Welcome to the UK Maria!

This week my friend from Spain, Maria, is coming to visit me. We are spending a few days in Colchester, a few in Canterbury and then her last few days in London. I have tried to make her visit as cheap as possible (holidays can be expensive after all!). We are staying with my family for the first few days then going back to my uni house – meaning she doesn’t have to pay for any accommodation until we go to London, where we are staying in a YHA hostel for £12 a night.

As all tourists do, I have come up with a list of things that we can do on the cheap/for free (also preferable for “poor” students). It mainly involves just walking around the town looking at the interesting things – Colchester and Canterbury both have wonderful Roman walls and obviously London is full of cool things to look at – and then lots of window shopping (my dad’s favourite kind of shopping).

Food wise, I am planning on giving Maria the widest possible taste of foods. It is an argument we have had before; apparently the British have no claim on any of the foods that make up our diverse culture. I disagree, of course. Indian, Chinese, Thai… The versions we eat here in the UK have been Anglicised and are most definitely our own type of food that has been influenced by the countries we used to own. And that seems fair enough to me.

Excitingly, we are going to see Phantom of the Opera whilst in London. It is a show I have never seen and, to be honest, the only song that I know from it is “phantom of the opera” but I am certain that it is going to be great. We are up in the gods, I think we are literally against the back wall of the theatre, but I am still very excited.

But overall, just the fact that I get to see Maria again is great. We skype when we can but it isn’t the same as seeing someone in person. Her English is far better than my Spanish – although I am trying hard to learn some (and failing quite miserably) – but I think this trip will be a real eye-opener for her as to just how different our two countries are. It was something that struck me whilst I was out there in July and I can’t wait to see how she feels about eating dinner at 6pm instead of 10pm and going to bed at a reasonable time!  I think we are also considerably less social than the Spanish so she will have to deal with the awkward encounters that come from meeting my friends!

Pictures will come soon, I am sure, so you can see where we went and what we got up to. Have a fantastic few days, I know I will!

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