British Snacks

YUMMY

  • Penguins: Chocolate filling in between chocolate cookies dipped in chocolate.
  • Jelly Babies: Like Sour Patch Kids without the sour and much more pleasant to chew, the texture is great.
  • Ribena: Juice box, I sucked back 4 strawberry ones in an hour.
  • Quavers, cheese flavor: puffy, cheesy, satisfying.
  • Walkers Crisps: Prawn and Cocktail flavor was good and then I looked up what a prawn was and I got the worst heebiejeebies. Still tasty crisps (chips) though. All the flavors are pretty good, I’d say less impactful flavor than Lays (Frito-Lay is their parent company also), but the subtlety is nice.
  • BUN RUN: the guys in the office next door come in every once in a while and exclaim, “bun run!” and then take a breakfast order. One of the best British traditions so far.
  • Pub Roast: tried last week, very excellent. A lot of food, and they find it odd when people ask for a box for their leftovers. Really strange. The veggies are so good, the beef was okay, I would’ve preferred pork or chicken but they were all out. Yorkshire Pudding is not a dessert, you’re actually supposed to dip in gravy and eat it before you start on the other stuff. It’s basically bread, and very enjoyable.
  • WELSH CAKES: from heaven no doubt in my mind.
GRODY
  • Hula Hoops: Dog treat texture and shape. Very smooth, like those beige tube treats dogs like.
  • Mr. Porky Crackles: Dog treat smell. They’re like balls of bacon that have been chipified which sounds good, and I was excited. But I opened the bag and had to double check they weren’t for dogs. When I ate the first one, I kind of liked it. Then the texture got really gritty and it was like sand made of bacon. And then I tried to eat a second one and I almost threw up.
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    Weekly update

    The third week was an eventful one.

    My boss was out of the office for a trip to Israel, which is cool.

    I started to learn French with the Coffee Break French podcast so I don’t get bullied by the French in December. Bonjour! Je me pelle Andie! Ce va? (I don’t know how to write French, I’m just listening to how to say things). Often, I find myself instinctually answering in Spanish when they ask me how to say such-and-such. Working on it.

    CIEE hosted an intern mixer, which is where I tried all the wonderful (or not wonderful) snacks listen above. Thanks Sam!

    I went to Oxford on Saturday. It was an awesome trip. Again, thanks Sam! We got a tour and heard some crazy stories, which is always my favorite part. We had a beer at the oldest pub in Oxford and second oldest in the UK (so they say). It’s called the Bear. We went up in the tower of the church and looked over the whole town. Beautiful and cool. We met some guys who were taking a break from the wives and kids for a college friend reunion. They were very friendly and loud, and the pub owner was a bit upset about the ruckus our group was making.. shout out to the Camels (that’s what they call themselves) for being a group of cool dudes, and shoutout to Sam and her husband for making friends with them.

    And finally Cardiff! Wales is cool. Very peaceful compared to London. We took a boat tour and learned a bit about Roald Dahl (who I love). We saw the church where he was baptized, and I thought they had a museum for him, but alas, they do not. The area called “Roald Dahl Plass” is just an area. It doesn’t feature his work, it only features restaurants. Slightly disappointing. But still, really cool area, really nice people, really fresh air.

    Before we left Cardiff, we went to a bar called the Alchemist and it was crazy cool and kinda creepy. I tried Butterbeer, very buttery and carmel-y and very GOLD. There was another drink that changes colors as you poured different stuff in. You get to watch the bartenders make these cool elaborate drinks with cool substances like dry ice. I asked if the guy knew the chemistry behind it all. He did a pretty good job explaining Julia’s drink, “the Bubble Bath.” They pack soy lecithin in the bottom of the glass before pouring the drink. This chemical has parts of it’s molecule that are hydrophobic, and parts that are hydrophilic. When the hydrophobic parts separate and try to escape the beverage, the hydrophilic parts cling to the water surrounding the hydrophobic pockets aannndd –  bubbles!  The drink foams, and the bubbles stay put because of the emulsifying – or stabilizing – qualities in the soy lecithin. Very intriguing.

    See pictures of snacks, Oxford, and Cardiff in my London photo journal.

    Two Weeks and Transportation

     

    NOT as in two weeks NOTICE, sorry for any confusion.

    Read 'Two Weeks and Transportation'

     

    This is the end of my second full week living here. So far I have enjoyed myself. I can’t help but wonder at the feeling that I’ve been here for so much longer. Even my co-worker, Jordan, said he feels like it’s been so much longer than a week and a half since I started. I don’t know if I am just comfortable, or if London is just welcoming.

    I am slightly sad about not being able to do much after work. By the time I get out, walk home, etc. the sun is already setting and I am already pooped. Also, as I have mentioned before, everything seems to shut down early around here. I guess it’s not a terrible thing, but I feel like I’m being forced to relax..

    WALKING. I decided that, while the weather is nice, I wanted to walk to and from work. I get to pass Marble Arch every day, which is lovely. It takes about 40 mins with no traffic, but there is always traffic. To bus, it is 40 mins as well, but also costs about a pound and a half. And the bus is always packed.

    Well, everywhere is packed. Especially as you get to the Oxford Circus Underground. On my way home, I am mesmerized by everyone squeezing themselves down into the tube, and I am thankful that I am not one of them. People watching has been so much fun.

    Here are some of my favorite characters that I have encountered:

    • A very tall man at a very short bubbler in Hyde Park.
    • A young guy at Marble Arch. We chatted, and he said he was a wrestler, which clarified his swollen ears that I had noticed when he first walked up. He asked me if he could show me around London and I respectfully declined.
    • A  couple carrying three STUFFed animals, as in huge, as in maybe from  carnival somewhere except I am unaware of any carnivals going on so I don’t know where they were coming from or where they were going. A pleasant puzzle.
    • A few guys handing out roses from bouquets. Maybe only to mothers?
    • Girls on the medians in the middle of the street, taking dramatic pictures in the middle of rush hour which is also golden hour.

    Hello world!

     

    .. That’s really what this first week has felt like.

    Read 'Hello World!'

     

    London is a huge Metropolis with a ton of people. I wouldn’t say everything is go go go all the time. It’s a city that definitely sleeps.. Half the city shuts down at 5:00 pm it seems. But, it is for sure an extremely diverse city.

    That’s one of the things I have really enjoyed thus far. The beauty of walking down the street and hearing as many as 5 different languages in a one-block walk is mind blowing. Even accent to accent, keeping up with people as they speak has been an awesome challenge for me. The guy at Starbucks asked me if I wanted my croissant, “warmed?” and for the life of me I could not understand what he was asking. “Heated UP.” Yeah, my brain finally wrapped itself around the question and responded with a yes.

    Ohio is supposed to be one of the least accented places. We are known for turning out great news reporters because we are so easy to understand. But transitioning here, where everyone sounds quite unique – even one English accent to another – I have realized that Ohio didn’t prepare my cranium for the different sounds of English. This is definitely an opportunity for me to better my brain.