British Turkeys

I’ve started quite a few entries that never got finished. For some reason I’ve had a hard time writing blog-like since I got into academia.
If I start talking about the temporal aspect of transnational spaces or something ridiculous like that, feel free to throw a book at me.

I’m sure everyone back home is gearing up for Thanksgiving and dealing with family. I practically forgot it was Thanksgiving this week. Someone asked me recently why the British don’t celebrate Thanksgiving and I was kind of like… oh, I don’t know. Maybe because the holiday stems from celebrating surviving a new land that we ran to in order to escape persecution from the British? I mean, really. Doesn’t seem like something the British would too excited about. Though they do. We’re having a little expat Thanksgiving party on Saturday and the British folk seem really stoked about it. I suppose it is a cultural experience? It’s still hard to think about how my culture/society/etc. is actually different. If Australians and British are kissing cousins, sometimes I feel that Americans are that second cousin that you see every now and then but misunderstand enough to really get a kick out of gossiping about. (And visa versa.)
I attended a lecture today given by a professor from one of the Universities in London and probably about half of his lecture included references to either recent British history or football and I spent a good half of it thinking things like “Arsenal… that’s a soccer team, right?” and totally missing things like the significance of the location within London that Arsenal represents or whatever.
You never think about cultural context quite so much until you’re missing half the memo on things.

Anyway, I shall spend my Thanksgiving in the library writing one of my term papers on non-refoulement and extraterritorial application in the United States context.
People ask me how I’m doing and the short answer is I’m fine. The big things in my day to day life are not things people want to hear about. I spend a lot of my time thinking about things like the above term paper topic. The other term paper is even more obscure – the missing aspect of gender in literature on social remittances.
See, even from here I can see that your eyes glazed over.

My body rebelled against me a few weeks ago where it just started like, shutting down. I had no energy and a pretty constant stomach ache that was triggered by simply eating. And by stomach ache I mean it was bad enough that I considered staying home sometimes and I’ve always been one of those stubborn folk that goes to the office with the flu and makes everyone else sick.
This has happened to me periodically since high school or so and is usually associated with crap eating. And for me crap eating involves a lot of bread products. It’s not even that crap, just a lot of sandwiches and granola bars and such. So I did an experiment where I cut gluten out of my diet for awhile with the intention to reincorporate it on a healthy level and see if it was the gluten or the overall quality.
And holy crap, gluten is in everything. It’s doable to eat gluten free, but it’s in such sneaky things like soy sauce and soup.
It was kind of scary how much better I felt and how quickly that change was made. I’m now on the healthy level stage without any major stomachaches so I suspect it’s not a gluten allergy, but I doubt I’ll ever go back to eating bread on a regular basis. Within a day of my gluten detox, my energy was back, my stomach wasn’t hurting, my headaches went away, and my mood improved. It’s ridiculous how much of an effect our diet has on all those things. Sheesh.

Other than all that: Nothing much is new here.
The pubs have started this lovely seasonal thing of having warm mulled cider or wine and it is possible that my favourite thing about England so far is sitting in a pub with a glass of warm mulled (alcoholic) cider. So, if you must picture me, picture me in a pub surrounded by texts on my second glass of cider.
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

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This entry was posted in Grad School, UK 2011-2012 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to British Turkeys

  1. Roo says:

    Sorry to hear about the gluten thing. If you can find quinoa, I recommend trying that. Personally, I adore the stuff (and the red kind is even pretty!). 1/4 cup of quinoa with some assorted vegetables, chickpeas or kidney beans, and a peanut sauce is insanely delicious and lasts for a few days. Do it. Doooooo it.

    /end rant

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