Sunday, June 28, 2009

Adventures on a Sunday in Carlisle

Today was pretty eventful, I would say. 

Becky and I went to church this morning at Elim Community Church. It's Presbyterian, and slightly charismatic, but it just felt like a toned down version of Bethel to me. :) Everyone was so nice, and the church felt like a family. The pastor was funny, there was a church quiz, and they announced birthdays, anniversaries, and even a little girl's achievement at school for getting the compassionate award. These people were given a giant twix bar for their special occasion. 

After church, we went to my hosts house (which I am in now). Her name is Christine and she's 33. Becky and I ate lunch with her, a very English lunch which consisted of bread, soup, and cheese. That kind of lunch is one of the things I miss most about Ireland. 

Becky left and I settled in, then at 3:30 I went for a walk to kinda get a feel for Carlisle. I went by myself- I was planning on taking my time, browse shops, then stop and read my book in this park. I had to be at Becky's house at 6:00, so I figured 2 1/2 hours would be plenty of time. Of course, I can't do anything without having some sort of adventure or encounter, so here are my accounts.

As soon as I left Christine's house, I called my mom. Well this guy was walking close to me and when I hung up, noticing my accent, he asked me "Where going?" This was no British accent. It was something else, and so thick that it took me three tries before I understood it. Finally I answered "oh, just for a walk." He looked at me funny and said "Czech Republic" and I said "You're from the Czech Republic?" and he said "yes, yes. You?" Then I realized he was trying to ask me where I was from but he spoke very little english. So I said America and his eyes got really wide and he said "George Bush!!" and I laughed and said "yes, but not anymore" and he said "oh yes B....Bar..." and I finished it for him and he said "yes. also Michael Jackson. die" and I said yes and then he went into this thing where I think he asked me questions and I think I may have heard "king of pop" or something, but I couldn't understand a thing, so I just nodded. Then he asked me what I was doing so I said "working" thinking he meant what I was doing in England, because I had already told him I was going on a walk but clearly we weren't good communicators and he said "WORKING?! on Sunday!?" then I tried to explain and then he stopped and said "This my house. Goodbye." and walked into the door we were standing in front of. Very bizarre.

And that was the first 5 minutes of my walk. I walked passed the Carlisle castle, then I moseyed around the Carlisle Cathedral which is more of a tiny village. It has different houses and buildings surrounding the main cathedral that make up the whole sight. It's really beautiful. I couldn't go inside yet because a service was going on. Then I went to the town square and looked in a department store. So I thought this park under the bridge was right down the street, so I walked pretty far before seeing a bridge. A girl stopped me and asked me to "Pop in the shop and buy some fags" and after her saying that about 23 times and me finally getting that sentence, I realized she wanted me to buy her cigarettes. Saying "no, sorry" I left her with her friends who were now mocking me.

So I started to see a bridge, so I thought I had found it. Turned out to be a different bridge, and when I got to the main arc, I looked out and saw the spire of the Cathedral way far away. The Cathedral is only about a 3 minute walk from Becky's house, so that was my reference point. Thinking I could go around, I wound up in a neighborhood cul-de-sac and had to turn around. I didn't go back the way I came to get back, I just made a gigantic loop.  That all took me about an hour and a half. So I was glad to get to Becky's and meet the other interns and some girls working for OM. 

Last thing before a few pictures: my new house that I'm staying at is about 2 blocks down from a McVittie's factory. For those of you who are unfortunate not to know what McVittie's is, it's a cookie company. They make my favorite cookies (called biscuits here) called digestives. So the area I'm in smells like cookies. Hey, if there's going to be a factory around, vote that it's a cookie one. 

1. Carlisle Castle
2. Carlisle Cathedral
3. Town Square
4. Taken at 10:15pm. Told you it didn't get dark! 


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