Family in Town

I feel so guilty staying in now, have not spent a day inside for a month and a half while traveling Europe.

Last night had a really nice dinner with people from the house. Then Eva and I played ukulele. Then Loic picked us up in his car and we headed to a pub.

We ended up driving for about an HOUR in the country, looking for this little tiny pub that they had found awhile back, which I am sure was straight out of a horror movie with creepy owners who would have made cider out of us or something. So I was actually a bit relieved when we couldn’t find it. Took us awhile to find our way back to Leicester, but we managed. Actually, Loic managed. Eva and I were completely and utterly lost.

Went to breakfast this morning at 7:30.

Wasn’t going to get up but then remembered my brother was coming. Still wasn’t going to get up, but turned on my phone just in case. Hadn’t turned on my phone since Belgium or something like that, and had a bunch of messages. A few of them were from my German boy. Really sweet broken English messages that made me feel really bad for the message that I sent last night to him by email saying not to come.

I realized today that the problem is not that I can’t find relationships, it is that I am absolutely terrified of them. So I am the problem, not the world.

But. That doesn’t make me want to change my mind about the whole situation at the moment. I still have a lot of growing up to do, I think.

Anyway. I am going to curl back up in bed with a warm drink and an Agatha Christie novel. It is so chilly out today, feels like fall!

Picked up Cara and Ben this morning at the bus station.

Brought them back to Hastings and they fell asleep.

Then I fell asleep too.

Woke up around four in the afternoon, it was dark outside, and HAILING like nobody’s business! Freezing cold in the room as well. Something strange in the air. Then the first lightning I have ever seen in England. Crazy weather.

Ben and Cara woke up when Emily got home at 5 and we all went to dinner at Beaumont.

Left Cara and Ben at the table while we stood in line for food– they looked so lost and pissed and tired! :P

I fed them chocolate espresso, squash, lemon meringue pie, cream buns and whatever it was that they served for dinner tonight. Then we headed to asda.

Bought some food and I got some Grolsch beer and Ben got a “Hobgoblin” beer. :)

Came back and had a picnic on my floor consisting of a baguette with red leicester cheese, jaffa cakes and orange kit kats. Used a metro newspaper as a table spread.

The rest of the night Cara slept and I introduced Ben to British television. We watched Dogface, The Ricky Gervais show and Cardinal Burns. Tomorrow I want to show him Campus and Fresh Meat.

I feel really bad as the house is going crazy and screaming and screeching all over the house and it is only 12:30. It might be a long night if they don’t know how to sleep through noise. They said they’ve never heard this loud of noise, but I’ve had it all three years of college. :P

I told them I was sorry they had to sleep on the floor, and Ben said something really sweet. He said they would rather be sleeping on the floor in England than be in a bed anywhere else in the world. :)

Finished Agatha Christie novel. Going to the Oadby library tomorrow for more books. Ben wants to get a library card. :P

Going to go to breakfast tomorrow and hopefully introducing these Kansans to a real English breakfast. YUMMMMMM

Then I’ll probably let them run around by themselves during the day. Maybe we’ll plan a few of their day trips or whatever, and then we are going over to Loic’s for dinner tomorrow, where he will be cooking some Belgian specialties for us!

We will bring the wine, of course. :)

I think Cara is a bit disappointed with the amount of drinking the British do. I explained to her that they are like Europeans with their casual drinking of it, but like Americans with their partying. And they are like NOWHERE ELSE in the world with their clubbing. I think she had expected just tea.

There is this ridiculous song that is popular right now, “Call me, maybe” that everyone is singing together downstairs right now. I don’t understand the obsession with it at all. Like, the worst lyrics EVER imaginable.

Anyway. I’m going to finish my other book. It’s by a Belgian author, one of my favorite authors in the world, actually: Amelie Nothomb. :)

Having visitors has reminded me how America is. For some reason I’d forgotten.

They have reinforced my idea of myself as a traveler and a worldly person.

