Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Storm Comes

August 2011

This week I became a geographer. You will probably be thinking I’ve passed a test, or made a map or coloured in between the lines. Nope, I’ve survived an earthquake and a hurricane. OK, so the earth wasn’t heaving, buildings didn’t fall down and cows weren’t flying through the air, but I still experienced one. The earthquake struck on Wednesday, and I felt it whilst in a class. It felt a little like the Tube passing under you (that’s the subway for you Americans), but for a bit longer. It measured 5.8 on the Richter scale in Washington DC, with the Pentagon being evacuated (you can read a story about it here). It was pretty cool to experience – something I’ve never felt before! It was also decent because it meant I had something to talk about with people other than how cute my accent sounds or what English swear words mean (I’ve taught the guys on my corridor ‘knobber’ and ‘wanker’ – their now a staple term of abuse in the corridor), so a relief in that sense too.

Then later in the week Hurricane Irene came to call. This event was really bigged up on campus with emails from various people relating to what to do in an earth quake and how to tell people you are safe. Whilst it was good that these systems were in place, once Irene had past it seemed rather anticlimactic. I’d like to offer my condolences to those who have lost their homes and lives in the hurricane up and down the east coast, but within Chapel Hill apart from a couple of blown down branches nothing really happened. I’ll be honest this was a little disappointing as I wanted to experience a hurricane for myself, but I’ve been assured that there will most probably be another opportunity! The combined hurricane and earthquake did mean I got lots of messages of concern from home though. Nice that people care, just be nice if it was at other times too you know…
Anyways, that weekend Pat took me out for tacos with Madison and Willey. We were going to a taco van, which I initially was a little worried about seeing as they were telling me stories of a bad experience they had with one. However, I was pleasantly surprised when we got to the van and the food came out looking fairly cooked. And damm nice too! Tacos here are nothing like what ive had in the UK, which tend to be hard shells. Here they’re more like tortillas, which the filling is piled into and rolled up. We then went out onto Franklin Street via Willey’s house (which is a gorgeous house by the way – it reminded me of the stereotypical log cabins seen in the forests) into a place called the Cave. This place was advertising a drink for the weekend only, called ‘Hurricane’. Commercialisation or what?! I was well up for trying it but it was sold out. Surprise, surprise. Had a really nice NC ale (no idea what it was called) and then left to go meet Andrea and Fiona who were going to Andrea’s mentors house party. It wasn’t an amazing house party to be honest, but I met some cool freshmen called Dree, James and Nathan. I also tried my first ‘Keg stand’, which basically involved being lifted up upside down and the pipe from a keg placed in the mouth and turned on. You have top drink as much as possible whilst upside down. It’s an interesting experience. Kids don’t do it at home (just to be responsible for the first time since I got here…).

On the note of being responsible, I’m loving the fact that I’m in halls simply for the fact I don’t have to be responsible in the slightest. I’m the oldest in my corridor at 21, but I’m still getting down with the ‘kids’ skidding around in socks and jousting using wheelie chairs. Alongside writing wonderfully abusive messages on everyone’s door (a lot of people have whiteboards stuck to their door to write messages. I’m only too happy to oblige!) I met Andrea and Harriet’s suite mates through being very bored and very immature. Harriet and Andrea live down on South Campus (a 15 min walk at least away) in a dorm called Horton. They share a suite (a shower, toilet and 2 sinks) with two freshmen in the room next door, called Mary-Ellis and Jessie. We were skidding around in the corridor like massive big kids, and Harriet went barrelling into their room asking if they wanted to join. I’m sure they thought we were as mad as anything looking at us skidding up and down the corridor laughing in quiet hours (it’s very naughty to be loud after 9pm here….yeah 9pm. Mental…). They seem really genuine girls though, and really on the banter (after a little confusion as to what the hell me and John are on about!). Don’t think their idea of going to college was meeting some crazy international students through skidding around in socks like 5 year olds!

I’ve also got to mention the introduction of BlackZack (yes, he introduces himself as BlackZack). He’s the only black Zack in the Dorm (hence the name...), and is an absolute character. Described as ‘not your average nigger’, you know when he’s around in the corridor by his witty nature and the laughter of those around him in stitches at the stuff he comes out with. He's also an amazing beat-boxer and regularly can be heard jamming with Zach, Tom, EJ and a couple of others in and around the corridor.

Anyways, Friday we went out with Pat to a house party and again met lots and lots of people. Was a cool house though out in Carboro (the town next along to Chapel Hill). I also had my first 4oz bottle of beer (yep, another American big size product) which was a bitch to hold all night… Needless to say rolling back at 3am to an empty room (Gunn had gone home for the weekend) was the sign of a good night had!

No comments:

Post a Comment