Farewell, Cambridge.

Tomorrow morning we leave England, and this adventure is coming to a close. It has been a great experience here (for a multitude of reasons), but I think we really are ready to go back now… after past adventures, we’ve found ourselves dreading the idea of returning to the Midwest and our daily Madison grinds, but this time we’re both excited to take next-steps with the new lessons we’ve learned about ourselves here, as well as looking forward to seeing so many of you again!! We’ve been away a long time. Positive cash flow again… we’re looking forward to that, too. ;)

Free Press Pub

Last night we said goodbye to our colleages in the Cambridge computing lab at the Free Press Pub. We usually get together there on Thursday evening for drinks and some socialization. Pictured above (L-R) are Advaith (Keith & I shared his office), Andreas and Niki (the Greeks), Ian, and… oh crap, I’ve forgotten his name, but he’s Austrian… and he’s a big fan of Steve Vai and Wir Sind Helden. (Natalie reminds me now that his name is Richard. I tend to recall the esoteric details before I can muster up names. Character flaw.) Also in attendance were Mark (my advisor), Anna (Mark’s some-time officemate, a Finn who has many expressions and mannerisms similar to Natalie), as well as Keith, Natalie, and myself.

Today began with a busy day of cleaning, more packing, dropping off of keys in various places, returning the bikes we’re borrowed to Ryan & Hillary (confusing to us now, since we have friends in Madison named Ryan & Hillary), donating groceries and other things we’re not taking along… and finally paying 5 months of back-rent (which is not our fault… a long story… we’ve tried many times, but British customer service being what it is, we might have skipped the country without them noticing).

Punting!!

Then we were… free!! Nothing really left to do but enjoy the first nice day we’ve had here in two weeks, so we decided to finally go “punting.” It’s like taking a gondola out on the river Cam… which is really more of a canal. Loads of fun. We were out at least an hour and managed not to fall in, although Natalie rammed a couple other boats, I lost the stick in the mud once, and Keith got himself pinned into a corner by some tourists having even more difficult than us. Good times! Tonight, our goal is to get dinner at “The Trailer of Life,” a fast-food caravan (see below) that sets up at night on the central Market.

Below is another long list of Britishisms that we’ve observed, though certainly still not complete. Some of them also come courtesy of Mark and his family, who’ve been here longer and have two kids who are simply word sponges! Enjoy:

advert - commercial (”ad”)
anti-clockwise - counter-clockwise
have a go - take a turn
bin - trash can
bloke - dude
bonnet - hood of car
boot - trunk of car
car park - parking lot
caravan - camping trailer
cling film - plastic wrap
close - dead-end street
coach - bus
cooker - stove
garden - yard
jacket potato - baked potato
jumper - sweater or sweatshirt
kit - uniform
lift - elevator
loo - toilet
lounge - living room
bits - pulp (”orange juice with bits”)
trousers - pants
pants - underpants
pavement - sidewalk
petrol - gasoline
plaster - adhesive bandage
pudding - dessert
to revise - to study
to ring - to phone
rubber - eraser
underground - subway
subway - pedestrian underpass
sweets/confections - candy
windscreen - windshield



Musings about life across the big pond by Burr and Natalie Settles. More »

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