Saturday, February 2, 2013

Day Tripper

Early this sunny morning, we set out as "Day Trippers" to the home of The Beatles: Liverpool. From dawn until dusk, we roamed the streets exploring Liverpool's history and "history" from the peaceful graveyard gardens

to the kitschy Liverpool Cathedral. 

Notice the large neon sign underneath, what appears to be, the gothic, stained glass window. Let's play a game of trivia: 
When was the Liverpool Cathedral built?
A. 320 
B. 1340 
C. 1970 

Answer: C. Of course it was the 70's.

I thought only the States built fake, gothic-style Cathedrals, but Liverpool proved me wrong. To be fair, the Cathedral was quite beautiful with lofty ceilings and grand architecture, and while we sat, a boys choir sang , their voices echoing through the vast halls. But the building is hardly a church; it is a tourist attraction with a built-in café and gift shop. When we left, we stumbled in a weird 70's daze with expressions that read, did that really just happen?

But not everything bad came from the 70's. In fact, the 60's and 70's are the only reason Liverpool is no longer a lower-class, industrial city, but now a thriving tourist hot-spot. So despite the disappointing detour at the Cathedral, Liverpool redeemed itself.


For 2 hours, we wandered the winding halls of The Beatles Museum, following the lives of the Fab 4 as they changed the music industry in less than a decade and became the most successful band in the history of bands, and from there, we visited the The Cavern Clubthe venue on Mathews Street where The Beatles played roughly 292 shows including the show that brought them to fame.  

To walk down the same cobblestone streets that this iconic band once walked down and to stand outside their personal club, I came to the realization that I too would have been one of those crazed fan girls who screamed and fainted in the mere presence of a Beatle—yes, I suppose I would have, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

At the end of the day, although Liverpool satisfied my obsession with The Beatles, I was content to be a "Day Tripper" as I longed for my warm bed back in York and an authentic Cathedral standing above my head.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Days Blown By

A week has passed since I left America and already I've settled quite fine into the British lifestyle, though I'm not sure where the days went that brought me here. For the past week, I've been roaming the city as a tourist, climbing the winding tower of the Minster,

wandering the city center, and ordering my first sausage roll!

Everyday I've been feeling like more of a local. Just the other day, I was stopped by a British family and asked for directions and suprisingly, I knew where to send them! I was proud.

But there are times I still feel like I'm carrying a giant American flag down the Brit-filled street screaming, "Look at me! I'm American and I have no idea what I'm doing!" Then again, traveling in large packs of Americans doesn't help with this feeling as we take over every shop and pub—the average occupancy is about 25. 

And of course, the language I have not fully adapted to yet. 2 quid means 2 bucks, cooker means oven, and hob means stove, but the one I've been most fooled by is, "Are you okay?" As I was brushing my teeth yesterday, my flatmate waved in my room asking if I was okay, and my initial response was, "Yea, why?" thinking, do I not look okay? I quickly realized she was asking how I was doing. Oops. 

Although I stand out, I've actually rather enjoyed being the odd onethe one who says "Spring break" instead of "Easter vacation" and the one whose accent is apparently the greatest thing. Yesterday, classes started and I was amused by the looks of awe as people realized I wasn't British, and I was especially amused as I sat in an American lit lecture listening to the tutor (professor) rant about how "America is a huge, huge, huuuuuuuge country! It takes the same amount of time to get to a restaurant as it takes to get to London! It's amazing, really, compared to this little island!" she said. I felt strangely proud of my country for the first time since I arrived, and I remembered that I will always be a foreigner on this little island, never a localand that's how I want it, to be apart of two cultures, not just one.