Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 15: What Not to Do in Oxford

A few lessons learned from Monday's experiences:

1. Do not expect a bus to stop if you do not hail it down.
2. Do not forget to ask for a "return" on the bus when traveling to a place and back; there is no fixing this after you've forgotten.
3. Do not sit on top level of the bus (English buses are wonderfully double-deckered. Looks as if they might topple over, but never do) when you have told the driver where you want to go and you don't have the address.
4. Do not expect the doctor's office to have entered the form you sent in a month ago already into the database.
5. When re-filling out the form you already sent in, do not fill in your date of birth in the American fashion, month/day/year, but in the English fashion, day/month/year.
6. Do not expect that, in American fashion, doctor's offices can provide referrals to needed specialty care without a visit.
7. Do not call chiropractors chiropractors. In Britain, they are "osteopaths."
8. Do not assume bad will on the part of undergraduates when you suspect that they are taking advantage of you.
9. Do not expect that changing your name through marriage inbetween being accepted and starting at Oxford to be easy. You must inform every related institution separately. This involves various departments in college.
10. Do not expect American office hours. Generally, you can expect offices to be open from 10-12 and 2-4. Except when they have meetings.
11. Most importantly, do not forget that, although we share a common heritage and language, England is a separate and distinct country from the United States.

I anticipate that this transition will get easier as I learn the ways of this people, and learn to appreciate and respect the differences rather than be frustrated by them. I have so much to learn.

1 comment:

  1. Lorianne, my first day in the mission field, in Northern France, I was put on a train, by myself, and sent off to my first area. I had no idea the train stopped for like 1 minute and you were expected to haul all of your luggage off the train in that time. Needless to say I missed my stop and ended up in Paris, outside my mission, not really able to communicate with anyone. I eventually made it back to where I was supposed to go. Your experience with the bus made me think of this. Europe is a different place!