Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Things I learned in Europe: A Summary

 I am safely back home (have been for a week and a half or so now)! Flights were uneventful, but I totally forgot to finish up this post and publish it. Here you go!

I'm a list maker, so this was the easiest way for me to summarize all the knowledge I've acquired in almost six months of living abroad.  It's been quite a ride (as you've read throughout the semester), but I'm more than ready to get home and dive in to my last summer of showing (*sniff*), my senior of college, and all that lay beyond.

1. I'll never be able to drive on the left side of the road without injuring masses of people.  Not a good idea.
2. As much as I love globetrotting, I always want to call one place home.  I miss the country way too much. (Although, Scotland definitely qualifies as "country." *wiggles eyebrows*)
3. I've met a lot of great people over here, but I've discovered (to no one's surprise, except mine) that I prefer my own company.  I'm an introvert at heart.
4. You can, in fact, pack enough clothes for two and a half weeks in one backpack.
5. Sign language is universal enough to get your point across.
6. European food takes some getting used to.
7. I like writing, but I don't have enough time for it.
8. British-isms crack me up and I might have picked a few up.
9. Scottish accents > Irish accents.  End of story.
10. Watching the entire series of LOST to date is actually enlightening.  And an excellent way to waste time.
11. My camera eats batteries.
12.  I've taken well over 3,500 pictures.
13. Thanks to Jori, I have discovered a plethora of new music.  Let me tell you about it!
14. Nutella is addicting.
15. I like Earl Grey, but NOTHING can replace a tall glass of Cracker Barrel or McDonald's Sweet Tea.
16. Over here, UK =/= University of Kentucky.  In case there was any doubt.
17. Classes only meet once a week?!
18. Yes, Kentucky is where the chicken comes from, thanks for asking.
19. We really should have more cathedrals in the States.  Behemoth stone structures really do make you feel closer to God.  Trust me.
20. Public transportation in the US needs to make a comeback.  Trains are awesome.
21. Always double check your flight times/dates before you book them.  Again, trust me.
22. Hostels are excellent.  It makes you appreciate peace and quiet, your own bedroom, and hot breakfast all the more.
23. You can watch almost any movie on the internet.
24. Its hard to motivate yourself to do well when you don't give a crap about your classes.
25. I have a higher walking tolerance/stamina than most. This makes traveling in groups tricky.
26. Laughter and booze are also universal.  These should probably play a more central role in international diplomacy.  You heard it here first.
27. Its easy to forget Flat Stanley.
28. Europeans only hate obnoxious tourists, and for good reason.
29. Don't drink the water in Bath.  Urgh.
30. We have couch potatoes for sheep.
31. Gorgonzola cheese is very strong.  And should not be combined with gnocchi.  Don't do it!
32. Grazing at fresh markets is a perfectly accepted form of eating.
33. I can (and have) survived on less than 5 euros a day in food.
34. Pizza and gelato is better in Italy.  Trust me.
35. Scottish people find it endlessly entertaining that we have squirrel hunting season in Kentucky.
36. Flat Stanley was an excellent travel companion.
37. Number one travel annoyance: screaming babies/children.  And I am a magnet for them. ARGH.
38. A steady diet of bread, pasta, muesli, and water is surprisingly filling. And cheap.
39. It is kinda disappointing to realize that the Trapp family didn't REALLY randomly burst into song.
40. French people aren't rude, as long as you attempt to speak French first.
41. I can ask "Do you speak English?" in 4 languages.
42. Crépes: a gift from God.
43. Renting bikes is a surprisingly nice way to see a city. Provided you remember how to ride them.
44. Being tossed into a foreign country all alone teaches you a lot about yourself.  Namely, your language skills and resourcefulness.  I think I passed the test.
45. I STILL don't know what I'm doing after I graduate. I *might* have narrowed it down, but I'm still open to suggestions.
46. Lush products are awesome. I'm glad I found it late in the term though, because I'd be broke broke broke if I hadn't.
47. I didn't get much done on my Honors thesis. Oops.
48. Digestives and biscuits are code words for cookies.
49. I could consider being a beach bum.
50. Take those free tours in the big cities. You won't regret it.

Thank you all SO SO much for reading this blog.  I had a lot of fun writing it!


Susannah said...

Well done, Elizabeth!! I feel as though I've been all these places, myself. You are a very talented writer - and though #45 says you don't know what you are going to do yet - if your career doesn't involve writing at least 50%, you will be wasting an important part of your brain. Thanks for keeping up with us this way. Love, Aunt Susie

Anonymous said...

Way to go, Elizabeth...I know your Dad would be so proud of you...And you most definitely are a good writer....

Rob Dollar