First Semester in England

Flight over to the UK: Switch to window seat in awe halfway to Canada.

First words written in my new home: Leicester, England Sept. 2011

Damn Fooking construction. But Jake Gyllenhaal at my beck and call.

Walked across campus to a house and room of my own with bitch noise as my only companion (construction outside). Took a shower. Got dressed and sprawled across bed. Listening to music when I can hear it.

We are meeting to get to ASDAS at four. Settled in and realized how to turn the lights on. And proud of myself (the lightswitch was foreign and in a really odd place!).

Talked to a 28 year Wade on my flight to Toronto; he went to my highschool! He said keep a journal while abroad. KEEP A JOURNAL!! Got to know Darcy on my way to London; she gave me some heads up on Britain.

I initially lost my ticket at the KC airport- finding it just minutes before take off. My life is a cartoon.

Well- this obnoxious construction ensures that I won’t spend all (ANY) of my time isolated in my room. And this isolation will give me a break from the flow and make sure I slow down to think (I didn’t. Ha.)

Life is crazy. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

The First Group: Stephania, Aaron, Mark, Sam, Callum, Fana, William, Alex and I.

Awesome night. All sitting cross legged on the kitchen table eating Korean Drunk Food.

Window open, life coming in.

YOU CUT YOUR HAIR??! You promised me to let it grow!!!!

Annie, it’s like a seed that you planted, that promise. But it rained too much and the plant died.

It’s like I was growing an apple tree, and after years of care and patience, someone came and stole all my apples!


“It’s college!” –Mark, in defense of every ridiculous, unforgettable shenanigan we took part in.

“I’ll bang you a text later! Maybe we can get breaky together? Catchya” –Sam with his adorably crude Australian slang which will forever offend my senses and command my undying love.

Countless mini dramas, countless love and laughs

Hello sexy.

Grabbing some stuff, back early morning or possibly see you on campus.



One of many irreplaceable lovely roomie notes between Em and I which I’ve stowed over the past year.

Free shot glasses and shots after dinner on campus

Couples are the reason of every problem


Microwave enchiladas from ASDA: my life for a year. Organic without even advertising it or being more expensive! So health conscious with their food! (Apart from the never ending Grease Fiesta of Fish and Chips nights and countless pints at the pub)

I love rain and wind and darkness and light pollution and umbrellas and trains and shoplights and alleys and brick buildings and city below and scribbling on the bus.

Loic and I leave Costa after blood pumping political debate. Everyone in the shop breathes a sigh of relief.

Finally a morning to take it all in. The ambulance has been to our house of 20 people twice in the past four days. I am dating an Aussie. I love everyone. Sam and Sam and William and Percy and Mark and Stephania and Fana: our current gang. Last night all the freshers from Mark’s floor got totally pissed and came and joined us in downstairs. Just a few pints of cider at Beaumont tonight for the gang: our first night properly “off” since we’ve been here. London tomorrow. Rearranged my room for better vibes. Everyone is always slightly drunk here at all times of the day. It is a bit beautiful. (Later this night I would DRAMATICALLY break up with the Aussie and cancel my trip to London with a flourish.)

Breakfast: Sam E, Mark, Em and Callum.

Lunch: Fana, Jisu, Stephania and Meg (whoever Meg was, I can’t even remember now!)

Dinner: three Koreans and The Gang

Fancy Dress Party. My friend Fana and I dressed up as Lumber Jacks with Eyeliner drawn beards.

I’m better solo. I think clearer. I like it better.

“I don’t care what the whispers say, they whisper too loud for me”

The boys below thought I was Canadian due to my humsa, nosering and bun. (And also they  didn’t understand the difference between Kansas and Canada.)

Daniele, (a boy, he’s Italian, give him a break!) Josh, Jack and I had a great political discussion in the kitchen in the dead of night after walking through the botanical gardens in the rain. Worst night (in room eating jaffa cakes and moping about) turned the best- realizing I can choose who I hang around. : ) The Politics TEST. (Yes, I actually made this a real thing all year. GAAWD. Haha.)

Em and I’s sink is a constant disaster.

Two groups now. Balancing this shit.

First day of school tomorrow! (After a month of dicking around) Life’s seeming pretty good.

“Thought about how we are all as numerous as leaves on trees”

Thriving. Cannot go back now.


UK Gov lecture: almost peed my pants with excitement. (This excitement would not last long as proved with my attendance record)

Girl’s night last night.

“Cheers to our yearlong friendship- before we leave each other for other ends of the world.” : )

“That’s the most honest thing you’ve said yet! Cheers to finite friendships!” Haha.

“The leaves fall down/and so do I into the arms of a friend”

Em trims her fringe in the sink. She literally IS me.

I love the way my hair dries here. That’s a good enough reason to stay forever.

