Welcome to Leeds, the forecast is for rain and friendly locals who can’t help but call you ‘love’.
Four-weeks in Leeds and I’m convinced that a angry-faced mugger in Hyde Park would shout, ‘Give me your wallet, love’ and I wouldn’t bat an eyelid. Prepare yourself for a cocktail of accents only Love Island has the bravery to showcase. From trouble with the misfortunate kiwi accent to plenty of Northern rain, here are the mind bending things I have noticed while living in Northern England:
The Kiwi-accent was a mistake
It was my third seminar in my first week of the semester. By this point I was a pro- I introduced myself as ‘Hannah’ with my best Queen’s English. Gone were the days where people would call me ‘Henna’ due to the misfortune of having a New Zealand accent. Still, my tutor parroted me back as I said ‘Yes’. The hideous way we pronounce vowels had come back to bite me once again.
But do not fret fellow-Kiwis who dream of escaping to the UK, this is a blessing in disguise. For you are now the most interesting person in the room. You’re from New Zealand; so far away, so removed. And somehow this Kiwi has found herself in Leeds of all places.
You can simply say, ‘My name is Hannah and I am from Auckland, New Zealand’, and their minds would explode. So prepare to strut like a rockstar, because your weird accent could be just the ticket to making friends.
Brits are on 2x speed. ALL. THE. TIME.
From my accommodation to the University of Leeds it is a short fifteen to twenty minute walk- for a human, that is. For a British-bred Fresher who didn’t look like they could crawl let alone walk after a week of fun; these tired faces become blurs as their determined footsteps speed passed you with some sort of motorised mechanism.
Kiwi fast-walkers cannot hold a candle to these extraordinary creatures. This is all while my feet are trying to get to grips with England’s slippery stone footpaths compared with New Zealand’s inferior concrete.
I hope that by the end of my Study Abroad semester I too can walk with such boldness. A girl can only dream.
Beautiful landscapes: Old buildings v. New Zealand mountain-ranges
Oh, New Zealand. How I miss your landscape! Everywhere you go in New Zealand, there is a mountain range just winking at you in the background. Who knew the view from your lecture theatre could be so satisfying? But do not fret future travellers, I have found a new love.
Old buildings! With York less than a half-hour train journey from Leeds, I had to bask in the presence of York Minster. This wonder of Medieval craftsmanship was built over the course of two-hundred-years. I have nothing amusing to say about it; it was just truly breathtaking. The midday sun pierced the stained-glass windows and all my worries over the past four-weeks dissipated. From my Kiwi eyes, the more old buildings the better.
As I reflect on the peace I felt in York Minster, I just feel so happy to be here in England experiencing all these new things. Forget power-walkers and rain-filled days; I have the pleasure to be studying in the UK at a fantastic university (seriously, the lecturers are actually fantastic and I am in no way being paid to say this!). I look forward to the future, rainy days and all.