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The Daily Tar Heel

Living in (and leaving) London

A semester's worth of books. That's life in London.

A semester's worth of books. That's life in London.

Well, here it is. The last hurrah. The grand finale. The end of the line. The final goodbye.

OK, I’ll stop being dramatic now.

What I mean to say is that this is my last "Life in London" blog post. That’s because my program in London just ended. And now that I’ve survived my study abroad experience, I, of course, have vast amounts of wisdom to pass on to all of you. Here’s my sage advice. Take it or leave it (you should probably leave it). 

Go for the boneless chicken.

OK. I know this sounds ridiculous. I’ve always considered myself a fantastic cook but never before have I faced the Raw Meat Dilemma. This dilemma is similar to the Uncooked Egg Issue. Once you touch the product, your hands are gross. So you have to wash your hands. You try to turn on the faucet with gross hands. Then the faucet is gross. But then you probably forgot to throw away the gross packaging or add the seasoning. Then your hands are gross again. So basically, everything is just gross. Am I a germaphobe? Obviously not.

Anyway, it took me almost an entire semester to get up the nerve to cook my own meat. Finally, I went to the store and bought the most innocuous-looking package of chicken legs I could find. 

Sorry to any vegetarians out there, by the way. This whole story is probably unbearable. 

So once I had the chicken, I decided it would cook faster if I took it off the bone. I was very hungry. But the chicken was decidedly frozen, so I was dealing with a cold, hard, bony lump. I got grossed out and threw it away. The moral of this story is to buy boneless chicken so you don’t get freaked out.

Do your schoolwork. And do it early.

You know how every semester you look at the syllabus, see a 12-page paper due at the end of the it and tell yourself that you will be a really amazing student and start early? Yeah, that never happens. But let me tell you that cramming a 12-page paper when you could be going to see "Wicked" in London is so much more disappointing than cramming in Chapel Hill instead of continuing to binge-watch Netflix. 

The moral of this story is, set aside a tiny bit of time each day to work on your most dreaded project. Would I ever follow this advice? Well, no. I’m lazy. But you should really do this. It’s a really great idea.

British tea is not what you think it is.

I went to London thinking I would quickly fit in because I love tea. In fact, before this semester, I considered myself something of a tea connoisseur. Clearly I was naïve and stupid. I get it.

One day, I was ordering at a breakfast place in London and I asked for a tea. Generally, in the U.S., if you ask for a tea, the waiter or waitress asks you what kind. And then I generally pick the apple or raspberry or fruity one. This waiter never asked. So I thought to myself, "Hmm. I wonder what kind of tea I am going to get? Apple? Earl Grey? Chamomile? Maybe even Strawberry Mango? It will be a fun surprise! I love surprises!"

Turns out they have fruity teas in England, but if you’re ordering a tea, you’re getting English Breakfast. And you basically have to have milk in it. It’s very uncool if you don’t. I thought I was actually maybe being interesting and different by taking my tea without anything in it, but an English family finally told me that I was being ridiculous. So I stopped fighting it. The moral of this story is, don’t think you know anything about tea in England. You know nothing.

Well, that’s it. That’s all the advice I’ve got. I’ve embarrassed myself every step along the way, but thanks for being there to laugh with me. Or at me. Whatever.

Until the next trip, this has been my Life in London. Cheers!

P.S. That was me trying to be British. It was cool.

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