Love this. So much.

Bar Crawl: Epic ending. So much fun. 10+ bars from 8 p.m.-4 a.m.

Em’s basically my other half. Love her. : )

“And I don’t mind/racing through goodbyes”

“I am flawed if I’m not free”

All year when Ji Yeon and I would see each other and scream because we were wearing the exact same thing.

“Welcome to the Great British sense of Wit And Cynicism. Please take a seat til the walls stop spinning.” (Em in response to some poor soul puzzled by her exquisite English humor)

“Why are you dressed like a boy?” –Bertrand

“Oi lesbian lover. Have a snazzy night. Try to make it home this time. :P” –Em

“Death helps life survive. Oh the world can be kind in its own way” –Noah and the Whale

Getting chatted up and on the pull.

“I’m smooth like butta”

Rupert date today: Survived. (Honestly didn’t think I was going to. I might have screwed it up just a TEENY bit by texting him ‘maybe we shouldn’t meet today’—JUST as he saw me and came over to start our date. University is all about LEARNING, right? GAWD. Too bad, he was a nice guy. I made it even MORE painful by making my friend Fana tag along with us because I am gutless. Rupert was a KIWI. And his name was RUPERT. WHY, Annie??!)

Must start remembering people I meet. I don’t really listen when people tell their names because I meet so many people every day. But they always remember me. And then I feel like a shithead for not paying attention to them. PAY ATTENTION. (Learned this year that I was a bit TOO good at schmoozing people. Result: too many friends, too much responsibility. I’m a recluse at heart. Finally realized this. So, I’m back to forgetting people’s names. :P)

“All is fleeting/ yeah but all is good/give a little love/you can get a little love/of your own/don’t break his heart.

Life is fleeting/yeah/but I love you”

NOAH AND THE WHALE CONCERT. Charlie Fink wearing British flag socks. (Regrets about people back then… more interested in the rock stars onstage than the important dynamics going on around me in the audience with my friends. Live and learn. Or maybe you don’t learn- I think I’m probably still way more interested in Charlie Fink than any other guy I have ever actually met in real life. Ha)

First heartbreak in England right before winter break:

End up watching Bridget Jones with Em with chocolate, duvets, beer and cider.

‘It’s like these days I have to write down everything I’ve held/ So scared I am of forgetting how it felt/ But I’m blessed/ Just to be/ More or less/ Standing in the afterglow of rapture with the words the rapture left’ –Emmy the Great

Magpie- Bits of my life and bits of other’s lives. Making it into something else.

Drape dreams around self.

Head wrapped up in books

22/10/11- Beautiful shitload of reading to do today and the rest of the semester. I’ve finally hit my stride and I know what’s going on. How to do it and what I want again after a whirlwind past month. I’ve been here a MONTH in a few days!

I hate traveling- doesn’t appeal to me at all. LIVING foreign places— YES PLEASE.

Movie with Conor, Dan and Jisu last night after pub quiz with the Europeans (Bertrand, Eva, Annika, Martin) and Hastings house. Our team name: *#@$ the Knoll.

My favorite part about the UK so far: getting kicked out of the dining hall with Sam Esteves twice a day. : ) Hour long discussions over endless coffee and food and with different people every night.

“It’s pissing it down!!”)

Orange sky outside. Wide open window. Outlines of trees.

“You are definitely NOT American.” –Bertrand

“Grab your coat, Emily. You’ve pulled.”

“Oh— I’m just updating myself on the needless violence of my country!”

Bert posted on my wall- the picture from Freshman year all dolled up: “You were a girl… and now you throw up in sinks, you drink beer at breakfast and you wear slippers in public.” (None of these claims hold factual value, except possibly the last one)


Last night after dinner everyone came into my room. Started as just Jisu and I studying by the heater and drinking wine out of coffee mugs. Then Dan and Conor wandered in.  Amy. Dario. Sangeeta. Italian Dan. Jack. And finally Sam with a fever.  I ALWAYS have the communal room. I think it’s because I never leave it. Ha. Shooting the shit. Then everyone’s on my bed trying on all my scarves. Then Amy brings up this MASSIVE box of candy from the candyshop she used to work at. Then Conor and Dan recommended we all watch this movie together, which turned out (big shocker) to be very obscene (and I’m sure most of us are still recovering from it a year later. Ha.) They were in here for FOUR HOURS, and once they started game of tossing beer tops into a cup from my bed I snuck out of the room and watched Titanic with Conor downstairs.

We all went to breakfast together this morning. Everyone waiting at the front door screaming to the house to wake up. Such fun to be part of this family. (I was always the last one down. I would NEVER have waited on me like they did)

“Yogurt’s getting warm…” (I have no idea what context this quote was in or why it was so funny but all I know is it made me fall deeply, deeply in love with British humor.  Subtle shitiness. ;))


Beautiful night with Eva! Talked. Music. And she made pasta with egg and ham! Raw eggs mixed over the noodles—first time ever trying this!


