Hello from Wisbech, England (Compiled from emails sent September 23-29, 2004) Hi all,

My
12 hour layover in Calgary was slightly boring, but I did drink enough Starbucks coffee in the first half of the day to make it fun.

Calgary Airport

My
flight from Calgary to England was ok, but I didn’t sleep much during
the 8 hours. We flew at an average 37,000 feet up at about 1,000 km/hr.

Peter is soooo tired, on bus from Peterborough to Wisbech The first few days here I did a lot of sleeping, only the last few days
have I gone out to see what’s out here. I think I’ve finally gotten
over the jet lag and the unending tiredness I had when I first arrived.

Turns out that today is my day to be locked out of our place
and I get to write emails. I made a copy of our indoor room key, but
didn’t make one for the outside door.

Wisbech Town Square - All the shopping happens here. And vendors come in Thursday and Saturday to sell fresh made food and crafts I’ve been milling around town center now since 9:30 in the morning, and it’s
about 2:30 now as I write this. Bear with me, this is probably going to
be long as it’s cold outside and I don’t have anywhere to go.

A lot of the housing is in traditional red brick, but there are a lot of
other building features and architecture that make Wisbech a pretty
interesting place visually.

Wisbech Typical buildings

Make every day a fish and chips day!I have been to a pub already for fish and chips  to be touristy.
There is only one pizza delivery place in the yellow pages here in
Wisbech, and I’ve already ordered from there. Indian food is really big
here. There’s not a place I’ve been to eat yet that doesn’t offer some
sort of Curry. Heck, there’s even curry nights (instead of wing nights)
at some of the pubs.

Kitchen at the place in Wisbech, England

About where we’re living – we live in a 3 story house with about 10 rooms and 2 bathrooms and kitchen, and laundry room. Apparently, not many people in Britain own a dryer, they believe it is expensive and shrinks clothing. Not very smart in my thinking, you live in England where it rains all the time, and you have to dry clothes outside on a line?

Our house is shared with 4 Portuguese guys, 2 guys from Timor, and a Polish couple. I have hung around with the Portuguese guys and they are all right (one of them invited me downstairs yesterday to look at pictures of him and his family in Portugal). The guys from Timor and couple from Poland speak only rough English, so we don’t talk much. Since I was out in town square all day, I managed to pick up a phone and am anxiously awaiting being able to get into our place to I can get it out of the
box and get set up. New technology I have to wait to open? GASP!

Strange how a few Canadian words can make people laugh at you out here. Here’s a list of Canadian phrases or words and what their equivalent is in
England.

  • Washroom, Bathroom = Toilet, WC (water closet), or Loo. I learned this quickly when, at a pub, a bartender laughed at me and
    asked me why I would want to take a bath at the pub.
  • Pants = Trousers. In England pants means underwear.
  • Underwear = Knickers for ladies, Pants for men.
  • Supper = Tea. They refer to the time at 5:00 when we eat our 3rd big meal of the day as tea. Strangely enough, noone drinks tea at this time, but
    they DO eat a meal. They do have supper, but it’s supposed to be at 9:00 before you go to bed, and it’s meant to clean up leftovers or have
    a snack.
  • Cell-phone = Mobile. Everyone and their dog has a mobile, and everyone sends text messages here.  The mobiles tend to have a lot more options too, and it’s rare to find even a 30-40 dollar phone without a camera. Mine has one 🙂
  • Hi, Hello = “All you alright?” This is the standard English greeting. I’m still getting used to hearing it and responding to it. I worry when someone
    says this that I look sickly or something.
  • Semi truck = Lorrie
  • Shopping cart = Trolley
  • Parking Lot = Car Park
  • Shopping Mall = Shopping Center
  • Bathing suit = Swimming Costume (Bwahaha)
  • Garbage = Rubbish
  • Lining up = joining the queue. No-one waits in line here. They simply join a queue. You’re not the next in line, you’re next in queue. It actually
    sounds nicer and I think that’s on purpose.
  • Canada Post = Royal Mail. Makes the deliverer of your regular stamped letters sound regal, doesn’t it?

That’s all for today. I plan to leave for Salisbury tomorrow and will probably be in Scotland and Ireland in a couple weeks’ time.

Church, Wisbech

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