I was really down on myself after my Eurotrip about my inability to travel and adapt. BUT. I was comparing myself to my other travel oriented international friends. Now I’ve realized that, to the vast majority of people, I have done something big. And still am doing something big.

I am existing in another country. All of the things shocking Ben and Cara are like second nature now. Also, I have noticed that my first reactions to things when I first got here were drastically different compared to theirs. Everyone is different. They are so much better than me at other things. But I think, at least for this, I have it. This is mine.

So I am going to start giving myself a little credit now. :P

Today we went to breakfast. Got them a free English breakfast, but I told them that the debt was on their end. They have to pay it back to England somehow. :)

After we came back and relaxed, and then walked up to Oadby library.

They both got library cards and we checked out a bunch of books.

I came home and left them in Oadby village to do their couple things (also I just didn’t want to go in charity shops).

I rearranged the room so that they have a corner now, next to the heater so that Cara doesn’t freeze to death.

Took a shower, going to eat the yogurts I got this morning from the Halls, and then going to start reading all the delicious books I picked up today.

Ciao!

Ben and Cara got a good taste of the original university experience compared to their antiseptic honor floor halls at k-state.

Around midnight, Conor and Dan were up on the girl’s floor causing trouble. Whispering to each other and giggling in their drunken state. Completely harmless but complete idiots.

Emily walking through the halls, and all of the sudden starts ripping them a new one as there are cotton balls all over the ENTIRE girl’s corridor.

“You are going to clean this up right now.”

“No, we’re not. Why do you care?”

“Because I don’t want to live in a complete SHITHOLE.”

“Well I don’t care what you think.” (Idiot Farmer Dan as he spreads the cotton around like a 10 year old child)

Hastings bonds breaking by the minute. I think, since it’s the end of the year, we have all stopped trying to build relationships and are just breaking them down instead. True feelings are coming out instead of compromises now. We are like the family that should have never gotten along but made it work for 6 months and now the magic has begun to evaporate.

Italian Dan and Jack got involved next.

Punching and kicking ensued; the staircase and door frames the victims.

“Common calm down, guys.”

“Fine.” (*giggles and punches glass of fire alarm)

Fire alarm goes off at 12:30 at night because of drunk bored 18 year old boys.

The funny thing was that when everyone started coming down the stairs, there was the culprit, finally passed out on his bed, beer can in hand. Like straight out of a movie, really funny. Italian and I ran for sharpie markers, but he woke up again.

I tried putting the pillow over my head and ignoring it, but when I realized this situation wasn’t going anywhere I herded Ben and Cara out and we took a midnight brooding walk.

Yesterday we accidentally slept in til noon.

Then had Korean noodles with Jisu and Eva for lunch.

Then I showed them around campus; Victoria park, the union, the library, Attenborough Tower, Charles Wilson building and the food courts.

Then we walked downtown from campus and I showed them Primark and left them at a Kebab shop.

That night we went out to eat with Loic at the curry night at the local.

Came home, ate chocolate and fell asleep to the music from downstairs.

Found out at dinner tonight that it was actually Farmer Dan pounding the music downstairs in Italian Dan’s room, he had broke in to use the speakers before the rest got home!

Italian Dan automatically gave Ben his meal card at dinner tonight– so sweet. :) Jisu gave Cara hers, and they both got a full meal of English fish and chips for their dinner. :)

The two Americans left yesterday, and tomorrow Jiyeon and Sarah are leaving. Odd, odd feeling.

Starting to realize how odd it will be to leave. And how much I actually will miss the crazy people here.

Today we just had a lie in all day. Just relaxed. I got up at 8:30 for breakfast, but then came back to bed and didn’t leave it again until 3:30. Just sat and read and played ukulele and ate yogurt and listened to music all day. Very relaxing.

Then I went for a jog and listened to Gin Wigmore. Got some good ideas and some motivation that I hope to start the day with tomorrow.

