In the UK I live in the countryside or to put it more accurately, the middle of nowhere. Â Therefore I am accustomed to wide open spaces and a horribly limited access to public transport – even the closest bus stop is 15-minutes away by car. Therefore living in Rhode Island hasn’t been that much of a shock in terms of having to drive everywhere, but America takes the definition of “wide open spaces” and “the middle of nowhere” to a whole other level.
The roads go on forever. When the Romans invaded the UK they built a road along the length of England. At the time this seemed like a pretty colossal undertaking. However as Americans like to go overboard on everything, the roads here are so much longer. Due to this, driving in America is equivalent to watching the third Batman film (or any Batman film)– just when you’ve reached the end, you find out that actually you are only just about half way there.
Usually I don’t venture far beyond the campus, as if the rest of America is some kind of uncharted territory. Although to me it seems there isn’t much else to chart. Â Just long empty roads and a few houses which are spaced ridiculously far away from each other – I don’t know why, but to me it just seems like each house has way too much grass around it. In the day, these spread out American homes can look quite friendly but at night it seems all the horrors of hell could erupt from them at any moment. Â This is not an exaggeration when you are a British student who has recently had her first experience of an American Halloween when she really was not expecting it because Halloween was still over month away.
I visited Six Flags at the weekend thinking I would only be screaming as I was spun upside down and dropped from dizzy heights. This was not the case as in America it is perfectly logical and acceptable to begin Halloween ‘celebrations’ in September. I spent a lot more of my time screaming at the crazy lady with a chainsaw, or the zombie with a decaying baby, or at the creepy clown whose bells slowly register in your subconscious but not enough for you to realize he’s going to scream in your face and send you running for the hills, knocking over a few of your friends who just roll their eyes at you.
Due to America’s over enthusiasm for Halloween, I think I’m just going to sit in my room for the entire month with my totally overexcited imagination that is freaking out over what could be in those dark empty spaces. Â Â It’s not like I need to gather the courage to walk that far – Most of the time I don’t have to venture past my little bubble that consists of Hope and Washburn hall. Yet due to my new found inability to look after myself, I discovered that even the campus was a whole lot bigger than I expected as I was forced to trek across it last week when I lost my key. I looked in each of the dining halls, in all three of the classes I had been in that day – one of which was on the third floor (exercise for the week , check). I then had to go to the library, again all the way up to the third floor (I had decided to put trainers on by this point), then to the department of housing and all the way up to the police station where it seemed every single key in the universe had been handed in except mine.
While it seems that America is deliberately trying to sabotage me this term (semester), I think it is starting to feel sorry for me. Each person who discovered I had lost my key declared Â that they would Â do all they could to help me as if I was on some kind of quest for justice in a way only an a American could. Â My long suffering friends are continuing to put up with the daily calamities I spring upon them such as falling over in the dining hall or locking myself out of my room. I really don’t understand why people continue to put up with me. Hopefully if I continue to receive this amount of support I just might just make it out of America in one piece.