Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cruise on the Thames and Union

LDN Skyline photo I took on the boat
This past weekend (well, technically Monday.. Mondays are pretty big socializing nights) the study abroad program at the university I'm studying at organized a cruise on the River Thames. We had hors d'ouevres and a bar with a DJ and music. It's pretty cold at nighttime here especially on the water, so the top part of the boat was pretty cold. Overall the cruise was pretty fun and I got to meet some other study abroad American students but it was longer than I thought it would be and we were all hungry as they originally told us that dinner would be served (not just finger food). We got to get spectacular views of Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye and the buildings of Downtown London, which was definitely fun to see at nighttime.

Big Ben- up close & personal
After the boat docked some friends and I headed over to the campus union which houses its own pub and dance club (this is so different from student unions at my campus in The States, but apparently a lot of European universities have on campus bars, etc.). We all danced and had a lot of fun. I noticed that here a lot of the European people are more willing to share and also be more free with their belongings. For example, people just leave their coats/jackets/and sometimes handbags on the bar-stools while they go off to dance, as there was no coat check. I'm not sure if it's just because it's on campus so people feel more secure, but I and my other American friends definitely noticed that. We all danced for awhile and the guys there seem to do a lot of dance-in-a-circle type stuff which is different from in the US. The guys are less creepy in their approach of approaching girls, too (at least it seemed that way).

After awhile I ran into my flatmates and we all chatted for a bit and danced awhile longer as well. I met some of their friends who go to the university here full-time and it was cool to meet more Brits. One of my flatmate's friends was really impressed with the fact that I was American and called me "peng" which I didn't know the definition of at the time so I just smiled and nodded. Apparently it's a compliment (according to Urban Dictionary), but it's still funny when people use British slang and I don't understand what they're saying exactly; I feel a bit like an alien or something who isn't in-the-know. Once I'm more savvy, I'm sure I'll soon be using British slang back in the US. Speaking of slang, I used the word "dude" or "man" at one point and they all seemed to love that as well, which is pretty entertaining. Maybe one day I'll do a post with a ton of terminology/phrases I've picked up and their American English equivalent that I can reference later.

Me and my flatmates at the union

Eventually we all left and headed back to the flats and one of my flatmate's friends from Bath said that's a town I should check out while I'm in England apparently. I've heard of it before, but don't know where I really want to go outside of London in England. I think it would be fun to do a weekend trip to Brighton which is more a seaside town with a pier and cute shops and things like that. For now, London will be my main stomping grounds until I head to Edinburgh, Scotland later this month to visit my lovely best friend Julie, who will be there within a few days! Until next time - thanks for reading.

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