So so tired, more later. Ciao. xxx

Good day so far. I think Cara and Ben are starting to feel comfortable and starting to enjoy themselves finally. :)

Loic came over this morning. They both really like Loic. We had this huge debate about the definition of m and ms. Apparently, in Europe, m and m’s always have peanuts in them. If they don’t have peanuts and are just candied chocolate, they are called smarties. Completely redefining the way I look at the world!! Haha.

Gave Loic some more shitty American chocolate which he attempted to swallow, choking and gagging the whole way as he mourned the degradation of chocolate in the world outside of Belgium.

Spent an hour and a half at brunch this afternoon eating shitty greasy food, drinking coffee and laughing at dumb things. It was really nice. :)

Made eyes at Bertrand across the dining hall. Ha.

Emily danced for us this morning: some hot British Labrinth, Example and Olly.

Ben kept asking me to help him get hot chocolate at lunch. But I ignored him. And after awhile he actually ventured up into unknown territory, and maneuvered the alien machine ALL BY HIMSELF. “Aren’t you proud of yourself now.”

England at night is really fabulous. All of the nooks and crannies and pathways and streetlamps are just capitalized on in this really eerie and amazing way.

The cool night air wakes you up and keeps you on your toes.

Trees hanging down giving the illusion that it is seaweed and you are in a strange underwater world.

Dark houses with strange lights on in strange rooms.

Rustles in the bushes

and snails all over the pavement.

Moss covering the gates around you

and color distorted in the half light of the orange streelamps.

Came back home to the sound of shattering glass as a lamp was thrown to the ground. Home sweet home. :)

Today we are going to head down New Walk.

We are going to go to see the Tiger’s stadium (i.e. the castle jail) and Nelson Mandela park.

Then we are going to show them where New Walk Museum and the church are. And then I am going to go to a cafe and leave them to explore for the day.

And then we are all eating at Loic’s tonight- Jisu is fixing Korean and I am her sous chef.

We’ll play some cards– Kemps– and stay up late drinking coffee.

And then play ukulele with Eva.

This is the day planned. :)

Just got back from brunch with Italian Dan, Jack and Jisu. Love them all.

Dreamer’s Disease

Eurovision

Brooms in Switzerland– made of twigs! All just like witches brooms!

Vampire Weekend

Cook. Good at it!

Coffee sittings.

Nose piercings over lunch break

Paint

Headache

Harry Potter in French

Anne Frank in German

Essay Libertines

Begin work.

Latin Conjugations

Mail

Kafka

art gallery

music

library

all vaccinated for ticks in Austria and France

French humor- puns

themed myth rooms Versailles

small short beds for royalty in castles: myth that if you slept on back, corpse pose, the devil would mistake you for the dead and take your soul in your sleep. also not antibiotics, etc in the day so lots of congestion problems constantly, so slept upright always. Beds just had to big enough to sit in.

Went to breakfast today and the cute server boy gave me my TWO EGGS even though I didn’t even ask/beg for them today. He just remembered me and my ridiculous appetite. The dinner servers, on the other hand, freak their shit out. Got yelled at the other day for trying to get seconds. Jack almost got his card taken away for trying to get seconds. Even though seconds are ALLOWED.. but whatever. They’re so touchy. It just depends on the day.

I took my yogurts from breakfast to have for lunch, and promptly went home to fall asleep as I had a terrible headache. Today was the most I have slept in a month and a half also, 10 hours!!

Feel better now and relaxing. Still feel like I should go out and do something, but then I remind myself that I deserve a little down time. And I need to remember how to have it. Because it feels so unnatural right now, to have all this time alone!

Really missed the hot English breakfast. Been getting up at 8 am just for it daily.

I really hate writing research essays. I am not a researcher, I am a journalist. I write what happens, I’m not good at digging, I’m much too lazy for that.

And come on. Honestly. Every single English paper has the exact same themes anyway. They exact same references, etc.

I think there’s a part of me that really just DOES NOT WANT to learn to write a research paper.

You ask me to write a philosophy paper, out of my own mind, I’ll do that in a hot second.

You ask me to write a tedious paper concerning narrow topics– and I run away like it’s the black death.

C’MMMOOONNNN academia. Give me some room to breathe.

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