1. The Beginning: An American Perspective on Swansea Life
Hello! My name is Paul Kline, and as you can probably tell by now from my typing accent, I am American, and I am studying at Swansea University for a semester. To make my family miss me less and let them know I'm still alive, I started a blog. But something strange happened recently besides my blog exploding beyond my immediate family. Over the past couple of weeks my UK readership has surpassed my home country's. It was this anomalitical event and fellow students' encouragement that has inspired me to published something here! So below is my first blog post from when I first got here in late January. The subsequent blog posts are to follow! In them, I highlight some differences between the States and Swansea you typically wouldn't think about in day to day life. I know I didn't. I apologise in advance for the "American" things about it (like "color"). Enjoy!
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Back by popular demand--Paul blogging about what he's doing.
Well, I'm in Wales right now, and it's 3:33 AM. Who knew, jet lag is a real thing. After only sleeping sporadically for perhaps a few hours total on our (Miranda Clark and I) 29 hour journey from Blackburn to here, I went to bed at around 9:30 pm local time with plans to get up at 7:30. This did not happen. As you can see I am instead awake right now. You know that feeling when can just tell you woke up minutes before your alarm, and you're just kind of waiting half awake half asleep for it to go off and get up? That happened to me. at 12:47 AM. Hearing people in the hallway made me think it was morning too. Turns out they were just still up like regular people. Like I used to be. Although it was pretty nice to realise I had another 7 hours of sleep even if I couldn't use it. Alright, so how did I get here?
At precisely approximately 12:20 pm MONDAY, my parents and I left for Blackburn. From Blackburn Tony the Driver (like Tony the Tiger) drove us to Lambert. From Lambert (sorry, St. Lambert) we flew to O'Hare. From O'Hare to Heathrow. From Heathrow a bus to Swansea. From Swansea a taxi to Hendrefoelan Student Village. 29 hours after leaving home I finally was in a room to my own again.
The plane was pretty big. I didn't think the food was bad at all. I watched Looper for the first couple hours of our flight on the little screen on the seat in front of me. 3/4 of the way into it I realized the irony of watching a movie about time travel and traveling 6 time zones at the same time. There was also a map screen we could look at which told us information about our flight. For instance, we were traveling a total of 3,950 miles, our speed was 673 mph at an altitude of 37,000 feet. The temperature at 37,000 feet? -81 F.
Some things I noticed on the 4.5 hour bus ride from Heathrow to Swansea.
- Lots of hills.
- Lots of horses, and most wearing coats.
- Lots of sheep.
- Everything was still in English system and not in metric. I thought that was pretty fishy. My conspiracy on that is they just flew me around in circles, and I'm actually in Iowa and this is like the Truman Show.
People are really nice here. They say cheers when they really mean thank you. And it's a fair stereotype that everyone likes tea.
In addition to jet lag I am also suffering from Jake lag.
End of blog 1.