I’m sure this is a typical thing, but when I was accepted into my study abroad program I got a lot of pamphlets about culture shock. You know, it’s going to be different, it’s going to be weird, what have you.
Honestly, I wish that was true.
See, I was expecting this massively different culture and was all prepped and ready, but instead … it’s worse. There are all these minor little details that are just twisted a tiny bit and it’s SO WEIRD.
Like potato chips. Those would be crisps here. And the ones I always get in my meal deal at Tesco? They look JUST LIKE LAYS, but with a different name. TJ Maxx becomes TK Maxx.
The real culture shock comes when you’re standing in the grocery store and it looks like the world is just a tad bit out of focus, instead of something completely new.
At least we speak the same language. Sort of. MUST. REMEMBER. TROUSERS.
On a better note, I’ve been absorbing the culture at other places than the grocery store. Part of my school went to a football (soccer for those still in America) game, and that was one of the most entertaining things I’ve ever seen. The small boys (9-12 years old max) were just cheering right along with chants such as “YOU F***ED UP” and “YOU FAT C**T.” And it wasn’t even premier league.
We also went and saw Antony and Cleopatra at the Globe, which was an amazing experience. I’m not one of Shakespeare’s biggest fans, but even my cold heart has to feel something standing in the pleb courtyard at the actor’s feet, watching Antony die beside me. I’m going back soon to see The Comedy of Errors and Julius Caesar later on for class, and I’m thoroughly excited.
I’d write more, but I have to run! More culture is calling; I’m seeing Medea tonight!
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