Cried when my parents left. “I just want you to know how much I appreciate what you’ve done for me.”

SPICE of life


‘On the level’

Help Em sweep up broken glass at breakfast

“let your hair grow out and stop misleading people!”

I love the shadows cast in my room with my new desk lamp. (It took us ALL DAY to find an appropriate desk lamp when my parents were here. They were so sweet. Took me shopping and bought me all the supplies I needed. : )

Save the opinions- just learn OTHER’S news for now. Nowhere near being able to make sense of a bit of it. :)

French ‘small player’

Life is a game. Be a big player.

Cards with eva and the euros last night. ‘the good fortune teller’

“Hey Emily. If my milk expires today can I still drink it? Okay. Can you tell I’m not wearing a bra? Cool.”

Sun spot in my beautiful room with my beautiful roomie with a cup of coffee and hipster music and polisci readings and current events and comfy chairs and comfy pajamas and comfy ideas. Don’t make me move. Not that you could. ;)

‘I was in exile perfecting my style’

Favs so far: music solo walks. Houses. Moss. Gates. Vines. Wooden box homegrown apples. Stone walls. Hedges. Green green plants sprouting in novermber. Damp gournd. Chill air. Tall tall draping trees. Shapes. Symmetry. Narrow pathways to hidden doors. Nooks. EU license plates. Timid class.

Slovakian politics.

Dolphins and creepy queens. Sharks and ren lit. with Eva. :)

‘you alright? ‘yeah, why?

‘if you don’t vote then you cant complain’

‘it’s nice to have someone you can roll your eyes with’ –alan carr

Museli at breakfast

‘this is what you chose. You’re living out of your suitcase for 9 months. You are living your dream’ –ma

I love isms.

Stand up for the week

It was always a pixie haircut.  : )

‘someone at the party decided it would be a good idea to smash the window out in our hallway- so now we have a pretty good draft’ ‘obviously a hilarious thing to do, who doesn’t like broken glass?

Tortellini and bolanese sauce

‘dream about your Russian grandchildren’

Easier to leave than be left.

Jisu and I escape pressure to go out by hiding at the library

‘That was a feat of inhuman ability to sleep through that.’

 eu tutorial

‘We do NOT like to stand in line… did you hear about the lady in the US who used pepper spray to get through the line at a Walmart faster?’

  • Registrar lady, storage over break? ‘i want to HUG you or something! Do I need to prove I’m an international student? ‘honey with an accent like that… I think they will know! Cheerio, love!
  • life is good. life is uncertain and immense, but life is great and beautiful. Put all I can into it.

Recap of the week: 21/11/11

  • I like to ruin things sometimes.
  • Skipped class slept all day cut my hair more and drank coffee. Typed out a rough beginning to my essay. Happy about that. :) Might go out if I put another good hour or so in. <3

  • FRENSAS. :),9263,7601111205,00.html American media.

  • “Your future’s a machine/ with the mechanics of a dream. The heart may be/ the weakest part of me’ -N & W
  • Bitter Red Lion. :)

Don’t be an anglerfish »

Amy and Jackare the house parents. I’m the crazy aunt that goes off and does weird shit. And I’m proud of it.

‘we’re not that antisocial, we’re just less inept’ -Em in response to other roommates need to go everywhere together ;)

misty world quiet bus ride to school with steaming coffee in hand and music pulsing through my body. warm coat and big black scarf. learning to brush off trivial things.

  • in a pub agreed with mark to be the godmother of his children. :P
  • same bar different time— ‘we are that group that everyone sees and wishes they were a part of while they are sitting at their awkward tables. Envying…’ -Mark
  • ‘I don’t know if you know who Peter Mandelson is— but basically— he’s a bastard.’
  • can’t not take naps anymore. even if ‘it’s an endearing flaw in my genetic make-up’
  • save ££££ and $$$$$ :)
  • ‘i’ve been given clearance by the sky. all i know is i’m alive and tasting every flavour this time’
  • OHLI- my name in korean

‘words /will come /even /tually’

  • Nothing like getting caught in a torrential downpour to remind you you are ALIVE! took safety under a bus stop and flagged the bus down. dripping wet and bonding with the universe. LOVED.
  • yogurt. porch light. notebook. rain. jacket. cars in distance. music. pillars. ‘I know I’ll never be lonely I got songs in my blood carrying all the love of an orchestra’. purple sky black precise tree outlines.
  • ‘Bitch em out leon, bitch em out!’ (pertaining to the cold showers we had been forced to take for the past week and a half in the middle of winter.
  • girls night with arrested development and sugar. :)
  • 13/12/11
  • Last night we went over to our Belgium friend Loic’s house and at the end of the night he gave us all our own big boxes of fancy Belgium chocolates!! It was so sweet!! :) Me Eva and Jisu bonded the other night— talked about EVERYTHING from ethics to religion to politics and it was so interesting since we were all from different continents. :)
  • Learning to organise essays and edit. WHAAAATTTTT? :)


