This week in my Children’s Lit class (which is amazing- even better than Pop Lit, if you can imagine that; seriously kids: stay in school because when you get to college, you can take a class about almost anything), we read Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Lemme tell you, as someone who has seen all the movies and never read the book before now: it’s super weird. It has a dream like quality and nothing really made sense and I wasn’t crazy about it. Spoiler alert: it’s all a dream. And it’s a strange dream (but, I probably shouldn’t talk; I have some crazy dreams). And in the book, her goal isn’t really to get home. My professor said that this is a book that happens “more on the page” than most books and that makes adaptations hard, ergo the vast differences between adaptations.
Anyway. Not the point. My professor said Alice’s goal in the book is to navigate a strange world and all the help she has at her disposal is her intelligence and good manners. And then she followed up with: “don’t you all identify with Alice, a little?”
Well, now that you mention it, yeah, yeah I do.
London, England, Europe, it’s all very different from home. And, while I have the amazing faculty members who came with us, and my new friends, I’m still here on my own, so to speak. And all I have is my intelligence and good manners to get me from point A to point B.
Don’t misunderstand, I love it here and I’m enjoying every second. But it’s different.
The money is different. At home, we have $1 bills. Here, they have £1 coins. And £2 coins. And also 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 25p, and 50p coins. And lemme tell you, I know why whomever decided paper money is a good idea figured that out. Coins are heavy. My wallet weighed more than my tablet for a while. Talk about strange (at home all I carry is a debit card; I don’t even carry cash). And, I have been lucky enough that when I dump coins on the counter at the grocery store, the cashiers don’t laugh at me, they help me count out the right amount of change. (And I just did that so I don’t have all the coins. But I’ll take a picture when I get all of them and post it.)
Using public transportation is different. In some ways, it’s nice. We can get off a bus or the tube somewhere and walk around for a few hours (which can take you quite a ways) and get on the nearest bus or tube. We don’t have to go back to where we got off. Can’t do that with a car. If you walk an hour a way, you have to hike an hour back. But there are people everywhere. Even at 10 at night. People walking, people on the buses, people on the tube. And that can sometimes be a hassle. Especially when you’re tired.
I keep noticing all the different things wrong with buildings. My daddy is a firefighter so I know some of the regulations on the buildings. Like that doors are supposed to open out because there was some big fire and everyone tried to get out and the door opened in and no one could get out because they couldn’t get enough room to open the doors. I like ramps. There are very few of those around. People with physical disabilities must have a hard time getting around here.
But it’s wonderful.
We had beautiful weather this week. We went and played basketball and soccer (except, we all know I didn’t play. I took pictures. And went on an adventure around the corner with Clarissa). And we went to Hampstead Heath, which is a huge park. There we went up to Parliament Hill, which is the highest point in the city.
I just wanna thank my mom and dad for teaching me well. I wouldn’t be doing so well here without their guidance. I certainly am down a rabbit hole. And I am so blessed to be here.