With Halloween and Bonfire Night celebrations, a taste of Nando’s and dance squad practices, I would say I stayed pretty busy this past week in Sunderland, England. And that is all on top of the “study” aspect of study abroad.
Halloween weekend started early. In fact, it started on Wednesday here because Wednesdays are sports nights at a few of the student clubs. As part of the dance squad, I got free entry and a fun night with the group of dancers who have helped make me feel at home in the studio and out. I dressed up as Bubbles the PowerPuff Girl that night.
I took part in my first pub crawl last Saturday, and it surprisingly developed into a nice night. My flatmates and I dressed as three blind mice, which is my favorite Halloween costume I have worn so far. On actual Halloween, however, I opted to simply dress nice with a flower headband. I doubt I stuck out too much since not everyone I met dressed up.
In between Halloween events, I wrote a one act play and two short plays, made it through my final radio newsday as a broadcast journalist and started research for an essay on feminism in Jane Eyre. My first TV newsday is tomorrow, and I am a little nervous. I hope I have enough help to learn what I am supposed to do and not feel too far behind my classmates.
Bonfire Night. When I first heard about this holiday, also called Guy Fawkes night, I expected it to be the British equivalent to the Fourth of July in America. Although there were a lot more fireworks than an average night in England, they were nothing special compared to American Independence Day fireworks. My greatest achievement of the night was acquiring a Guy Fawkes mask from a stranger.
One thing that my British friends told me since week one was that I had to try “cheeky” Nando’s. I finally dined at the chicken restaurant, praised by the British for its great customer service, but I have mixed feeling about it.
When I hear “great customer service,” I think of a place where customers are served good food by friendly staff. While I got the good food part at Nando’s (one of the only places I have found that seasons food for you) and the friendly staff, when it came to actually being served, I was disappointed. I was looking forward to having someone come to my table and take my order, but like most restaurants I have been to here, I had to order and pay for my food at a counter. How we get served is not the most life changing difference between England and America, but it is one instance where I miss the American way.
For most people who know me, they know that dancing is my passion. For a few months now, I have wanted to dance on stage to Christina Perri’s “Human.” After an audition this morning, I am proud to announce that I will be doing just that while representing Sunderland Uni’s dance squad. I will be performing a solo with my own choreography, mixed with bits from some of my favorite past dances, at the York dance competition on December 3.
Upcoming: Ten day Amsterdam, London and Edinburgh journey beginning this Thursday, and hopefully a few more travels around North East England this month.