Wednesday, May 25, 2011

British houses: in which people put washing machines in the kitchen

I had a non-boring day today! And I even spent a good chunk of it on a couch watching TV. Or should I say, the telly. Because said TV was in a British house!

So after Lauren finished her final exam this morning, we met Emma and took a short train ride over to Urmston, where we walked around the little town center with Emma. We almost met her mum, who was working in a bank, but she was busy, so we settled with a wave. Then we walked to her house, which was about ten minutes away. It was a lovely day and a lovely little neighborhood, and Lauren and I gushed about all of it while Emma remained slightly baffled and amused by our fascination.

Here is one of the streets. It's not Emma's street, but that really doesn't matter, because they all look the same. As you can see, each and every house (which is actually a duplex) is red brick. I was waiting for Hermione to emerge from one and start walking down the street carrying nothing but a beaded bag.

We were given the grand tour, and though the house was quite small, it was very clean and modern. Every room is literally a room with its own door, which was interesting. And there is a sun room attached to the living room which was quite lovely. Emma called it a "conservatry." I thought of the Dursley's house. Although their conservatory is not all glass. It's not sad I know this, right? I didn't think so.

There you go, living room and conservatory. There was also a doggy named Barney, who reminded me of a smaller version of Trevor, but was actually, I believe, some sort of terrier.

So after the tour came the telly watching, and since it was the middle of the day, just like in the US, there was nothing on. Or as Emma put it, everything was rubbish. So we watched Jeremy Kyle, which was essentially Maury with British accents and more of Jeremy yelling at his guests.

And though this will have no impact on anyone else's life, I'd just like you to know that someone just scared someone else in the kitchen across the hall by screaming, and I practically had a heart attack. I'd also like you to know that I am now watching a low quality version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 online, because a) I like it, and b) I am a nerdy perfectionist and needed to make sure that Hermione does indeed emerge from a red brick duplex carrying nothing but a beaded bag. She does, in case you were wondering, which you probably weren't.

She may not be Emma Watson, but here is my own version of an Emma walking out of a red brick home. If you look closely, you can also spot Barney gazing longingly out the second story window.

After we returned and ate dinner, I depressingly watched Lauren pack up her room, as she is leaving tomorrow morning, and this time, for good. [HEDWIG JUST DIED! Why am I still watching this?] It's so strange to think that the next time I leave here, I will never come back. I'm also not looking forward to the next couple weeks without Lauren.

As a side note, Lauren stopped at Caffe Nero this morning and one of the girls automatically started making a latte, before discovering that Lauren was leaving tomorrow, to which she replied, "Forever???" And made sure Lauren would stop for a coffee before leaving. Expect some parting pictures with the Caffe Nero staff soon. We're going to miss them. And as we now know, they will miss us. As they should. We gave them some good, consistent business.

Our evening closed with McDonald's Oreo McFlurries, the only ice cream option available to us. Yum, yum, yum.

Oh yeah, and I suppose the title is self explanatory, but I learned that Brits keep their washing machines in their kitchens, like they are dishwashers or ovens. SO WEIRD! Right? Right.

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