Before embarking on that though I will remark on the fact that I had no idea “the sun never sets on the British Empire” was a phrase known by anyone outside of the UK but I have now had it thrown at me on several occasions, nice to see the rest of Europe is so familiar with the “colonial bastard” part of British identity. But anyway back to another very British concern, the weather…
I have occasionally seen girls in Edinburgh sporting fancy wellies about the place, anticipating a heavier rainfall than I have ever actually encountered in our drizzly city, and the same thing happens here, the difference being the extreme importance of waterproof footwear in a place that has transpired to be the wettest place I have ever been. The pair of bright red Hunter wellies I have always dreamed of wearing are now a justifiable purchase, fab.
Aside from one week of miserable weather, which has now inexplicably given way to a week of summer temperatures and sunshine, the whole Erasmus thing is only becoming more positive as the fury of socialising dies down to a level I can handle. I don’t like making friends all in a rush so the second month at University has been a better opportunity for me to meet people in a more sedate way. I think I am also doing myself a favour by abandoning my pretentions when it comes to dodgy Erasmus parties. Terrible musc aside there is always a chance you will meet an incredibly fit Greek version of Patrick Swayze (but gay and therefore not sleazy) who will whizz you round the dance floor and make the whole evening incredibly entertaining.
As far as some conversations with other Erasmus students go I feel like large gaps are being exposed in what I actually know. Questions such as “when was the Falkland’s war?”, “don’t you object to the fact that the UK pays most to the EU second only to Sweeden and it goes to fund corrupt governments?” and “are you familiar with the geography of central Europe?” have all elicted very vague responses which I am only able to justify to myself by remembering that I have spent the last two years “studying” languages; not that this holds up much against the whordes of people who speak perfect English and quite possibly a couple of other languages for good measure. Though I am having fun teaching people words like “skive” and “twat” and convincing all my new European pals not to use American words. It’s not that I don’t appreciate conversations that meander between languages or involve 3 different dictionaries, I’m just horribly jealous. I am trying to force myself to speak Turkish but have to overcome my impractical reluctance to make mistakes. I really have trouble daring to speak not in my own language, it was the obvious flaw in my doing a language degreee, which you will notice imploded resulting in me being here.
Now I am half way through the first term (and I’m not sure exactly how that happened without me noticing…) I think I may have to start doing some serious work, which is bound to put some of the fun on the backburner. This is unfortunate as I have realised that half the people I have met and like will be leaving in 5 weeks and I need to see them as much as possible before then. I think perhaps the whole point of Erasmus is being revealed to be to make as many friendly contacts as you can in foreign countries so you will have a reason to visit them and hopefully sleep on their floor wherever they might live. There is no reason for me to find fault with this system.