Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Things I've learned in North Somerset

Well, it's not Canada, but I suppose that was a given.

I arrived at Heathrow airport in one piece last Friday and proceeded onward via bus to Bristol.  The first thing I noticed as we travelled along--and one of the main things I noticed when I went down to the states last April--was that I didn't recognize most of the stores or restaurants.  I never realize how much I rely on store brands/restaurants when creating my inner maps and coordinating myself in a city.  It's a lot harder when the "place-markers" are unfamiliar and hard to grasp.

Image of road in Yatton
One of the wider roads--though I suppose without a car you
don't have perspective comparison...
Second, after getting into a car and seeing the world from the front seat, I realized how much narrower the roads are.  Narrower AND twistier!  As a car comes toward us on the other side of the road, I wonder if we'll both fit abreast.  At times, it's scarily tight and in other places, you have to wait for the oncoming traffic to clear because you both don't fit.  And as my uncle says, Canadian cities are boring laid out on a grid, but here the roads and towns have character.  Curvaceous character.

Them winding roads definitely make for lovely landscapes.  Especially as North Somerset has lovely hills that pass like a rolling wave between the villages.  I was lucky enough to hike to the top of one of these hills to survey the countryside.  It was really windy that day, but so worth it.  My camera does not do it justice.
Image from the top of Crook Peak
View from near the top of Crook Peak in the Mendips.
If only the weather had been sunny...
I've learned that it's a weird feeling to stand out because of your accent. At first, I pass for normal, and then I say something and people look at me and really see me. There are moments where I have the strongest desire to camouflage myself so that I don't stand out. But I think it would be weirder if I tried to feign an accent. And, I would most likely fail which would lead to embarrassment.

Living near Toronto, I feel like different accents were very common and you met people from all over the world fairly often, but where I'm currently staying, everyone is from somewhere else in the UK making my accent truly different. The Canadian who probably sounds American to them, but oh well. It's definitely a new (and interesting) experience.

 And the adventure will continue...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

First impressions are interesting and yours are impressive. Keep them coming I'm looking forward to the next edition, Rae.

Grampa Ray.

ps. Get and wear a Maple Leaf flag in your lapel then they will know you're not yankee doodle dame.