Saturday was very productive. I spent most of the afternoon wandering around the shops. One of the busy shopping roads is called Queen Street. The best way I can explain it is a very very compact version of New York City. There are food shops, clothing stores, street performers, magicians, you name it.
I saw this guy playing the violin and creating a music track by looping what he played. It's one of the coolest things to see…he was actually quite talented.
There are also these little hut shops that people set up on Queen Street. There are a lot of cute places and a LOT of things to buy.
On Saturday night, my flat mates and I went out to a pub for a drink. It was a lot of fun, but turned into more than any of us expected. We ended up going to two clubs after that. What I didn't realize was that "going out" means you won't leave the club until closing time…at 5am. We were walking home and it was light out! I had to take a picture…. it was surreal to me.
My first day of work was yesterday. I met a LOT of people. All of them were so friendly and welcoming. There's a bit of a language barrier (in terms of phrasing and their accents), but I'm learning quickly. Everyone asks, "you ok?" to mean the American "how are you?" It's getting easier to ignore the urge to answer with "yeah, I'm okay," but instead say something along the lines of, "I'm great, and yourself?"
All in all, the people are incredible. They love to joke around. A few of them have made a habit of messing with me since I can't always tell when they're being sarcastic with me. But again, learning as I go. I also found out that Snapchat and 2048 are as popular in the UK as they are in the US.
The rest of my work day yesterday was spent at lunch with some coworkers, being briefed on my summer assignment, and going on a tour of the downtown Cardiff area. One of my female coworkers took me around and pointed out the restaurants, pubs, and stores that I should stop at. I have a feeling I'm going to be spending a lot of the money I'll be making this summer…
One of the shops we passed by is called Poundland. I thought it was hilarious….just like the Dollar Store! I accidentally called it Pound Town…my coworkers were making fun of me.
Yesterday evening, my flat mates and I went to a pub quiz, which is the same thing as a bar trivia night in the US. I wasn't very helpful, considering most of the questions were about Great Britain….but one of the questions asked what sport the Stanley Cup was played in…and I got that one right!! We enjoyed ourselves….but we got last place. Our team name was "*sigh*" which was quite comical.
After the quiz, my flat mates and I ordered pizza to be delivered and spent the time waiting for it by comparing the US and UK money. It was a relief to find that they were just as confused about dollars and cents as I was about pounds and pence…but they were a great help in explaining easy ways to remember which coins meant what. The pizza arrived and we ate and talked (probably later than I should have been awake…) and nibbled on our french fries (which they call "chips"). I found it odd that pizza came with a side of fries, but my flat mates told me that's fairly normal.
Anyway…day two went off without a hitch. Lots of work, lots of laughs. So far I've only met two Americans. But I don't mind. The Welsh are awesome. So friendly, so welcoming, so light-hearted. Can't wait to spend the next two months here!! It's going by so fast already. Day three of work tomorrow! Cheers!