Six Months Later and There Is Still Culture Shock

Logic would say that I am now experienced in living in England and that very few things would still shock me about this place. But logic is naïve, apparently, because walking around today I was smacked in the face with a flash of surprise.

Yes, after this I will get back to the vacation tales, but for now I must share my findings.

As I have been gushing about (partly in karmic payback to my people in California bragging about their weather while we had snow. How did you all like your rain? :P), the weather here in Oxford has been gorgeous. Nice and sunny and warm, but not too hot, perfect for basking in the springtime glow. Which I did yesterday, walking around University Parks with Partner.

What is so shocking about this you ask? Well let me explain what was missing from this scene: girls in bikinis. At UCLA, as soon as springtime hits and there is the slightest possibility of achieving a jump start on their tans, every girl runs back to her dorm/apartment/boyfriend’s room, changes into a bikini and takes over every lawn space both on campus and on the Hill. Now I was never one of those girls, preferring to limit any sunbathing to Sunset Rec, which had a pool as well so it felt more appropriate than lounging around in DeNeve Plaza. But in all of my wanderings around University Parks and by the open field near Magdalen Bridge…no bikinis. No girl even out there tanning! Even I was tempted to buy a swim suit at Debenham’s to take full advantage of the weather, but there was no one around. Maybe it’s because it is not in term time, maybe the English are more modest or less superficial than the Bruins, but I certainly will not complain about not bumping into a crowd of boys drooling over girls in very little clothing on their way to lectures.

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4 thoughts on “Six Months Later and There Is Still Culture Shock

  1. Ooh, interesting to compare differences between places! Are people out things other than swimsuits? And Bryn Mawr girls come out in droves to study on the lawns, but they usually are wearing sundresses or shorts + blouses. (When the weather warmed up there was BMC meme about ALL THE SUNDRESSES. xD)

  2. Haha it’s funny to read this, I’ve always though us Brits are too quick to start sunbathing! On the first vaguely sunny day after winter there are always people trying to get a headstart on their tans and at the end of the day you can see lots of sheepish people who forgot that they only burn instead of tan…

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