Alright, let me see. I didn’t write down the things we did or the events we experienced the last few days, so the exact recollection and chronological order is a bit hazy, but I’ll try my best to come up with them, in an order that makes sense.
The last few days were characterized by exploring Deal and a bit of the region around Deal. Deal’s a nice town which shares features with where I come from, the sea for example. Deal has a lot of restaurants, bars, pubs, and other places which attract both tourists and ‘Dealers’. Deal has a kind of fisherman meets pub-hanger meets cozy family vibe to it. It has nice architectural features like churches, an old theatre, and old pubs and little alleyways; touristic attractions like an arcade hall, lots of restaurants, and hotels; but also offers a place where the elderly and youth come together to spend life and be British (or wherever you’re from or whatever you are).
We went out for the first time the night of Saturday on Sunday. Without knowing which places are popular among the younger Dealers, we went into center of town where most pubs and bars are located. After following some people our age (not creepy at all) and asking someone which bars and clubs are the most popular in Deal, we went into a bar which was nice and packed. At this bar, we met three guys who resembled the English versions of the three of us (Paul, Steven, and I), which was hilarious. The Three Musketeers: Brit version. They told us that Deal’s boring and we shouldn’t have gone here. Of course, we would say the same if folks from abroad came to our hometowns, but that aside. Most people going out here are from Deal, some of them from the smaller towns around Deal. Afterwards, we went to another pub, where we had some more drinks and went on to a club formerly known as Rivals. I think it’s the only club in Deal, which explains everybody going there and even though almost everyone was there, it wasn’t really crowded.
The guys and I were of the opinion that the English here don’t really have ‘the moves’ on the dance floor. Now, I don’t want to say (or offend any Brits) that I’m a smooth criminal, but I do know how to move it to both the left and right – which, I must say, is quite hard to master – instead of only going left.
The days before that, we did some sightseeing in and around Deal. We walk a lot each day. Walking to Sainsbury’s alone is about 1 mile (bit more than one and a half kilometers). We walked to Sandwich Bay yesterday or the day before that, which was about 10 kilometers. My feet were killing me, also because I went for a run earlier that day. On that: I picked up running again. Going for a run again tomorrow, which makes it my fourth time already since we’re here. It’s a nice way to see something of the area and become fit, which is positive as well!
I walked on Deal’s pier, which was nice, but it could’ve been better if the weather was more cheery. All in all, most days were cloudy. We saw some rays of sunlight and we had some days with a bit of rain, but we can’t complain so far. No storms, tornadoes, or monsoons (yet).
Today we visited Sandwich and Ramsgate. Sandwich is a little town just north of Deal, in a bit of a Shakespearean style, which I’m fond of. Walking there had me imagining times back then at some moments. Wandering around in a long coat, with a top hat on, a cane in hand and a lantern in the other, solving crime and mystery. Not that everyone back then was a solver of mysteries, but I like to think so. A woman we encountered on the streets told us a place near Sandwich is called – really, not kidding you – Ham. That’s so punny.
After Sandwich, we continued to Ramsgate, which besides its cool sounding name is quite a big city. The whole city is kinda sloped, with the train station at the top and the town center, with its shops (we visited some of those), at the bottom. Ramsgate has a nice dock as well, with lots of boats, some yachts, and of course the liquid substance these objects can float on. Fun fact: it started raining and whenever I took off my hood it started raining again. Someone wanted to tease me.
To summarize: I’m pretty much settled in Deal right now. I’m familiar with the town; I’m even starting to recognize some people on the street (they won’t all respond to my greetings however. Have to work on that one, so that Deal is just like back home. I don’t think Brits are as fond of that as I am, however). Even though Deal has some similarities with where I come from, it also has a lot of differences of course, which is good, because getting to know another culture is quite hard when everything’s the same as back home.
I think I’m going to enjoy the time to come in England.