Not having class on Fridays is pretty super. Instead of laying in bed all day, as I am inclined to do, your favorite intrepid blogger decided to go back to the city centre and take some more pictures. I found the market that I saw my first day here! Lots of pictures later, I'm sure the locals think I'm pretty creepy. Like an earlier post said, I get a kick out of British food, and there was no shortage of laughs today. Anyway, here goes:
Supposedly the oldest telephone booths in England!
An open market. Nice reminder of home-- very similar to a flea market. TONS of tacky jewelry and secondhand clothes, etc.
Into the market I go!
A meat stall. Most of the stalls (as far as I could tell) were family owned and employed a meat cutter, a skilled laborer that is quickly disappearing in America. I have a rant coming up later, so stay tuned.
Mutton! All of the meat, and most of the vegetables, were British raised (I guess 'local' is redundant, because the UK is so small, everything is local). This particular stall had pig tails, ox hearts, livers, and hamburgers already patted out (note: the lamb was actually cheaper than the beef burger).
A lot of bread.
A flower stall! I kid you not! They have to have lots of bright things because its so stinking cloudy here.
Huge bricks of Lancashire cheese and other European varieties. Again, local stuff!
This is just outside of the markets. The Greek looking building is free art museum that I have yet to explore.
More shops! The church that you can see waaaaay in the background is right outside my flat.
Here are some more humorous/interesting food items:
Turkish Delight! It was a jelly-like moderately sweet candy covered in chocolate. Not my favorite, but I could eat it again. I don't understand how Edmund gorged himself on it...
This is what we have to work with at The Guild (the international students' favorite pub). English mustard (use with caution: LOTS of horseradish. Not cool.), tartare sauce, malt vinegar (for use on your fish 'n chips), mayonnaise, and brown sauce. These packets are also IMPOSSIBLE to open. They've had to order more ketchup than usual because the Americans use SO much of it. lol
In our Pre-Departure Orientation at school, they told us about the different stages of Culture Shock, one of which being the Honeymoon or Enthusiasm stage. I have gone through all of the stages, like a textbook. But right now, I'm definitely in the Honeymoon phase. My perspective has changed dramatically since I've been here...and I'm about to rant about it. In my Issues in Sustainability class, we're currently talking about fuel usage and alternative fuels. This is not a class where the professor tells us what to believe-- he likes to give a well rounded approach to all the issues and then lets us to decide what to think (I like this guy!). He presented a startling statistic to us: Americans represent 4% of the world's population but account for 25% of energy usage and 25% of waste generated. We enjoy the highest quality of life, but at what expense? This isn't about politics, its about our way of life. We can't continue to live like that and expect our natural resources to remain intact for generations to come. Going down to the market in Preston made me realize how we should (in my opinion) model our food systems. Family owned, local raised meat and vegetables. Plenty of variety, very high quality. You don't have to drive all over creation to get it. No corporation telling you what to buy and giving you little choice. I'm not saying this will solve our problem, but having something like this would certainly be a step in the right direction. And let me tell you about transportation systems! I truly believe that car and oil companies conspired, in the early 20th century, to kill off our glorious railways. Taking the train in America is fun! You should try it sometime! Europe has an amazingly efficient system...they really know what they're doing. A heck of a lot cheaper, energy efficient, not to mention more exciting than traveling by car. Ok, rant over. I really needed to get that out. :o]
Oh, and this weekend's travels: Katie and I are going to the Lake District. The town of Kendal is known as the "gateway to the Lake District." It was also a big wool town back in the day (yay sheep!).