As I write this, surrounded by my half-packed luggage, bags of souvenirs and piles of papers, I’m a little down. This has been an incredible six weeks, and it’s so strange to think that it’s already over. Tomorrow I’ll be seeing my family and friends, and I can’t wait for that. But if I’m still in Cardiff, is it too early for nostalgia to set in?
We got home late from Stonehenge, but I was pretty wired still, and everyone back home was online so I stayed up for a few hours chatting with my friends and answering emails. I finally collapsed into bed around 3:30 am -ish. I woke up feeling pretty well rested, but not wasted like I’d grossly overslept. I figured it was about 10 am and I was pretty happy about that. I stumbled out into the hall rubbing my eyes and shaking my hair out of my face, meeting my roommate on the landing. She laughed and said “Well, Good Morning, Danica!” I smiled and responded cheerfully, “Good Morning!” I furrowed my brow and cocked my head to the side as she continued to laugh at me. “What? What is it? Oh gosh. What time is it? Isn’t like 10 am?” She laughed harder.
“It’s almost 2 pm.”
Well. That was a great morning. I must have been much more tired than I thought. I always feel like an idiot after I sleep away an entire half of a perfectly good day, but despite the colossal waste of my morning, this turned out to be one of my most favorite days here.
My roommates had the excellent idea of making a photo slideshow of the Kings and Queens of Britain. We’ve been pounding their names, dates and stories into our heads for weeks now, and so many of them are weird or funny, so it was going to be fantastic. We decided to put it together and give it to Tom, our director, as a farewell present. Tom is the man. He is the best director ever. He was invited to teach English at a university in China, which is awesome. Unfortunately, he was required to attend a mandatory training session in Provo for two weeks: the last two weeks of our program. We were all pretty sad about him leaving. He’s awesome.
Our last night with him, this Saturday that I had nearly slept away (July 31), we were all going out to the Crwys pub for dinner, so it was a good venue to share our work. We used only props we had with us or found in our “rape hut.” The rape hut is this creepy, CREEPY little shack in our backyard, filled with old couches, piles of garbage, lots of alcohol, decaying food and definitely something dead, because I’ve never smelled anything worse. Anyways, we found a bunch of hilarious and ridiculous props, including a nasty flag and tons of scarves we bought in London, and re-created some of the finer moments in British royal history. Here are a few of the highlights.
Edward I (Longshanks), Edward II and his “friend” Piers Gaveston
Richard the Lionheart
Henry VIII and his unfortunate wives
After laughing our way through each photo session, we got ready and headed to Crwys pub
to meet our group. We had a great time chatting and eating some traditional pub food; I had fish and chips, which were delicious. It was bittersweet, but we had so much fun joking about all the inside jokes and random occurrences we’d experienced during our month together.
We showed Tom the slideshow and he loved it. We were glad he appreciated all the little touches we tried to put on every photo.
Tom stood up to give his final speech and declared that “surprisingly enough, Danica had the second highest score,” to the amusement of the group. I goof off quite a bit, so I’m sure everyone thought I was a bit of an idiot, academically. My good friend Allison had the high score, missing LESS THAN A WHOLE POINT. Geez. Tom got us these hilarious cans of food as a reward. Mine is this gnarly looking “breakfast in a can,” with an assortment of meat, sausage, beans, etc. It was pretty funny.
Later in the evening, a few of us went to the Cardiff Festival, which is exactly like our carnivals at home. Literally the same. Except more people are drunk and instead of cotton candy there are fish and chips stands everywhere. We had such a blast. We rode this INSANE ride that was kind of like the Samurai at Lagoon, and we just could not stop screaming and laughing. I love roller coasters and crazy rides, so I was eating it up. Some weird kids my age started talking to us walking around, and I almost got kissed against my will, so we bounced pretty quick after that. I wish the fireworks here were as good as the ones we get back home, but fireworks are one of my favorite things in the world, so it was nice to get to see SOME this summer.