“I don’t know where I am, but I know where I came from”

My hometown of Union Bridge, Md., where I lived for 18 years, had a population of 975 at the 2010 census. New Windsor, where my mom lives now and I come back to during breaks, is a little bit larger with a population of 1,396 at the 2010 census.


View of Carroll County from a car window.


Fabric Nightclub in London has a venue capacity of 2,600.

Which means you could fit all of the New Windsor and Union Bridge residents combined into one London nightclub. Not that they would want to be there. Continue reading


Brits say the darndest things

I promised to write more about culture and less about my travels. Probably one of the weirdest parts of living in another country is hearing some of the stereotypes/misconceptions about Americans and the U.S..  I’ve never really thought about how confusing our country might seem to someone in another country because it is so large and diverse. Continue reading

LOTD: Customer service in the U.K.

So far, my customer service experiences in England have not been the best. Maybe it’s just because London is a major city, but the concept of customer service doesn’t seem to exist here. It hasn’t just been a one-time thing either.

I’ve had jobs that require me to put on my friendly “how can I help you?” face, and I know it’s not always easy. And everyone is allowed to have their bad days. But it’s  a part of  your job.

Most of the time I don’t really see U.S.-U.K. cultural differences as matter of being wrong or right, I just accept the differences.  But I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the (lack of) customer service here.

For a British perspective on this issue, and specifically restaurants, author Zadie Smith wrote a short piece for The New Yorker, titled “Take Out: Take it or Leave it.”

Observations about the Continent

I’ve been slacking in regards to writing blog posts about British culture. It’s easier to write about my travels because it’s less personal. Writing about my daily life on a public forum is tricky. But I promise to try to write more about my British life instead of only posting about my trips. Which I have no more trips planned until Dec. 21, so that should be easy! Continue reading

Carolina in my Mind

“With a holy host of others standin’ around me
Still I’m on the dark side of the moon
And it seems like it goes on like this forever
You must forgive me, if I’m up and gone to
Carolina in my mind

Reading the Kvetching Board during lecture, listening to the Clef Hangers’ version of “Carolina In My Mind” and Mipso’s “Carolina Calling,” and trying to explain to a Brit why sweet potato fries are the best.

These are just a few of the ways I’ve been pouring salt into my Carolina-shaped wound. Continue reading

Realizing how dependent I am on technology

A day doesn’t go by without me thinking, “How could I have handled study abroad before technology?”

Skyping with my friends and family, doing readings for class online instead of walking to the library, online banking and writing this blog.

And yeah, the GPS on my phone for when I can’t remember which tube station I need to go to.

Someone asked me what the climate in America was like, and I mentioned that it usually doesn’t get colder than the 50s in Chapel Hill. After a few seconds, he asked if I was talking about Fahrenheit. I admitted I hadn’t bothered to learn the conversion because I can just set the weather app on my phone to Fahrenheit.

Last night my friend noticed I didn’t have my phone set to military time. While I don’t have much trouble with military time (it’s easy to understand), I am a little paranoid I’ll show up late for things so I set my phone to the 12-hour clock.

I don’t think the little ways I “cheat” are really hindering my cultural immersion, but I do wonder if I’m  relying too much on technology both here and at home.

Everybody knows Michael Jordan

In case anyone was wondering about the international reputation of UNC-CH, I have to say it’s not very well known.

I’m not suprised though. If you would’ve asked me to name universities in England before I started looking into study abroad, I probably wouldn’t have been able to name many.

However, from the people I have met that know about Carolina it generally seems to be because of Michael Jordan. Which, let’s be honest, isn’t that much different than the United States. Most people will know Carolina athletics first, academics second.

I’m sad I’ll miss the beginning of basketball season, but the weekend I visit Janie in Cork is Late Night w. Roy so I foresee us staying up late to try to livestream a little bit of it.

Go Heels, Go Europe?