Friday, September 2, 2011

First day in Bath, England

Yes, Bath architecture is as beautiful as everyone says it is.

A Baptist church I found
The road I take from the B&B to the city center

I arrived at my destination pretty easily. Surprisingly I didn’t get stopped by border patrol. My bum façade seemed to work too, in that every time I stopped and looked confused on my way to catching a bus or train a British person stopped and asked if I was lost. They were very nice and helpful. I got into Bath in the afternoon. Kari and Rob were in France, but a couple of their five children were in residence. Arun (22) showed me a room I could sleep in, and Claudia (11) talked to me for a bit before I went upstairs to take a nap. Here are some pictures of my accommodations:

Jealous? I know. I’d be jealous of me too. I'll take pictures of the B&B and put them up tomorrow.

I met another workawayer on my way in. He’s an older gentleman named Phillip, and he was very British. Like, John Cleese British. I barely stopped myself from asking him to quote Monty Python at me. We had a nice conversation in the kitchen later. He’s kind of made a career out of workawaying. Sometimes he gets paid and sometimes he doesn’t. He’s a builder. He left today for further travels, so I didn’t really get to know him beyond that one conversation. He was very nice though.

I slept most of yesterday and got up early today. I grabbed my sheets from the guest room I was in and went downstairs to Arun’s room, because she left this morning to go to a festival for the weekend and offered me her bed. Her room is just as large, ornate, and beautiful as the guest room, and it has a bigger window. I’m not going to take any pictures of her room though, ‘cause that would be creepy. Suffice to say it’s amazing.

Also, I took a bath yesterday before my nap. It was excellent. I guess the stories are true.

Around noonish I decided to walk down to the city center and see some things. I had some pizza outside in a café, and I went by the phone store afterward to get a new SIM card so I can make cheaper calls in the UK.

My Ireland phone was locked, so when we switched out the SIM cards it went wonky. The guys at the store were nice and tried to call Vodafone (the carrier I’m using) to see if we could get it unlocked, but they told Alex (the guy helping me) that it wouldn’t work in the UK. I had to buy a new phone, but they discounted the price and gave me a new SIM card for it. I lost my Ireland contact numbers. Thank God for Facebook and e-mail.

After that I wandered off the beaten path. I found a nice park in front of the Bath Abbey and read for a while. Then I wandered through the Abbey. It was so beautiful.

Here's where I sat down and read for a while

The musician behind the Abbey

After that I bought some fudge and sat down in a plaza to listen to a musician. I saw a café nearby that advertised bath buns, so I went inside to look. The bath bun was really only a little bigger than a bagel. My Grandmother has been to Bath, and she said they were huge. I asked the woman if this was the traditional size for a bath bun, and she said yes. Grandma, here’s a picture of the front of the café I saw. Where do I go to see these behemoth bread concoctions?

I roamed around a bit more before getting on a bus and riding back to the B&B. I hung out with the kids some and waited for Kari and Rob to get here. Their 17 year old son Fin came in and joined us.

Kari and Rob showed up. They’re super nice! Both of them are very easy to talk to, and we were laughing together within minutes. I have high hopes for this place. Both of them are into self sustainability and environmental preservation. Rob showed me something called Marmite, which is a yeast extract they spread on bread over here. It’s left over from brewing booze. I looked at the ingredients and made a comment on how it’s very healthy. Rob asked me what I meant. I dipped into my biochemistry memories and explained.

Suddenly we were talking about biochemistry crossing over with business and environmental conservation. It was crazy. He has these amazing theories, and he gave me a book he wrote to look at. I mentioned that his theories make sense and that there’s a lot of scientific evidence for what he was saying. He wants me to check his book out and explain if anything doesn’t make sense science-wise. I’m pretty interested, so I said I’d look at it. Holy crap, I’m actually using my degree. Who’d have thought? Maybe I can be a consultant for social theorists.

Kari, Fin, Claudia, and I had dinner later. They don’t usually eat dinner together because all the kids are old enough to go off and make their own plans. Kari says that it’s pretty relaxed here and to help myself to any food that I want when I’m hungry. I asked her when I should wake up and get to work, and she said that’s purely up to me. I told her I was interested in the business side of things. She already has someone that comes in and cleans the rooms, so I won’t have to do much of that, thank goodness. I’ll illuminate more when I actually start working, but for now it seems that I’ll just be helping out where I can five hours a day and the rest of my time will be spent doing my own thing.

I’m pretty excited. I’ll tell you how tomorrow turns out. Maybe I can go into town and look at more sights. This place is absolutely beautiful!

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