A Year Abroad Comes to a Close

Last night I had dinner and then came back home and attempted to pack while Em and I listened to our jams from the year. Emily has “Annie and Emily” Term 1, 2 and 3. It’s lovely.

Went over to Loic’s with Eva. And I started crying. And then we all sat around and cried for like two hours straight. Because life is beautiful and bittersweet.

Tonight we are having a cocktail party at Loic’s– very excited my favorite people in the WORLD will all be there AND we will be drinking COCKTAILS which is like way too posh for my Kansan mind. I am so excited. ;)

Just got done with my Latin exam this morning. I really want to catch up with my blog. It’s too bad that all the exciting things happen all at once, and I never get to give detailed descriptions of them. But at least as long as I jot down SOMETHING about a memory— I will never forget it. :)

The Latin exam was ridiculous. But I’m sure I passed now. And I got my Latin essay back– standard British B. Solid B’s all year. Minimal to no effort. Life is pretty good. But I think I will feel even better about it when I start to put in effort someday. ;)

On Thursday, Jisu and I went on our “date” we had been planning.
We went to the pub in Oadby and Jisu got Gin and Tonic like the classy girl she is, and she bought me a cappuccino like the hungover girl I was. We had a nice time. We planned what we would do when we came to visit each other. There are these cafes in Korea called Pet Cafes, where you go and pet cats and puppies while you sip your lattes. You get to pick which animal like you pick your coffee. So interesting!

Had to tell Amy L goodbye; walked her to the bus stop as she was going home for the weekend.

Also told Italian Dan goodbye over fresh honeydew melons he had sliced open. So good.

Will miss these people. Even though I don’t talk to them all the time– I’m so used to living with them and seeing them everyday.

Got locked out of the house yesterday after dropping Amy off. Sat outside on Hastings front porch for like 10 minutes, weakly knocking on the door with my head pounding from the hangover. It was rather pathetic. Laetitia came to my rescue, calling out the window to me like my knight in shining armor.

Callum and I went to the pub and he bought me this really nice cider. It was really sweet. We had both had very little to eat that day— it WAS only 2 in the afternoon— and we got a little tipsy/drunk. It was one of my last days in England, after all! Callum taught me lots of Welsh sayings, and at one point he started to recite the Wales national anthem to me in Welsh. And we were both drenched to the bone from walking to the pub in the rain (the best decision EVER though, by far. Nothing like UK rain) and we took off our shoes and attempted to dry our socks in the pub. These are the things I will miss as well.

We sat in the pub for two hours talking, then all of the sudden we both started shaking and shivering– so cold! It was horrible! But so funny.

Callum is going to Bolivia this summer to take care of wild animals raised as pets illegally and are now being reintroduced back into the wild. He had just gotten all his medical shots that day and all. So excited for him!

I went over to Loic’s after I got back from hanging out with Callum. Eva and Loic welcomed me in with open arms and I collapsed on the floor in agony and a dramatic display of emotional pain. Loic gave me some dry socks to put on and they told me I wasn’t allowed to speak for 10 minutes. There are pictures of me SPRAWLED OUT on Loic’s floor. This is my natural state. I told them this is how I want them to remember me.

After I recovered from my momentary departure from earth, we went to ASDA with Jisu and got Tortellini to make for dinner that night. On the 3 minute car ride back to Loic’s I might or might not have consumed ¾ of a baguette that was definitely not mine. Haha. Went back to Loic’s, fixed food and ate his wonderful lasagna from the night before. Started the WIIIIIINE. :)

My friend Joe came over and brought a case of beer with him and we tore through it like a pack of wild dogs. We played Presidents and Peons and then Kempts (I will never know how to spell the name of this game, guys). Late into the night, around one in the morning, someone had the bright idea that we should play POKER. I was not too fond of this idea as the last time I played I had lost horribly, and as much as I hate to admit it I am a bit of a sore loser. :P

Anyway, surprise ending to the night, I won! Holy Cow! Haha. At the end it was just Loic and I left in the game; we were also the only two people COMPLETELY SMASHED. It was, to say the least, a very good night. :)

On my last day in England I took a train from Leicester to Heathrow airport. Terrified of what I’d discover about my lack of ticket, but prepared to deal with it as I had five hours before me flight. In the end all you need is your passport- scan it and it prints tickets out for you. Easy as pie.

Took about an hour frantically rearranging my luggage in front of a crowd in the check in line. Sweating so hard by the end. When I was finally done I expected applause and a standing ovation or something.

Nice British lady. Got me sorted to go home checking in another luggage back for just 44 instead of 200 for an overweight bag.

