Back from New York and back to ‘reality’ again, or as President Harding said in the lead up to the 1920’s election, back to ‘normalcy’…weird. Nothing seems normal. Also, I rocked up to campus on Monday night after the baseball with four weeks until I return home! I knew this was going to be a slow week as I was planning to catch up on Uni work, try and not spend any money and be a bit boring for a while. I still managed to fit in some fun stuff, including a return to Ohio, which is too come.
Before I even start I wanted to say I never really understood why Frats and Sororities existed but my question was answered this week. I know that in movies all you see is big muscly guys and good looking girls running around with red cups, which to be honest is about 80% of what they actually are. However I was glad to see the work that one had done this past few weeks in raising awareness of Autism not only in the world but also in the local area. This along side, campus clean ups, community work and leadership programs my red cup swinging opinion of these organisations has changed over time. They through some pretty decent parties too. Great work!
Throughout the start of the week I caught up on all things Uni. I managed to get 100% for my second social justice essay after getting a 98% on the first one, in which I called for a recount. 100% of contempt against the current political establishment in the UK and their disregard for the EU 2020 intuitive to remove 20 million people out of poverty. It seems to be easy when you are proving that Tories demand a divided society. Easy. Oh, and I see there has been a General Election called today for June. Another five years of oppression for the working class? Can Scotland finally rid itself of Tory MP’s altogether? Can Labour bounce back, like Alan Partridge did after his Toblerone Addiction? We shall see.
On Tuesday Tim, Yannick and myself went over to the bar to catch up with some mates and sing a few songs. I chilled with a beer or ten whilst Tim and Yannick provided a perfect rendition of Eminem and Alex as always gave jaw dropping performances, this week of ‘Loveshack’ and ‘Born to run’. Excellent. Six or so pitchers or watery Coors light done we headed home. A Few conversations, in which I can’t totally recall led to my Thursday night fun. Olivia had explained that they were heading to Pittsburgh to stay in an AirBnB and head to a party a girl that they knew had ‘won’, at a bar in the city. With a spare seat in the car I headed on down with them. It was good to see Thomas and Bella as we hadn’t seen much off each other due to New York, studies and the sorts. We arrived in a student area in the East of Pittsburgh to a huge AirBNB with three bedrooms and beds everywhere. I was lucky that Ashleigh had brought me a blow-up bed as I just planned on falling asleep on the floor with the thickest carpet. Once everyone arrived, ten of us in total, we began to pre-game with some cans and listen to some tunes! A few hours past and we headed down to the bar in multiple Ubers. I really like the bar, ‘Howl at the moon’ it’s called, as they have a live band that play anything that is requested. I still remembered them from the last time we were in and this time they were equally as impressive. With perfect renditions of ‘Dammit’ by Blink 182, ‘The middle’ by Jimmy Eat World and ‘I write sins not tragedies’ by Panic at the Disco, I was in punk pop heaven.
This is also where we purchased our cheapest beers to date. Get ready for it…$1 Miller High life…Buy one get one free. That’s 50 cent (40p) beers. What! Now that I think of it I didn’t take advantage of it. I had around six beers, grabbed some chicken wings from seven eleven and we headed home around 0130. Good night!
The next morning, we got up, tidied the empty cans away and we were on the road by 11am. We stopped at McDonalds on the way so that we could fill up on Junk food and cheap coffee. The real trooper in this endeavour was Chloe, who slept most of the way home in the car, tanked a McDonalds and got out of the car when we got back to Uni at 12.50 and walked straight to her class and gave a presentation. Bravo. I enjoyed my ‘Large’ fries, cheeseburger and egg McMuffin. I accompanied this with a coffee and once again a ‘Large’ Soda. I would just like to make a point that no one needs a litre of soda when eating. Some might argue its unnecessary. Not my place to say. It was almost the size of my head too. Score!
Before I headed off on Thursday I caught up with Mabel, whom had been under the weather after having to get an operation on her gum and tooth. Sore one. I offered to go pick up her prescription from the pharmacy, which is around a 15 min walk away. My favourite part of this adventure was walking all the way there to be told that I couldn’t pick up her pills without proof of her health insurance, although she had been prescribed two days earlier. I had her passport, prescription signed by the doctor at the University and my passport. This was not enough it seems. I was then happy to be told, ‘This is America, we need to see proof of insurance’. This made me chuckle. I think that the pharmacist must have thought I wasn’t aware of this and I would be shocked. I should have explained to her the poverty I have witnessed since I have been here, the health inequality and contempt for the health insurance companies that make millions of honest hard working Americans, but I decided to say, ‘No worries, Il go get it’. If only I had my fit bit (RIP), I would have rinsed it that day! Four lengths of North Hall to the pharmacy must be worth something! Glad to say after a week of pain, tears, food deliveries (your welcome), Mabel is on the mend! We will be back on the cheap beers on Friday at the Yankees and Pirates game!
