feel SO much better after having a full meal. Thanks Dad! I couldn’t do this without my family. Love you guys!

Cheers!

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