Canterbury: The Land of Fairy Tales and Short Shorts

I’ve been in England for a little over a month now, and I cannot believe that I still haven’t managed to make a post yet. I’ve been pretty busy, and haven’t had a whole lot of time to go sightseeing yet, so I don’t have a super awesome informative post for all of you guys to read. I can, however, summarize some of the more surprising and prominent things I’ve noticed since I’ve been here:

  1. It is acceptable for men to wear really short shorts. Without judgement. And not just to the gym. However, it is not acceptable for a guy to comment on another guy’s shorts.
  2. Inductions are everything. The number of things I’ve had to attend pointless inductions for is actually out of hand. So far I’ve had several course inductions, a gym induction, a library induction, and a number of other inductions. Sometimes I even have to attend inductions for induction sessions.
  3. Nothing “professional” is simple or automated. I dont know if this is an effort to employ more people or what, but its nearly impossible to do anything in one session or to be directed to the correct person on the first try. This goes for everything– getting bank accounts, choosing courses, talking to customer service representatives (though that seems to be quite the global theme these days), or getting anything fixed, replaced, changed or located.
  4. It can rain while its sunny. And its incredibly confusing.
  5. On the other hand, rainbows happen often, which makes everything better. 
  6. Canterbury is the incarnation of the land of fairy tales. Not only is Canterbury one of the most charmingly clean, romantic and medieval-esque cities I’ve ever seen, its also laden with tons of adorable animals that run around at will. Hedgehogs, foxes, bunnies, squirrels, and various types of birds all tend to gather in the pretty grassy patches. I’m still waiting to see my first unicorn, but I’m sure it wont be long until I find one.
  7. Good luck getting a shopping cart. And god forbid you even think of doing your grocery shopping on a Saturday.
  8. If you want to fit in, you have to get fancy. At least as a girl. Going “out” for the night here is way more fancy than it is in the United States, particularly if you go to the bars/clubs in town (rather than on-campus). Sky-high heels, heaps of make up, a slinky (and expensive looking) dress, and no jacket to protect you from the elements are all pretty standard party-wear around here.
  9. Slang is confusing and repetitive. I’ve slowly been introduced to various elements of slang, all of which seem to rhyme but mean slightly different things. Or the same thing, in some cases. Either way, its difficult and I find myself feeling like I’m speaking a totally different language sometimes. On the same theme, some typical “American” words don’t seem to exist here, and we tend to call the same products different things.
  10. The British university system is very different from the American one. This is the one I’m having the most trouble with. In Vermont, I’ve been taking 5-6 courses per semester, with 16-18 hours of class time weekly. In England, I’m taking only two courses (five hours total a week of class time), and somehow the credits are the same as those from my American university. On the other hand, many of my friends will have upwards of five courses in one day, in addition to a number of other various things they’re required to do. The inconsistency between the courses is startling and confusing, and I really dont understand why.

I promise next time I’ll hopefully have a bit more informative of an update, preferably with loads of pretty pictures and fun stories. I promise to get more consistent with my posts as well! 


2 Comments Add yours

  1. saramay91 says:

    Hey! My university town in Canterbury, but I’m on my year abroad in Finland right now – interesting observations of the city though! It’s nice to see the place through the eyes of someone else; makes me notice things that I’ve become accustomed to. Number 2 is hilarious and sadly true – in my first year I had to take the library induction twice! No reason given, and it was as dull the second time. Number 3 is the bane of my existence. Number 8 is true but something which I’ve never been able to conform to. Jeans and low key make up for me still.

    Anyway, super long comment but I hope you enjoy the place! There are some beautiful places in Canterbury =) If you ever need any recommends I’d be happy to help =)

    1. Haha! I’m sorry I didn’t see this comment earlier, I’m glad you enjoyed the post though. I need to do another update on Canterbury, its been far too long! I’m glad that these things seem to be pretty universally true– and bummer about having to take your induction twice! I think I’d rather chew on broken glass than do that again haha. I really hope you’re enjoying Finland– I’m dying to get up there! Hopefully I’ll make it up there this summer. Thank you for reading!

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