“Holy Cow, Sunderland Has Been So Much Fun!”

Today was not my best day.

To start with we went to meet the mayor of Sunderland at George Washington’s great great great great great great grand parent’s house. This was fine until we went outside to take a picture. We stood/sat on a stone stair case to take a group picture. I sat down on the stone to find the stone quite cold.  Of course it turned out to not be cold but to be wet. For the next hour it looked as if i had wet my self.

We left the mayor to walk to a place where the bus was going to pick us up. On our walk we passed a building with a huge line of brightly dressed people lined up out front. “HOLY COW thats a lot of people” I said, not meaning for it to be loud although a few people in the line heard me. Those people glared at me and looked away. I was confused for a few minutes until someone whispered in my ear that here (in England) saying cow is like saying bitch, and to make matters worse, the line of people were attending a funeral.

Later in the day, I was in class and I got dared to say to the kid sitting next to me that “i will give you a buck for your pen”. I did and the entire class erupted into fits of laughter. Only after this did they explain that here ‘buck’ means another word that rhymes with it.

I also had some slip ups earlier in the week. We were sitting in computer class and a kid asked me what a fanny pack was. He kind of laughed when he said it but i just assumed it was because it is kind of a funny name. I was astounded that they did not have them here so after explaining it to him I said loudly to Lily (who is also part of the trip) “THEY DONT HAVE FANNY PACKS HERE!”. She was just as surprised as I was but the rest of the class started laughing. Right after that Molly (a girl who is kinda part of the exchange program) explained to me that a fanny is like…well… just go look it up on urbandictionary.com.

Besides these few incidence the trip has been amazing! My favorite part so far was yesterday afternoon in the town of Durham. We walked around the shops and got lunch. The best part was us Americans basically got away with anything. We went up to people who were handing out flyers and asked if they were legitimately British, claiming that we had never met anyone who was actually British and that we wanted a picture with someone who was. The person kindly allowed us to take a photo with them. Later that afternoon, Claire and I were walking together (the rest of the group was close behind) when we spotted a group of students who attended Durham university doing a dance/music fundraiser. People were doing a sort of partner squaire dance and there was live music playing. I grabbed claire and pulled her over and we started dancing with the students. The rest of our group turned and started laughing and me and Claire’s poor attempt to dance. After a few minutes they realized that me and Claire were actually having fun and most of them joined in also. The people who were running it were pretty annoyed that we had just joined in, but after we gave them a few pounds to help with their fundraiser they were more then happy to include us.

Another highlight so far was on our first full day here. We went down town and to a shopping mall. We hung out in a department store and on our way out we saw these two police men. The police men were fully dressed in their uniform, which unlike in America, includes a hat. Claire and I were having a mini freak-out over the hat, and we decided we had to get a photo with those policemen. The girls we were with who were British said that if we (as Americans) asked, they should’t get too mad, but if they asked the police (as British) they would be told to go away. We (Claire and I) went up to the police men, and Claire asked for a photo with them. They were actually quite nice and when we told them that we liked their hats they even let Claire wear one! So far I have had the best time ever going around sunderland and the surrounding towns with everyone and learning new meanings for words.

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