During these first few weeks that I have been studying in England, I have tried a variety of food and noted some differences between England and America.
- Crumpets: One of my British friends introduced me to these, and I have been hooked ever since. They are a type of bread that you toast and eat with butter, and they are addicting.
- Cheesy chips: Otherwise know as “fries” and usually covered in some fake nacho cheese in the States. Cheesy chips are actually covered in real cheese. And chips here are thicker than most fries you would find in the States.
- Yorkshire pudding: This was described to me as similar to fried pancake batter. I agree it lives up to the description and tastes better than it sounds.
- Flapjacks: Essentially glorified granola bars. Not a pancake at all.
- Cereal: The brands here almost all look like generic versions of what you find in America. It took me until today to finally find regular Cheerios.
- Mac n’ cheese: I love Kraft mac n cheese, but so far the only flavors I have found are chipotle or bacon. And they are the big, single-serve microwave cups, not the boxes. Other than Kraft, I have only seen canned mac n cheese. But, I guess it is better this way because it forces you to home make it.
- Foreign restaurants: Sunderland, England has a lot of foreign restaurants and take aways. I recently dined at an Egyptian restaurant and a Chinese buffet. The Egyptian restaurant was exciting, and the Chinese buffet was different than the ones in America. The buffet had more variety than I am used to, and so many desserts. It was also the first restaurant I have dined at here that I did not seat myself.
- “Pavement” versus “sidewalk”: My British friends will not let me and my flat mates live this one down. They find it funny that words we use describe what the words stand for. So, America’s “sidewalk” tells you to walk on the side, whereas “pavement” translates to “sidewalk.” Although this “pavement” versus “sidewalk” debate was brought up four days in a row, I still do not understand the big deal about naming things what they are.
- “Cheers”: From what I gather, “cheers” is word you use to be nice. Most often, I hear it used to replace “thank you” or “good-bye,” but I think there are more instances to use it.
- Money: I know it is obvious that England has a different currency than America, but it was not until I heard about someone being confused by American currency that I realized a major difference: Britain does not name its coins. US coins are named penny, nickel, dime, and quarter, but all British coins are called pence. I find this even more intriguing considering there are a lot more coins in British currency than in American.
- Dance: I joined Sunderland University’s dance society, and had my first ballet lesson last night. The rules for university dance competitions are pretty strange, especially coming from an extensive dance background. Since the dancers on the team have varying dance levels, we have to compete at a beginner or intermediate level to start with. Back home, ballet’s most common position is fifth, but here, dancers cannot use fifth position until the advanced level. Instead, dancers use third position, which, although I know it, I never used it in a performance before.
- “Lads” and “lasses”: These are words that are actually used here, and I think it is the greatest.
Upcoming: I will be visiting Hogwarts at Alnwick Castle and Gardens this Saturday, Amsterdam and London in November, and Rome and Egypt in December. Durham Cathedral (another Hogwarts site), Marsden Grotto (a cave and bay area) and Ireland are possible trips I hope to take, too.