First of all, I have a few UK things that I need to rant about. Actually, some things aren’t rants, but just some differences I have noticed.
One thing that I have noticed is that people take their lunch much later here than in Indianapolis. In Indianapolis, the cafeteria opens at 10:45 for lunch, and closes at 12:45. Most people eat lunch from 11-11:30. However, here in Derby, people don’t take lunch until much later than that. In fact, the cafeteria doesn’t even open until 11:45. Most people eat lunch around 12:30 or 1, so if they were wanting to eat in Indianapolis, the cafeteria would already be closed! It’s just weird that there is such a difference in lunch times. I actually think I prefer eating later, rather than at 11. If I eat lunch at 11, then I’m inevitably hungry by 4:30, but I still have to go work out and get home before I can make dinner and eat. If I eat a later lunch, then I won’t be famished by the time I actually eat dinner. So this is one thing that the UK is doing right.
However, there is one thing that they are doing terribly wrong. It is extremely common for their sinks to have two faucets! I’m not just talking about a hot and cold dial, but literally, a hot and cold spout. Why on earth would you want a hot spout and then a cold spout? It is obviously much nicer to have one faucet that mixes the two water temperatures together so that you have nice warm water. Instead, they have one spout that is scalding hot water, and then another that is freezing cold! Neither are pleasant to wash your hands in!! I’m always trying to quickly switch my hands back and forth from the hot to the cold, but the spouts aren’t even that close to make it work very well. Additionally, I could completely understand if the bathrooms were really old and that’s just the way the faucets were made back in the day. However, even new, remodeled bathrooms have two faucets!! Here is a picture of the sink at my gym. It has obviously been remodeled, with a nice back-splash and everything, but why the two faucets?!? The bathrooms even have modern economical flushes, with the “half-flush” and “full-flush” button, but they couldn’t figure out how to mix the hot and cold water?
Another weird thing that I have noticed is that instead of saying, “Hi, how are you?” or “Hey, what’s up?” they say, “Heya, you okay?” or “Hiya, you alright?” They are saying this as a greeting and it means the same thing as “How is it going?” However, I was very confused for the entire first week that we were here. Everybody in my group would say to me, “You okay?” and I thought they were concerned that I didn’t look alright or that I wasn’t getting along in my new job. I finally figured out that this is just their greeting and they don’t think that something is wrong with you! I really thought they thought I wasn’t okay, so they were asking if I was okay! It’s just a different way of greeting!
A few other differences are that they use military time and their calendars start with Monday. I know these might seem minor, but I never use military time! We don’t have administrative rights on our computers, so I can’t change my clock! It’ll be 15:45, and I’ll be sitting there trying to calculate and figure out what time it is! I’m getting the hang of it now, but the first couple weeks were a struggle!
And finally, their calendars (or what they refer to as their “diary”) start on a Monday! I’m so used to looking at a calendar where Sunday is the first day, so most of the time I just know the day of the week by its position in the calendar. However, that is all thrown off now! I don’t know how many things I’ve put on the wrong day in my calendar because I keep thinking that the weekend starts on the last spot on the calendar! Nope, it actually starts on the second to last spot! I’m starting to get the hang of it, but it’s still weird!
Okay, so now that I’m done with my rants and observations, I’ll tell you about this weekend. First of all, we were lame on Friday night and we stayed in and did our taxes. However, I’m proud to say that our first taxes filed as a joint married couple have been accepted!
On Saturday night, we went out with our friends Dave and Sarah Anderson. They are also from Indianapolis and are over here on secondment, but they have been here for about 1.5 years now. And Sarah is/was very pregnant! We went and saw a band called Mrs. Miggin’s Pie Shop, and also did some karaoke at another pub. Sarah was due to have her baby in two weeks, but guess what?!? She had her baby on Sunday! So we were out with her on her last night of semi-freedom! Haha. Here is a picture of our group.
Finally, on Sunday we took a day trip to Chester with our travel buddies Jeff and Fritz. The town is south of Liverpool, and is known for it’s famous Roman walls that surround the city. They are something like the longest and most intact Roman walls in the UK. Anyway, the walls surround the city (or town, I don’t know the official term), and we walked all along them. They also have a great marketplace with nice shopping. We spent the day there, had lunch, and saw the sights. It was a great little Sunday. Here are some pics from the day.