I saw this bald guy 3 times today

He was an administrator. Very kind and friendly- each time I saw him, he flashed me a great smile. But the third time, when at the IT office, he started speaking to me about how funny it we run into each other so often today! and although we were speaking the same language, we WEREN’T because it took 50% of my jet-lagged brain to comprehend his rapid speech and 50% to finagle some jumbled reply and 10% to stay awake (yes, I am running on 110% right now). So, I just smiled and snuck in a (maybe?) fitting word here and there. English is our common language but dialect and accent are enormously underestimated when comparing the US to the UK!

Have met all of my flatmates and they’re each very friendly! One is another associate student from Vassar (she recognized Wes right off the bat) and the others are Queen Mary students. Three study biochemistry and one English.

I was cooking a rudimentary dinner of spaghetti and garlicky kale when I met my flatmate from Liverpool, Nema (only remember that because I think of nematodes. Bio geek 4 life)

Nema’s associative organism. Sorry, Nema!

It was during this conversation (and one earlier with other flatmates) that I realized how uncommon it is to know much about New York City when you’re not from the US. I was asked if Manhattan was the capital, if by “3 hours north of NYC” that meant Long Island, among other amusing queries. I know I, too will ask very silly things over the next 5 months as well, but this was a first! (A couple hours later: Just came back from a get-together and when asked where I was from, this one guy was like, “Is that near Albany?” and I was so impressed! Now they all associate me with Albany (half don’t know where it is) but it’s better than NYC! Or is it?)

A funny thing about Queen Mary is that everyone has their own bathroom. Apparently, the British value personal space very much. I was also informed to refrain from speaking to them on the tube! A met a few friends who are here through IFSA-Butler and during their orientation, someone gave them pointers on etiquette.

Here are some pictures of my room (and the infamous bathroom):

room deskBR



6 thoughts on “I saw this bald guy 3 times today

  1. I am definitely pulling a sickie. Love that! Your room looks great and I think everything you say is interesting to know about. This is really Auntie J although you’ll get my baseball name below!


    • Thanks Em! The plant is having a little trouble staying spry, but maybe ze is also experiencing a slightly jarring “change of scenery”. So I’ll keep some faith in it for now! xoxoxo


  2. dad says:

    Hi Soph! All sounds really good.you feelin’ okay? You look wonderful! Thought of you yesterday when I was in the Book Bag shop. I think of you every day, but especially when I go to the Library. So yesterday, I went to return some items, and I saw the book Time After time, by Jack Finney. It was a follow up of his 1970 masterpiece Time and Again, written in 1970. I kinda remembered a fair to middling review of it, but I bought it anyway, so it would give me an excuse to read the original book for the 4th time, so I could then more easily follow the follow up book. if that makes any sense. Then I got a book in the mail from Karen Novak, from Chicago area, about Sherlock holmes and his boy assistant which later became the great writer Raymond Chandler. Just by total coincidence, I have been reading the great short stories of Raymond Chandler, in a book called Trouble is My Business. So I am reading 4 books at the same time ( actually 5) and 4 of them are intertwined, so sometimes I am confused about what is happening where, but I am enjoying it. One of the detectives in the MArtin Beck series, written by the great Swedish Writers Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, states that there are no such things as coincidences, but that everything is connected in some way. I am kinda agreeing with that. Well, let me end here before I put you to sleep. All my love, Dad


    • Hi Dad!
      Just like the books and stories you tell me about in your emails/blog comments, your correspondences also always end in a wonderful way, whether it’s highlighting the quirks of daily life, the good in people, or that things that seem unrelated do relate in the end! It’s interesting how writing instead of telling stories can shape them differently. I’ll always read your stories. xoxo S


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