The Unfortunate Part (Classes) and International Kindness

The pub and dumpling life had to take a break this week because classes started. Oh, right. The reason I told the lady at customs I was bringing my Yankee stank into her beautiful country: Learning.

If I could sum up what I’ve learned from my classes thusfar, it would go something like this: I have been very sheltered. Part of this is not even at the fault of my lovely parents. Nothing was ever stopping me from picking up a book and discovering that Bahrain is a country that exists in the Middle East, but I never really cared to look. Now, I share a classroom with four students from Bahrain, who ALL knew what America was when I introduced myself. They were all carrying designer bags and had flawless skin and makeup. If they can manage to look nice like that on a daily basis despite hailing from a war-torn, turmoil-filled region of the world, then I guess I can put on pants.

Aside from Bahrain, my other classmates came to London from a host of even more countries that I know nothing about. Cameroon, Nigeria, Morocco, Libya, and Turkmenistan are a few. I have a set of Mexican twin boys in one of my classes, a few girls from Germany, a bunch of people from China, and one from the Congo. I’m like, hey, I’m from a GIANT APPLE ORCHARD and my skin is whiter than your notebook paper. I miss Dunkin Donuts. How are you?

And WHY DO THEY ALL DRESS SO WELL? The guy from the CONGO looks and dresses like a J. Crew model. They all speak flawless English, too! And I haven’t met a single foreigner that was unpleasant in any way. Politeness everywhere. If I were to take any one of them in my car on Route 128 back home and go under eighty miles per hour in the fast lane, they would be utterly horrified by the way Americans treat each other (Except, I guess the people from the middle east). Obscene hand gestures and cursing as far as the eye can see. Welcome to Massachusetts. Here in London, we have been taught to apologize for things OTHER people did wrong. If someone brushes your shoulder with their handbag, you’d better apologize for putting your shoulder in their handbag’s way. The foreign students here would probably offer to buy them a new bag. I’m constantly flabbergasted by the KINDNESS.

On an academic note, the classes seem pretty good so far. One of my classes, “Reporting for Broadcast”, is not at all what I thought it would be. It’s a three hour class, once a week, and we’re basically filming mini-documentaries in little five person crews all semester. I’m actually so excited. I’m geeking out just thinking about it.

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