Brought home a POT with me from Leicester. All of those pasta nights… :)

It will be a surprise to see what I actually managed to finally get home with me.

I need to go through security soon but right now I am enjoying my beloved Costa coffee before it’s all Starbucks and frapacinos in the US. :)

In the elevator— couple from New Mexico- SO LOUD and America. Asked where I was from, “Kansas”. “Wow! You sound British!” “Really??” “Yeah! You definitely picked up the TWANG!”

This was hilarious to me coming from people with a HUGE southern twang to their speaking. Best souvenir EVER though. :) I think it’s more of a European/French English accent if anything. :)

Because I had to rearrange my luggage and all– everything got all buggered up and somehow I had to spent the whole 18 hour trip home WITHOUT SOCKS. Ha.

Loic my drinking buddy, we symbolically (accidentally) broke a wine glass out last night together. :( but :)

English man in airport– “Some fings work like that, some fings don’t”

NICE hairstyle today :)

stream of conciousness

beans and eggs

bangers and mash

foreign

Spent so much time being foreign– hard to think of things/people NOT being foreign.

Hard to think of life without all the relationships built this year.

Keep randomly bawling.

I’ll be perfectly fine– like right now I couldn’t even IMAGINE crying. Then in five minutes I’m sure I will be Niagra Falls. :P

I cannot imagine my life without being in contact with these people.

I remember when I first got here I was scared to use the word “pub” because I thoguht it was corny, like I was trying too hard to be British. But now it’s normal. I cannot IMAGINE not being in Britain though. Just cannot.

Some American are endearing- and some are just driving me up the wall in the airport.

Just like any culture, I guess.

I’ll have to talk to my friend Matt about South Korean when he goes this summer. I’ll have to talk to JISU about Korea when she goes back in a few months.

Sitting in Heathrow Airport waiting for my flight:

Holy Crap.

I have the absolute best friends in the world. And I just had to leave them for across the world. I keep thinking I’m fine- but then I’ll open one of their letters. I’ll get halfway through, thinking, “this isn’t so bad. Definitely don’t feel like crying.” Then I am weeping like three seconds later. Today has been the most emotionally draining day ever.

Feel really alone in the world. A bit broken. I mean, the whole life I knew has just evaporated into thin air in a matter of hours.

My life feels as if it is in some odd netherworld, neither here nor there. It only exists when I don’t think too hard about it.

Because when you really think about it— HOLY SHIT!

I’m going to write about other things right now, before I get soppy and start terrifying the people around me with my silent weeping.

I bought a pen for 3.50 quid in Heathrow airport. Absolute worst sale I have ever participated in, but I absolutely HAD to write.

My friends are absolutely brilliant. Jisu got me a London coffee mug, so I could think of her whenever I had coffee. Loic and Eva both got me journals. They all know EXACTLY who I am. It is beautiful.

How did I get so lucky to meet such darling people?

Going to miss all these exotic accents at tables across, in front and behind me at cafes. ALWAYS so much culture, always.

Jisu stuffed the AMAZING seaweed soup in my bag before I left. I had no idea. It was so sweet.

Today:

Got about two or three hours of sleep last night– up til 3 or 4 with the gang and then set my alarm for six as I was leaving at seven.

I’ll have to write all about that night later— KIMBABS FROM KOREA AND BROWNIES AND KEMPTS AND CRYING AND LAUGHING AND LOVE.

Anyway. Of course I didn’t get up when my alarm went off. I mean, I was only FLYING ACROSS THE WORLD that day. Jisu came in at ten to six and I got up. I wasn’t even all packed- hungover and sleepy- packed shit in, hugged, laughed, held, said goodbye. Horrible and fast.

All packed into Loic’s car– Loic, Eva, Jisu and I. They dropped me off at the coach station. Still trying to keep odds and ends in my bursting bags, said goodbye in a surreal setting to my absolute best friends in the world, and then jumped on the bus.

BUT of course I jumped off again two minutes before the bus left to give them one more massive hug. :)

I’m getting the stories to write this great world novel I’ve always dreamed about, but teh stories f*@ing hurt. This is where all great writing comes from though, I believe.

Anyway. As soon as the bus started moving, I realize that I had never checked in on teh computer or even printed off the ticket or the ticket information, for godssakes! Almost jumped off the bus then, but decided to chance it like I do everything else in my life.

I CANNOT BELIEVE I AM GOING BACK TO THE US TODAY.

I literally cannot believe it.

All year, I was like, the US, my home. But it slowly became a separate world for me. I feel closer to my country, but also further away than ever. It’s an odd feeling. More about that later.

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