(Old) 5 [Other] Things People Never Tell You about the British/UoR

(Originally posted on March 10, 2012)

5. People Walk Fast
At home, I’m the fast walker. Not so here. I’m passed by an average of five people whenever I walk to class. Once I was walking with a classmate uphill. I was so happy I was keeping pace and not even panting. Then she said, “I’m sorry I’m so slow! I wore five inch heels today.” I was all, “No, no, it’s cool.”

4. “Brilliant” = A+
In class the other day, my professor was walking us through how to get high marks on our assessed work. He couldn’t tell us exactly what would get us an A, but he kept saying, “That’s pretty great, that’s magnificent! But let’s make it brilliant!” I was like, “Ahhh ha, I see your secret code.”

3. All the Percy Jackson Books have Stupid Covers
Are sales down in the UK, Mr. Riordan? Because here’s a hint: These covers are a disgrace. Particularly considering the masterful, glorious, lovely, hang-it-on-my-wall covers from the American editions. I recommend a new UK designer, unless British kids are attracted to really poorly done cover designs. Just my two cents.

2. British kids are just as stupid crude terrifying obnoxious lost as American kids.
Conversations overheard on the bus or in town between kids aged approximately 10-14:
“Who likes interracial marriage? That’s weird!”
“My parents don’t care who I’m shagging.”
And on a more somber note (though the boys were joking about it in the middle of a conversation about how much they disrespect/hate their parents), “Does your dad ever hit you? … Mine does. But he’s an idiot.”

I’m not sure why I expected kids to be different here. Maybe I thought it’d just be a bunch of Pevensies everywhere. But I guess the world isn’t a children’s book.

1. Beware Double Decker Buses
Want to go upstairs for a charming view and less crowded seating area? To do so without injury requires time, balance, telepathy and luck. Here’s my breakdown of how to successful climb the stairs:

Time: Are there people getting on behind you? Then go for it. No need for stealth here, you can take those steps two at a time.

Balance: No one getting on behind you? Proceed with caution. Keep both feet firmly planted, hands on the rails, and expect the driver to hit the gas and then the brakes as hard as possible in an attempt to throw you up or down the stairs.

Telepathy: Listen to the driver’s mind. It’s a battle of wits, my friend. Can you stay one move ahead of the driver?

Luck: If you lack all the above skills, you still might make it with a heavy dose of luck. Maybe traffic is all clear, the road is smooth, and the driver can’t hit the brakes without damaging the bus. Or maybe a black cat will rush in front of the bus, followed by a mother with a baby in a stroller and maybe a kid with a balloon, and the driver will have to hit the brakes, swerve, veer off the road and tip the whole bus over. In the end, it’s all luck.

Note: If you fail to successfully climb the stairs, you may suffer a fall that will leave you with a palm-sized lump on your leg that three weeks later hasn’t even turned black and blue yet and remains a bump of agony waiting to catch you when you kneel to pray/pick up a Splenda packet from the floor. Not that I’ve experienced anything like that.

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