Things I’ve learned in my first 24 hours in Bath.
by Heidi Obermeyer
1. British people are very friendly, but maybe not always correct when you ask for directions.
First person I asked about my accommodations when I referred to a garden: “Oh, if you go down those steps over there I think there’s a garden of some kind!” Errr…. not necessarily the garden I was looking for. Second person I asked about my accommodations: Led me right to the building and had a nice chat with me about Bath. Plus she had a very cute dog. And a British accent. The first guy did too, but he gave me the wrong directions so he doesn’t get the bonus points usually allotted for having one.
2. Pass people on the sidewalk right shoulder to right shoulder.
I could not figure out why everyone was going the opposite direction of me until I switched sides of the street and went with the flow instead. I’m still struggling with this weird instinctual pull to walking on the right.
3. British English: It’s actually kind of different.
I may have joked about the language barrier before, but one of the funniest things I have ever experienced abroad is a language barrier in your own language. Haha! I spent at least 2-3 minutes this morning trying to figure out if washing up liquid is the same as dish soap in the U.S. For future reference, it is, and for additional future reference, the back of dish soap bottles have terrible directions that often do not mention dishes at all.
4. I don’t think people in Bath like colorful bed linens.
My bedding is covered in bright rainbow stripes because it was the winner of the cheapest-duvet-cover-package-contest at 20 pounds. On the plus side, I’m really channeling my inner Lisa Frank fan. You know, from, like, 2nd grade.
5. EVERYTHING IS OPEN ON SUNDAYS.
6. There’s peanut butter.
Get excited, Amis!
7. The accent… it’s (cheesily) everything you could ever hope for.
Words that are GREAT in a British accent: Yesterday. Quite. Car Park. Nice.
It’s been a productive 24 hours. Nice to meet you, Bath. I think we’re going to get on quite well.