Greetings!

Hello all!

I thought it was about time to send out another update, just so y’all
know how life has been on the other side of the pond.

I’ve been at UEA for a month yesterday and I’m still pinching myself.
I have to remind myself that I’m in a tiny hamlet in the countryside.
It’s about a 15-20 minute bus ride into town from campus which is
where I go to do my grocery shopping and window shopping–which I have
to admit is no fun when you don’t have any money to spend.

But I’ll share a lovely town anecdote with you while I’m at it. The
other day I woke up and went to make myself breakfast only to find
that I was sorely lacking anything that resembled food. I had pasta
and tuna. It was Monday. I have class all day Tuesday and Wednesday
and a paper to turn in that Friday–which meant I had no other day but
Monday to go get myself some food. And on this particular day no one
else I knew was available to go to town with me, so here I was, faced
with the daunting task of heading into town all alone to forage for
some grub.

I grabbed a sweater and my re-usable grocery bag and headed down to
the bus stop. After wandering about town for a while, I finally found
my way and stocked up on groceries to last me for the next week or so,
paid and took about five steps before it started POURING cats and
dogs. English weather has a cruel sense of humor.

So after hustling to the bus stop with my soaking groceries and Mary
Poppins-esque wind blowing me all over the place, I climbed up the
stairs of the double decker to sit at the very back of the bus because
it was the only seat available. Now, my stop is very small and they
never stop at it for very long and it was hard to see out the window
because it was all foggy…so when I saw my building whiz past me I
bolted for the staircase to go down, at which point the bus abruptly
hit a bump and stopped…causing me to propel forward at a ridiculous
clip, slamming my groceries into everyone sitting aisle-side and
falling into the stairs. Suffice to say, I gave everyone a great laugh
on a rainy day–and I’m ok with that.

Life here is funny like that. There are days when I’m an bitter
American lusting after Chipotle and hand towels in the bathroom and
other days I’m incredibly grateful to be here and just laugh at things
that otherwise would drive me up the wall–like people stealing my
hard earned food out of my cubbie hole.

I just got back from a weekend in Brighton and Hastings–both seaside
towns. It was lovely. Risking mild hypothermia, I got to dip my toes
into the other side of the Atlantic which was neat. I had fish and
chips on the pier and explored both towns. In Hastings they had their
annual bonfire, which consisted of a parade of drunken people carrying
lit torches and pulling barrels of flaming wood towards a 30 foot tall
structure of firewood before launching said flaming items onto it. It
was ridiculously cool.

And a week from today, my friend Kaitie and I will be heading off onto
our great two country, three city, ten-day whirlwind trip. We’re going
to Barcelona, Rome and Florence during our week off of school. It
should be an adventure. Especially since we’ll be navigating traveling
ourselves. During our Brighton/Hastings weekend we had two lovely boys
who helped us run from bus to train to tube to train to coach to bus
in order to make everything on time. And, believe me, it’s a lot of
fun sprinting from one destination to another when you’re trying to
keep track of one another and hauling backpacks and duffel bags. It
hurts to run but it hurt more because I was laughing all the way there.

So, that is life here for now. I found red bell pepper hummus and my
flatmate Seb fixed my shower so I finally have some water pressure so
life is good at the moment despite being in a constant state of
sniffles or sore throat. And I hope this email finds you all well and
happy where you are. And this email wasn’t too laborious to get through.

I’d love to hear anything you have to write to me about. Especially
since it’ll give me something to further my procrastination. I miss
you and love you all to pieces. And I can’t wait to hear back from
y’all.

Best.
Duyen

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