Hands Up If You’re Confused
To set up a bank account the study abroad office organised a bank fair where some banks came onto campus and set up stalls. This would have been extremely useful in our current bankless, phoneless ,clueless state if they hadn’t told us the wrong location and the wrong time for the event. In our confusion we showed the study abroad coordinator the sheet he had given us and in his broad French accent he said, “oh look! I ave put ze wrong time and ze wrong place…”
Confusion seems to be the word to describe studying abroad. Whether it’s the TV shouting “Sixty Five Million People Daily Watch Hard Core Porn!” at you whilst you are chopping onions to advertise a shop called ‘Hard Core Pawn,’ or the policeman coming into our introductory lecture to tell us what to do if an armed gunman shoots up the place (he genuinely said throw paper). The shoulder shrugging, forehead wrinkling mystification is becoming an all too common feeling.
When can you cross the road here? I have been here a week and I genuinely still don’t know. The kindly green man (which here is a white man) seems to offer no help. Even when you see him, cars as big as small houses, built to fit roads as big as mighty rivers, can still turn down and squash you. The two of us are left holding hands and whimpering on what’s known as the ‘sidewalk’ until we can follow a locals lead. Though they will probably be jogging, everyone’s bloody jogging. Why are they all jogging so much? And why does the place selling Pita bread wraps to people on nights out play heavy metal music? I’m sitting eating a falafel pita with houmos whilst listening to what sounds like a man glutinously eating a microphone whilst trying to shout at his wife. Its like a god awful rebranding attempt to bring the food of the naturist hippie to the razorblade name carving, “I’ve just got so many feelings” people.
All this being said the confusion definitely goes both ways. Last night, upon being introduced to the fifth Britney of the night I said “I’m actually a Brit myself I’ll fit right in.” She didn’t get it.
“No I’m Brook, but I am from Britain”
“I thought you were from England”
And another thing, why are their hand driers ten feet up the wall?