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Archive for the ‘UK oddities’ Category

Haven’t had anything too exciting to update about. I’m really just settling in and actually doing some coursework. My next two assignments aren’t due until March 22 and April 16, respectively, but I’m trying to get a head start so I don’t have to worry about anything for my 2 weeks of Easter break (traveling around Ireland with my mom and sister for a week, then down to Paris for a couple quick days, and onward down to Madrid/Granada). This weekend I’m going down to Cork for the Irish Universities Cross Country Championships… If you take that sentence out about traveling to France and Spain, this paragraph sounds remarkably similar to being at home! School and running.

I have to give a shout out to Sarah’s post [http://www.sarahnoone.com/Sarahs_Travel_Journal/Blog/Entries/2010/2/25_100_british_potatoes.html] that highlights a few of the Northern Irish-oddities. #2 and #3 have stood out to me the most… Especially the tardiness thing. I overslept one day and walked into a lecture a solid 25 minutes late. Without a lecturer flinching. And TWO MORE people came in even after me. So weird. Anyway, check that out if you’re interested. I haven’t really done a recap of things-that-are-weird… but there are plenty.

With that in mind, and because recently a friend was making fun of me for “picking up” an accent, here’s a few things I’ve noticed about how they speak here/what they say:
• Sentences are spoken sort of… like questions? I don’t really know how to describe it. The pitch of their voices sort of go up at the end of their sentences. I catch myself doing this when I’m around a bunch of locals…
• “Rage” is probably one of my favorite slang words. When you go out to a club/to drink, you could say you’re going out to “rage.” Or a playful way to say you’re pissed off or otherwise angry is to say you’re raging. There are more scenarios in which you can use it, but yeah, I like that one. “Gutted” is similar; if something happens that is disappointing then you might say “I’m gutted.” For example, “Ughhh, the rugby-playing midget that beat me in that bar dance off won 2 tickets to see 50 Cent… I’m absolutely gutted.” True story.
• A “cuppa” is tea. “Tea” is food.
• “What’s the craic?” Okay, so craic in general [pronounced crack] is used all the time and I have absolutely no idea how to describe what it means. When you get together with friends, you could say it was “good craic” if it was a good time. But then people will also ask me, “What’s the craic?” and I never know how to respond. This actually happened to me yesterday, and my response was something along the lines of, “Um… uh, nothing?” This isn’t the right answer. I’m still not sure how to respond; I usually just try saying different things each time to see if I get a decent reaction. Or I just don’t answer, haha. I’m awkward sometimes I guess…

So there’s my first installment of weird sayings… I try to make mental notes of them when I hear them, so there will surely be more to come.

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is right, right??!

So this might be really silly and maybe I’m overreacting, but I don’t know where to walk.

At first, I thought the British were just rude and didn’t really have courtesy for other people in hallways, stairways, sidewalks, etc. I felt like I was always going against traffic or somehow in an uncomfortable flow, but then it occurred to me… I walk to the right of people (and, generally, I think everyone in the US does this) but our cars also drive on the right side of the road! So do the British, in general, walk on the left side of sidewalks, etc?

I’ve been watching people as they walk through halls and whatnot to see if I my hypothesis is right but I haven’t really come to a conclusion because there are always people marching to their own drummer and walking wherever they please.

Is it weird that I’m so perplexed by this?! Sigh.

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