To update one's blog! Sorry, I've been absent of late!
Tonight was bonfire night, which normally means fireworks. But in the village of Ottery St. Mary's it means lighting barrels full of tar on fire, hoisting them up onto one's back, and then running around the village through tightly packed crowds. It is hard to believe that much awesome can happen in one place!
Plus, they had the largest bonfire I have ever seen. I don't have a clue how any building in that village is insured against fire. See pictures here.
In other news, settling in is going well. I am really enjoying it in many ways, though I am so far from home.
Yesterday I was at Tesco's buying groceries. I always try to be kind to cashiers and waitresses, and engage them in a little conversation. This particular woman had apparently been waiting all day for someone to ask how she was doing, and she launched into a long and enthusiastic narrative. Unfortunately, I couldn't understand a thing she was saying!! She was going so fast, and using so much slang, and had such a strong accent! So there I was, looking (I'm sure) very earnest, and trying to smile warmly and nod appropriately and sympathetically while the terror of having no idea what I was agreeing to grew behind my eyes. That was the second time that day that I had no idea what the person I was talking to was saying. The other time, it was important that I understood, and I had to ask three times before I caught the meaning!
I mentioned this ongoing issue to someone, and their response was "Yes, it seems so funny and old-fashioned to us the way you speak so slowly." Thanks, guy. That really helps the confidence.
Work is going well, things are picking up, and I'm starting to get to know my way around town. Next weekend I will be in London. Looking forward to it!