Institute for Study Abroad - Butler University

Why have I taken so long to write about Norwich?
1. A ton of homework
2. Budding social life
3. Too beautiful to put into words
4. Busy writing other things
5. No wireless in the pub

Four out of five of these are true. If you can pick the false claim, I'll...do something nice for you, depending on who you are. If you pick #2 then I'm going to include all your secrets in my next blog. Cheers!

So yeah, Norwich is great. England is a funny little country, I'll tell you what. I think UEA/Norwich is the hardest thing to write about, because I'm actually LIVING here, instead of just getting a 2-day snapshot. I've had experiences on every end of the spectrum in this town where, really, not much of anything ever happens.
Speaking of spectrum, I've decided to write about Norwich in color-order (Roy G. Biv, anyone?)

When I think of Norwich in red, the first thing that comes to mind is the stoplight-walk-man I see every day when I have to cross a main road to get to campus. My 'dorm' (more like summer camp cabin) is a good 15-minute walk from campus. It's uphill, too! Fantastic.

Red also makes me think of one of my two cereal bowls. I have two bowls, two spoons, one knife, one plate, one pot, and one fork. And two cups. Wait, I'm supposed to be on colors, not numbers. Well anyways what I was getting at, is that one of my bowls is red on the outside, orange on the inside, and has a cartoon cat face painted in the bottom of it. It's quite charming! Red is also one of the many colors bursting from the trees here. The people say "autumn" instead of "fall," and, for this one occasion, I agree completely with the fancy English term.

Red also would be a fitting term for the shade of my face every Thursday during my journalism class. The professor is super curious about American culture, American politics, American media, American EVERYTHING, and likes to ask me about all of these things right in front of the class. I've actually done okay so far (alright so I didn't know about this one bomb this one time...). Today I talked about Reuters and the Associated Press and felt pretty good about myself. But I still blushed a few minutes later when he brought up an opinion question. Like a good student, I didn't raise my hand- because NO ONE here ever dares to comment or question a professor, even in a class of 15 kids- but I guess my face gave my opinion away...so he called on me anyway, and before I knew it, I was rambling for minute after minute about objective journalism. Only one other person offered his opinion. He was a German exchange student.

Orange. First thought is 'Orange,' a cell phone company here. I actually don't have them, but a lot of British people do. I have Talk Mobile, and every time I call to check my minutes the robot lady goes "Whale-ca-hum to TAWlk MOW-BYE-uhl." I think if you say that out loud you kind of have an English accent.

Orange also reminds me of oranges, which they don't really have here. They love orange juice, though, and every bottle/carton says "FLORIDA ORANGE JUICE." Florida has a lot more oranges than I thought, apparently! Orange is also the color of one side of the Union Pub. The orange side (called such because it's lit by orange-ish lights) is a bit quieter, and has pool tables and more places to sit and have those quality pub conversations.

Orange has also made its way into many of the leaves here in Norwich.

Oh! And orange is the color of train tickets. So far I've bought quite a few of those- Norwich to London, Norwich to Peterborough, Norwich to St. Alban's. Though I've loved other parts of England so far, I'm always glad to have my return ticket to Norwich at the end of the day. I just love this town! Sure, it's a little...quaint, but it's gorgeous and just the right size for a 1-semester stay.

Yellow. Here I'm thinking about Coldplay and that song. I still listen to Coldplay all the time, because I run all the time. Because I have a lot of time and a new place to explore. Plus, it's starting to get cold and I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to run outside. Oh, and also because I'm training for a half-marathon! It's called the Larking Gowen City of Norwich Half Marathon, if you want to...look at the website? I don't know. More importantly, the lovely Becky Dang (my roommate and friend from sophomore year!) is travelling across England to run it with me! Hoorah! Yellow.

Yellow-well, more of a frothy golden yellow- is the color of Foster's, Carlsberg, Corona, Strongbow, Archers, Fuller's, Newcastle, Hogs Back, Tetley's, and many more. You'll find this yellow at any time of the day, in pint-sized portions, often accompanied by the yellow 'crisps' (chips) English folks love to snack on. Though they stick mostly to English beers, they love Walker's (Lay's) salt-and-vinegar chips. And pringles. Especially pringles! It's so bizarre.

Hmm...Yellow is also the color of my Dove Intensive Care Body Silk lotion bottle. The wind and cold is just killing my poor skin here. Wow, what an interesting blog post this is. Time to move on to the next color.

Green. Oh wow, what to say about green! Well obviously number one green thing about Norwich is...Norwich? Aside from my campus (which is made entirely of cement), the only way to avoid this color is to close your eyes...or be Paul Nunley, who is color blind. There's like, the forest/jungle greens in the woods around campus, but then you'll be walking/running on this bumpy backwoods trail when suddenly all the trees and brush are gone and hot damn! You're in this huge flat neverending pasture with sheep and/or cattle and/or horses. And lots of animal poop (which is brown, usually, not green) too.

I'm also going to say-carefully-that green would be the color of many Englishmen's faces (metaphorically speaking, of course). So yeah, I don't want to just be like, "every English person wants to be American," but I would say there's at least a touch of envy from a lot of the people I've met towards America. I would say it's more of an interest or fascination, perhaps, but there's no color for those feelings and I wanted to write about this so ha. Yeah, basically, British people are really interested in America. I mean, I think Americans are interested in the UK as well, but not nearly to the same extent as they are with us. I feel like people are always talking about America, on TV, in songs, in the classroom. And it's not just the influence of American culture (like Starbucks, American music, American brands) that makes me feel like America is everywhere. The people here are just a lot more vocal about events and culture in America. It's weird because I definitely American influence in Spain, but it was in a much more...economical way? Like, Spanish people only eat our fast food and watch our movies. English people eat our fast food, watch our movies, and then talk about the presidential elections and racism and Hemingway and the one time they had real American pancakes with maple syrup.

Green! Also the color of the dollar bill, which I miss terribly. Well, okay, I have to say the money here is a lot cooler than American currency. It's all different colors and sizes and has cool holograms on it and a sketch of the queen. I asked someone about the queen and her portrait, actually: Since she's been on the throne forever, and won't leave till she dies, do they 'update' the sketch on the currency as she ages? Answer: yes. Crazy! We looked at a coin from like 1980, and a coin from 2000, and she definitely looked different. How awful would that be, to have your wrinkles updated every few years for the entire COUNTRY to see?! Gosh, it must be tough being the queen.

And finally, green is the color of one of my bedsheets (I bought them all seperately, on sale, so my bed is kind of multi-colored...Mira I'm thinking of you.), which I'm going to have to go spend some time with now. Sorry I didn't get to finish all the colors, but this post is so long I don't think anyone is complaining about its end. I'll write blue, violet (alanna is sexy), and...indigo?...soon. See you at the end of the rainbow!

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Comment by FRD on October 20, 2008 at 7:22am
Good one Mary...I pick #4. Have a great and colourfullllll week ! Dad
Comment by Joe Buzz on October 17, 2008 at 10:10am
I pick #2, what chu gonna do about it?

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