Insights: news and views from the International Center

International Center

University of Missouri

“Adult cereal” (translation: porridge)

Filed in Blog, United Kingdom by on January 21, 2014

My lessons from “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” (see previous blog post) have not lead me astray, but here is a random sampling from the many things I’ve learned sans-movie during my first two weeks in Lancaster:

  • The grocery store’s cereal aisle is organized by age demographic. This makes it easy to find the cereal most appropriate for your age group. Are you an adult? Well then, let me show you to the conveniently labeled “adult cereals” section. This section contains mostly porridge, which you probably like because you’re an adult.
  • Foot and cycle paths here are lawless places. Are you supposed to stay on the right or the left, or the inside or the outside? After two weeks of trying to figure this out by trial and error, internet research and a hypothetical explanation from one British friend involving a mother, a child and a rogue pigeon, I finally found a sign that gave me explicit instructions on where and how to walk on a footpath. I immediately adhered to this behavior, and almost got hit by a cyclist. Lawless.
  • If you do something stupid or clumsy (like almost get hit by a cyclist), people may call you out on it, but there is a 94 percent chance that they will politely insert the endearment “Love” directly preceding or following their remark. You will not feel condescended to by this. On the contrary, you will feel inclined to purposefully do more stupid and clumsy things in order to again experience the verbal swaddling that is being called “Love” by a chiding yet kindly stranger. It’s the little things.

All joking aside, these first two weeks have obviously been filled with moments of experimentation and mild culture shock, but almost everyone I’ve met has been gracious and wonderfully helpful; I’m looking forward to more of these moments as the rest of this first month unfolds. Until next time!

Comments are closed.