Topic: Life in Cambridge
Ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
Today my topic is “life in Cambridge”.
? Have you ever dreamed to live in a totally different country? Have you ever heard Cambridge in the United Kingdom? It’s a famous university city and a small beautiful town. It’s famous because of Cambridge University and because of 徐志摩 who has been punting there. From his poems, I was eager to study in Cambridge. Last year, I had this chance. For improving English, I think it is the best way to study in a native speaking country. I quitted job, packed luggage, and flew along to a totally strange country. I believed that there is noting would be worse than terrible English food and weather; however I was wrong. In my first month, life was not as easy as I think, because learning how to live in a new country has plenty of challenge. The food, the language, the climate are all strange and new. You’ll feel out of place in your new environment.
? The food was terrible for me. Living in Taiwan where is known as delicious food, the worse food I can image is just instant noodles. With totally different diet habit, I couldn’t eat anything in Cambridge in my first week. I couldn’t bear cold sandwiches, beans, potatoes, and fish and chips anymore. If you had them for constantly three months, you would agree with me. I have to admit that English food is not very changeable. You won’t have too many choices.
? The language was a big challenge. You would not image how poor English I used, if you don’t know me. Actually, before I went to England, even a kindergarten child would understand better than I did. The first trouble I met is when I got Heathrow (Airport), I couldn’t find the person who should pick me up. I try to find him but I didn’t know his name; even though I did, I didn’t know how to ask announcement. Because I couldn’t meet the man, I had to ask to change money for calling the language school. I had to use English but I didn’t know how to do so. I try to use body language and the simplest words to get coins and to call language school. It is terrible if you couldn’t communicate with others.
? The climate was so cold. Before I went to England, I have heard about bad food and rainy weather of England. I thought the weather might be cold but not so much since I would arrive there in April. The fact is that the day I arrived whose degree is only 6 degree is the coldest day in my whole life. I have never been such a cold day in Taiwan. Consequently, I got a cold immediately. The cold weather was continued until June, while the weather in Taiwan was so hot that you wanted to have some ice cream.
? The most terrible experience I could remember is that I have to go to an interview and the university is far away from Cambridge. I decided to make a small trip and asked a friend who could go with me. We decided to stay at Manchester for first night and she would go for football game and I would go to Lancaster by myself. When we arrived at Manchester, for saving taxi fee, we decided to go to the hostel by ourselves. We had already booked a hostel before we left Cambridge. However, we got lost. We could not find any taxi then, even I had to pay twice money, and I would like to take a taxi rather than to get lost. Unfortunately, we went into a dark, strange lane. There are many cars driving around and around slowly. At first, I just felt strange, and think how terrible speed-limit is. Why they are so slowly? And when they pass-by us, the drivers looked and smiled at us. Finally, we found the answer. Just near us, a call girl dropped off, and we looked at each other. I almost cried out when I realized she is a call girl. It is my first time to see a call girl. Then I realized that those drivers were trying to find a call girl so that they needed to drive slowly. The fact was too terrible for me to continually walk. My friend wanted to comfort me and told me that it’s all right. She said “I have been to New York and the city is bigger than Manchester. I could be fine there and so do we here.” It encouraged me a lot and we finally went back to train station. We got a taxi there and I believe that I wouldn’t save any money for taxi when I arrive at a city first time.
? It would be interesting to live in a different country if your mind is well-prepared, even though the food, the language and the climate would be totally different from your own country, you could enjoy. I believe that I wouldn’t forget the adventure I have in England.