First of all – WHAT A JOURNEY THIS HAS BEEN! I am extremely proud and excited to be in this country! There were a few problems at first, such as being late to my first flight, hitting just about every person on the plane while trying to get to my seat, delays on my flight to Philadelphia, changing flights due to delays, running again to another terminal, and oh yeah not getting my baggage when landing in Manchester. However, everything turned out to be fine and my bag was delivered this morning! After being in Leeds for two days, I can say that I feel extremely foreign even though it’s an English-speaking country. The slightest little words mean different things in the English culture and people speak extremely fast! I could barely understand the lady at the airport when I asked for baggage help.
Today in class, Professor Max Farrar gave us a detailed lecture on the history of Leeds as well as a tour of the city which expanded on the topics he shared with us in class. I found it interesting when Professor Farrar discussed how different parts of England contain different accents. I have always assumed that people in England speak like the characters in movies like Harry Potter. However, I learned through my experiences of meeting some of the locals that they take great pride in where they come from in England, whether that be Leeds, London, Birmingham, etc. This accent ties into the different regions of the country: the north and the south.
As in most parts of the world there are divisions in the city of Leeds with the poor generally being in the south and the rich in the northern area. Professor Farrar also showed us the City Centre (or as people in Austin would call the “downtown”) this afternoon and we were able to see the different shops and lifestyles that Leeds is known for. The City Centre or better known as ‘the town’ has a variety of pubs and shopping. According to the article Cranes Over The City: The Centre of Leeds by Janet Douglas, the city has evolved since World War II as Leeds’ shopping economy relies on this attraction. The majority of the workers in Leeds are in the service sector and the city is especially known for its banking and businesses, which are 22 percent of its economy. According to Professor Farrar this is due to the industries “beginning to boom and bust” in the 1950s with high levels of employment post the industrial period. Since British people now have jobs, what do you expect them to do? That’s right, shop.
Well that is pretty much all I learned today, as well as some really fun vocabulary words that I will leave you with! Professor Farrar is my source for this information as well.
1). Joggy bottoms: Professor Farrar explained them as “track suit trousers.” To the Americans reading this, joggy bottoms are basically sweat pants.
2). Jumper: another word for a sweater.
3). Shell suit: basically the same kind of pants that MC Hammer wears.
4). Cash point: ATM
5). Bathroom/Restroom: The Loo, Lavatory, or what I have seen it referred to just about everywhere, toilets.