Weekend again and this time its Easter! I know at home we close the schools, some people get Good Friday and Easter Monday off, but not being a hugely religious country, Easter is about Chocolate Eggs and…well that’s it. At 7pm on Friday the whole campus shut down, including the dining hall. Mabel and I headed over to Subway, threw back a sub and made it into the student centre for the showing of Star Wars: Rouge One. Now I have already seen this film but that didn’t change my bodily reactions throughout. I love that film; it is so good. By the end I had sweaty palms and a sore back from sitting up in my chair for most of the final hour. Combine this with the new trailer coming out that day, It was a good day for the Rebellion. With Tim in West Virginia, with his lady friend (disclosure: she is a friend that is a lady, we haven’t had the chat yet) Mabel and I had to find something to do. We ate at the dining hall and planned a trip to the local bowling alley. I must admit this idea has been brewing ever since watching the Big Lebowski on the bus back from Detroit. I explained that I only play once a year on Superbowl Sunday and can throw the thing, but not to expect any miracles. We took the twenty min walk over to the alley/pizza place and got out sliver, blue and red kicks on. I went first and rolled the perfect strike. I must have looked hard as nailed to the one person eating pizza in the back.
Yes, we had the entire bowling to ourselves. After a few gutter balls, ones and twos, my appearance as a legend quickly diminished. Frist game – Greg 93 – 90 Mabel. Close, let’s be honest. Second game, I won, let’s just leave it at that. With the religious shut down in force It was a great way to spend a lazy Saturday! We walked home in the pissing rain and I went to write for the rest of the afternoon.
8pm rolled around and we hit up the International Club Sober Karaoke night! This sounds brutal but it was actually great fun. Everyone sang songs from their home countries and danced about like maniacs. I spent so long picking my song that I ended up not singing as we ran out of time. For anyone interested I was going to give a heartfelt and emotion rendition of ‘Don’t mug yourself’ by The Streets. We heard songs in Flemish, Japanese, English, Chinese, French and Korean. Highlight for me…Freezy Frank and Jordan serenading each other in a sort of Nelly and Kelly, R&B style sing off. Class!
After an early night after the sing song I was up at 9am to head to my room mate Jake’s parents’ house for Easter Lunch. This time I was even more excited to be invited as I knew how good the food, beers and patter was. Myself, Jake and Edwin, Jakes friend from Philly headed up to the supermarket to pick up some gift beers and then we were on the road. We arrived before Lunch and this is where the day got very exciting. Myself, Jake, Edwin, Jakes young brother Nick and sister Miranda competed in an Easter Egg hunt in their huge back and front garden. Now I have never done an Easter egg hunt before and had no idea what to expect. 140 eggs hidden in the garden. Oft! We lined up, burst of the mark on the word ‘Go!’ and fought for every last egg. After returning with around 20, myself come in dead last, we all sat in the living room to open the eggs and get the candy out! This is what I thought anyway. Hell No!
Every egg contained a dollar bill, two dollar bills or a yellow bit of paper with a number on it. Each number matched a prize that Jakes Mum had bought. These included lottery tickets, in which I won, gift cards for local food places, Starbucks, amazon and more. I couldn’t believe it. I can’t ever recall going to a friend’s house for lunch, getting ploughed with beers, having great food and leaving with almost $30. The hospitality I have been shown by the Miller’s is heart-warming to say the least. Being 3,600 miles away from home and family its displays of hospitality like this that mean a huge amount to me. Denise (and Brian), I know you are reading this so I just want to say thank you once again! I will never forget it! And Millers in general, if any of you are lucky enough to make it Scotland in the future, you know where I am! gives a shout.
Ok we are now less than three weeks until I am home. Pittsburgh this weekend, Toronto next weekend. It’s coming to an end so fast. Keep it locked.
What I am reading: Skagboys – by Irvine Welsh. (This book is never ending)
What I am listening to – Logic – Black Spiderman. *
*Everyone should listen to this song. It has great social commentary on race relations in the United States. The fact that this song has been described as ‘Controversial’, shows everything that’s wrong with this issue in this country. Great songwriter, great message.