  • LANGUAGES OVER LUNCH AND COFFEE. English, French, Italian, German LOVE HIGH
  • ‘he catches raindrops from his window/ it reminds him how we fall/ he sees how quick the water’s rising as another raindrop lands/ puddles in his hands’
  • Slag. Mate. Heaps. Massive. Immense. Hoover. Chips. Squash. Pull. Chat up. Pants. Jumper. Jacket Potatoes. Crisps. Biscuits. Duvets. Brilliant. Taking a piss. Go to tea
  • ‘oom— i just came to see if you wanted to go for a drink’
  • ‘gets up early. stays up late. uninterrupted prosperity. uses a machete to cut through red tape’
  • 5/12/11
  • ‘I was funny today’ (I was so freaking proud of myself.)
  •     Spain. marry dual citizenship. (OH how THIS romantic idea would change within the next three months… PAHA)

‘live in three moments: expectation, attention and memory and none can exist without the others.’


COLDEST night ever last night without duvet or blanket (packed) never repeat!

Businessman squeezing milk out of sticks while in cufflinks on a moving train. Rail commute.

40 min early. wait for check in. cappacino and metro paper. :)

DDR- Candles and lights in windows. people looking out. so many people in the world! want to love them all. terrifying dark trees and open spaces. 430 pm.

The cat smells of christmas cookies. :)

dont need pictres. need to WRITE. (My excuse for not wanting to study for my art history final. I continually referred to them as, “pictures.” Ha.)

windmill farm reminds me of pop. at night coming back their red eyes glowing and blinking like alien race.

Petra and Birgit’s 5 years south of France bed and breakfast plan. They bought a book. :)

Cat just lapped up my leftover cereal milk on my desk while I was writing. xoxo

‘Darling. Of course you havent woken me. Im just leaving for the studio. I cant believe you are in a state like this over a stupid MAN. Theyre all completely self centered, sexually incontinent and no use to man or beast. Yes, that DOES include you, Julio.’


Curry Wurts. YUUMMMM with fries. German boy serve. Talked to us for forever. Chatted over glüwein.

Chüs- ciao

Pa told me he spent his 1st Christmas away from home his junior year as well when he was 20. Made me feel really good. I love my parents so much so so much.

Stay away from the bed. It is evil and deicieving. 

Written on a tea bag.

6 am. Cat in the window watching lights in apartment across the street (straß) slowly turning on

Magical life of lushious WORDS. Countered with mercilessfeministmanifestos. <3

Agree with brother- British teeth fashionable. Orthodontists so 90s.

pretentious in my sweatpants and all. Just had a candlelit dinner with redwine and tortellini and now I am drinking coffee and reading the news. This is what i will do everyday for the rest of my life.

Former USSR the old buildings are simple and bleak with concrete exterior walls. one thing Petra pointed out to me the first day i got here was all the bright colors. All the ladies dye their hair bright whacky colors like purple and orange and red and they consider it stylish because they have just recently come into contact with it as it was not allowed during the ussr. also, all of the grown ups were taught russian as their seond language in school—- barely ANYONE knows english. very interesting. and intimidating.

A christmas treat that everyone drinks here is spiced hot wine with almonds and raisins in the bottom. the almonds and raisin are good but the fumes from the hot alcohol are a little too much for me. i want to like it so bad though!!

Like England

I think I thought all foreign countries would be like England but it is so strange when you have no idea what people are talking about around you. I mean, I can pick up on tones and body language but I am sure I look so dumb. And I feel so uninteresting since I cannot express myself in a way that everyone understands. Feel really out of place but I am glad I get this humbling experience. Definitely taken me off my high horse and given me drive to grow. It is absolutely necessary that I become at LEAST fluent in one other language- if not a couple. Also, I will never again travel to a new country without learning the basics of the language and the customs. In East Berlin they shake hands with people/friends everytime they meet and everytime they part. So much work!

Guten tag

I am just NOT a tea person

*tea goes down the drain as I fill the mug back up with coffee. Stereotypically English Jack sighs.

 Two a.m. on a Tuesday night in Hastings House: every single person in the house has strangely wandered into the kitchen on their own. Ten minutes later we bring a stereo down and the party starts.
“Suck it up buttercup.” Pop’s mantra to me as I worried and traveled Europe.

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