I’m alive! Alive, and more than well, if a little chilly. I’ve been in Norwich for exactly three weeks, and after much trial and tribulation my winter clothes have finally arrived at my doorstep. This being said, Norwich has been typically conflicted as far as weather: beautifully cold, crisp Autumn days, followed by humidity and rain. I’m pleased to announce it has only taken these past few weeks to get my life here together and begin to feel like a real person. I sorted my mobile phone, bank account and all the other mundane essentials, as well as the non-mundane task of finding friends to play with, both old and new.
The house is cozy and exactly what I’d hoped for, given the very vague and sporadic tidbits of information passed on to me over the months. And especially since I moved in sight-unseen. The constant tea times of 2009/2010 promptly resumed, and we watch plenty of quality British telly while snuggled together on the sofa. My bedroom is in the converted front room, so if a key to the front door actually turned up, I could let myself straight into my bedroom. Also, the mail bangs through to my floor every morning, giving a not-so-pleasant wake up call when I might feel like lingering in bed a few minutes longer. But aesthetically, I’d say the massive exposed brick fireplace that faces my bed more than makes up for the inconveniences of living in a former parlor.
In the three weeks since arriving I’ve made sure to keep busy. It’s easy to keep busy here. I don’t even try to keep busy here, busy just… finds me. One of the best pubs in Britain, The Fat Cat, is a few blocks away from our home. I’ve already spent a few nights there and had conversations (and one heated debate in which I more than held my own) with the regulars. I made the mistake of ordering a pint of Anchor Steam once. Never again. Not here. Not when I have real ale and real cider and local brews to sample. And especially not when a pint of Anchor Steam costs roughly $8 and barely tastes the same. I’ve found a more than obliging friend to play tour guide, and a few adventures have been had. We’ve gotten lost in the broads behind the university after a hard rain. Slipping and sliding through the muddy, barely there path by the marshes we startled a fox, and a foot-long snake, as well as plenty of marsh bugs, slugs, and even some leeches.
My course has only just started this week, but it feels like I’ve gone full-throttle for ages already. I spent all of last week preparing: course induction, course welcome lunch, course party in the Grad Bar…There are 11 of us (I think) but even fewer have shown their faces regularly. I organized a coffee and biscuit meetup today. It very well might turn into a weekly ‘decompression’ session, given that next week will be full of Foucault, Lacan, Derrida, and Freud.
Eventually I might figure out how to post pictures but for now, disjointed ramblings are just going to have to suffice, eh?