Lisa and I can hardly wait. We are pumped to go to the United Kingdom! Being together to make lifetime memories–SWEET!
We are starting our time in Scotland, United Kingdom for 5 days before our London and Oxford Advance officially begins. Lisa is part Scottish and may call herself a Scotty on occasion. Our free Hampton Inn Hotel by Hilton (Gold membership has its privileges, or I just travel a LOT whilst my employer pays for rooms whilst I reap the rewards)will be in Edinburg, Scotland! We will take the train all the way from the London airport and will NOT rent a car when we get there (trying to walk a lot, or cheat by taking the occasional Uber). Among other sites, our Edinburgh itinerary includes:
Edinburgh Old Town
Royal Yacht Britannia
Royal Botanic Gardens
National Museum of Scotland
Reading Culture Shock! Great Britain by Terry Tan is and will be very helpful. Going to this island across the pond, although English speaking, is going to be insightful and adventuresome. I am thankful for the practical advice and helpful tips on all things British. Now if I can just remember my manners from previously reading The Culture Map: Decoding How People Think, Lead, and Get Things Done Across Cultures by Erin Meyer where it was stressed, “You have two eyes, two ears, and one mouth and you should use them accordingly.”  Basically, I think the advice of Tan in this week’s book will be extremely helpful, “Mind your manners! Learn how to behave as a guest.” 
How about the English language, I wonder how much we will struggle understanding the colloquialisms–thankfully Dr Jason has already helped break the ice of special use of the REAL English language. Rubbish, bonkers, using s’s instead of z’s, losing the sound of t’s, and hearing the phrase “thick as planks” (yep, that is me. Not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree). I must admit some confusion as to the meaning of “nerd” meaning ungainly, rather fumbling and incompetent, a term of abuse.  My son is proud of being a nerd, but probably not in the same sense. I sometimes chant a phrase about nerds that goes like this, “That’s alright, it’s okay, you’ll be working for a nerd someday.”
I read with interest the chapter on “The Very Proper English Tea”  I actually changed my lifestyle after visiting both Cape Town and Hong Kong. How did my lifestyle change? I still pause each day for “high tea” and I believe it is a great practice for reducing stress and connecting with people close by. My life is admittedly too rushed, so this lovely tradition helps calm my nerves and slow down the unrelenting pace.
I wondered what this book would say about religion in Great Britain. Gratefully, the Church of England and its members called Anglicans were prominently discussed. “High Church”  was wonderfully addressed, as was the rising tide of secularism. It breaks my heart to hear of the magnificent buildings being well preserved in magnificent testimony, but typically serve only as a tourist attraction. I felt the author was fairly honest about the state of Christianity in the United Kingdom. I am not sure how the Queen is the head of the church, but I desire to avoid being judgmental. All of the UK needs Jesus, and hopefully there are more and more folks willing to talk about salvation rather than focus on the 18,700  ornate church buildings which have to be constantly maintained. And yes, we will watch every episode of The Crown before we arrive.
I understand later we will be reading more in depth about Oxford by author Paul Sullivan, so I will close the remainder of this non-academic (is that okay?) blog with Cultureshock! London by author Orin Hargraves. The cosmopolitan bustling city of London is going to be special for our eyes to behold. But to be honest, if it is at all like other big honking cities much of our time will be spent in traffic! This Montana boy is not used to that since I moved away from Denver, CO.
My background is in the sports world, so this was a fun place for me to investigate in our book. Amateur and professional clubs are prevalent, and I remember several of my college basketball teammates playing for professional teams in the UK, although the game of international basketball is a little different.
Here is where I begin to show my glaring ignorance–Cricket! I don’t get it, but I understand it it is somewhat of a religion there.  Could we see a game when we are there? I certainly hope so. I would even pay cash for the privilege, (and us Dutchmen do not easily part with our cash for games we do not understand).
I certainly respect English “Futbol” and believe me I understand how the Premier League is tops in the soccer world. I became more interested in Rugby after Cape Town (by watching the great sports movie about Mandela and the Springboks and by touring the nearby stadium on my time off).
Snooker madness  is not a game or tournament I am familiar with, but Wimbledon tennis is an international magnificent spectacle.
The only problem about reading these books is we can’t go for a few more months. Did I say we are pumped to go?
 Meyer, Erin. The Culture Map: Decoding How People Think, Lead, and Get Things Done across Cultures. New York: BBS Public Affairs, 2015. 26.
 Tan, Terry. Cultureshock! a Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette. Kindle Ed. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Editions, 2008. Loc 1382.
 Ibid. Loc 4368.
 Ibid. Loc 3356.
 Ibid. Loc 679.
 Ibid. Loc 665.
Hargraves, Orin. Cultureshock! London. Kindle Ed. London: Marshall Cavendish, 2006. Loc. 3358.
 Ibid. Loc 3413.
Both Images taken from Netflix.com