Sunday, 22 September 2013

Concerning the Next Adventure

Hullo from Norwich!

Seems as though the adventures continue, just in a much different setting. While I'm not planning on continuing this blog beyond this post, I just wanted to take the opportunity to share a little bit about my newest home (and try to convince as many of you as possible to come visit!).

My path has led me to Norwich (pronounced "nor-itch"), Norfolk, a few hours northeast of London in an area known as East Anglia. I'll spend the next two trimesters working towards my master's degree in Media and International Development at the University of East Anglia here, and spend my final trimester out there somewhere in the world putting it to use.

So here's really all you need to know:

Concerning the Flight

* I had a brief stopover in Edinburgh (pronounced "ed-in-burro"...apparently they like to add and delete syllables on a whim here), Scotland. The highlights here included: 
     1) Flying over during the day and seeing lots of big, old castles, lots of big, old churches and lots and lots of sheep.
     2) the Scottish accent. I simply CANNOT HANDLE how cool it is to listen to and possibly asked a few too many questions just so the wonderfully friendly Scots would keep talking.
     3) A man about my age wearing a kilt in the airport. Complete with boots and a popped-collar polo. The jury's out on if he wore it in the traditional fashion.
     4) THIS:

     Why yes, this is an advertisement for an all-redhead flight to an all-redhead festival. Guess where I'll be this time next year? Reconnecting with my long-lost equally genetically mutated brethren.

Concerning Norwich

Picture every stereotype of a British town that you can. Welcome to Norwich.

Red telephone boxes? Check.
Tiny streets bordered by countless tiny, adorable stores and cafes with ancient-looking fronts, large chimneys and slanted, tiled roofs? Check.
Churches older than the whole of my country around every corner? Check.
Fish and chips (and sometimes just chips) stands and cafes? Check.
Ubiquitous and charming old pubs always whose names always seem to be decided by a roulette-style matching of adjective and noun always accompanied by "the" (i.e., "The Loddon Swan," "The Walpole Arms," "The Armored Pig," etc.)? Check.
Zebra (pronounced like "Debra") crossings? Check.
"Living, keep right."
Cobblestone streets? Double-decker buses? A 12th century castle, for goodness' sake?! Check, check, check.

...and this is ALL within about a 15-minute walk from my flat. Not to mention two shopping malls, a movie theater - sorry, theatre - a puppet theatre and a theatre theatre.

The stores in the central all-pedestrian area go beyond and all seem to cater to the most eccentric tastes - there's the Top Hat Costume Hire, The Rasta Room, a store that seems to sell exclusively Dr. Who merchandise, a store that seems to only sell frozen dinners (appropriately called "Iceland") and a store that seems to merely serve as a congregating area for Dungeons and Dragons-style board and card games.

Another perk? The obligatory campus security introduction went something like this: "Norwich has less than half the crime of other cities in England, and UEA has less than that. If something happens to you, it's probably because you're doing something stupid and you should stop. But we're here 24/7 just in case. Oh, and you really should consider locking your doors when you leave your flat."

If that's not enough to tempt you, I'll simply leave you with these:

Mind your step. You never know when a British-style street fight will break out.

Norwich Castle, built by the Normans circa 1100