YFU Switzerland

What happened until now

I’ve written blogs about the school in England and the arrival camp. But I haven’t written anything about the things I’ve done here outside of school.
When I arrived in Leighton Buzzard, we had about 2 weeks of holidays. Those 2 weeks were a good opportunity to get to know my new family and the place I would live in the next 10 months. While we didn’t have school, Asha (host mom) showed us the way to school and back. A few days later, Alina (host sister) and I walked to the centre on our own to explore the shops and stores in Leighton. We were lucky with the weather. Until now it has rained only a few times. 
One day, Asha took us to the doctor to get us signed in, in case of emergency. After that, we went to a pharmacy because we had to buy some things. Standing there, I saw a pack of paracetamol. 16 tablets cost 49 p. That’s crazy cheap!
Every time I walk past a restaurant I stopp to look at the prizes. A meal costs about 5-8 pounds here. That makes about 7-10 Swiss Francs. And in supermarkets like Tesco, food is much cheaper than in Switzerland.
I’m in heaven. I don’t know how often Alina and I have gone to Tesco on our way home from school to buy food. My new favourite treat are the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I absolutely love them!

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The dark chocolate here doesn’t really taste like dark chocolate but more like milk chocolate with a bit more cacao than usual…

I can proudly say that I haven’t bought anything from the school cafeteria yet. I always take a sandwich, carrots and an apple with me. The “bread” they have here isn’t comparable to the bread in Switzerland. But it’s alright.
Most of the students don’t take lunch with them. They buy it in the cafeteria. 

A typical school lunch:
A bought chicken/ tuna/ ham sandwich and a bag of crisps (chips). Yes, people here eat crisps for lunch every day. Often they also buy something to drink, like a coke or Dr Pepper. All in all it’s not very healthy.

Close to Leighton Buzzard there is a big town, Milton Keynes (MK). In MK you can find almost everything. I don’t understand how it’s a town because it’s really big. There is a huge shopping centre, where I have already been quite often, three cinemas, IKEA, many other big shops like Primark, H&M or TK Maxx and a lot more.
Now let me tell you about my favourite store in the shopping centre:
The cakestore! Doesn’t that sound great? Well, it is! I don’t know the name of the shop but it’s really cool. I have never seen such a food shop before. The portions are HUGE and still the cakes don’t cost a lot. They sell cookies as big as plates and enormous donuts, cakes and much more. Here are some pictures:

On the pictures, the cakes and cookies don’t look bigger than usual, but they are!

The first time we were in the MK shopping centre, Alina and I bought one cake each. It took us 4 days to finish them because it was so much – and we had a lot of other good food to eat, so we were never really hungry. 

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Kids paradise in MK shopping centre

On a weekend, some exchange students close to us got together in MK. We wanted to go bowling, unfortunately we didn’t think of making a reservation, so we decided to hang out in the shopping centre instead and went eating later on.
Another day we went to the cinema to watch The Incredibles 2. I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of The Incredibles, but it was a nice day! Different to food in normal shops, the food in the cinema was very expensive. Almost twice as much as they ask for in Switzerland! (Who would have thought that that’s even possible?)

Have I already told you that my host mom is vegetarian (!) ? I was really happy when I heard that. Alina isn’t vegetarian, but she manages :). Asha makes delicious food. Since she’s Indian, she often cooks Indian food and it’s soo good. The first few weeks, she always prepared seperate food for Alina and me because she thought it would be too spicy for us. It took a lot of tries convincing her that we actually could eat spicy foods, before she served us the same food she ate herself.
One of my favourite things she makes, are chapatis. On the picture, you can see the fried version. Chapatis are simply made of chapati flour (wholemeal flour would also work) and water. Yesterday, I tried making them myself and they turned out good, except they didn’t look as nice and round as Ashas. And they taste so good together with curry!

 

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Ashas Indian food: lentil curry, chickpea curry, cauliflower, rice, yogurt sauce and fried chapatis

Family is very important to Asha, so while we still had holidays, Asha’s niece and her two kids came to visit us for some days. Also, Asha’s daughter came. It was nice to meet Ashas relatives. They are very open and welcoming. 
Another thing we did was signing up for the gym. Asha, Alina and I go to the gym a few times a week and until now I like it. Aside of the gym, they also offer a swimming pool and gym courses, so it won’t get boring. Because the gym is right next to the school (10 metres away from the school gate), a lot of students go there.

Since I have quite little lessons, I don’t have a lot to do. I went to talk to the head of the sixth form and she could arrange, that I may leave the school for one hour three times a week to go to the gym. That’s only possible because I took PE as a subject, so Alina and the other students aren’t allowed to leave. But the only time the absence of students actually shows, is when there is a fire alarm. So I see students leaving the school without permission regularely and I found out that it’s not really a big deal.
I’m not in any sports club or other club yet, but if I find something, I will definitely do that. Also, a lot of the students have part time jobs, so I kind of would like to do that too. But I think the organisation doesn’t allow it. 

School has gotten better and I got used to all the different things. I found new friends with whom I feel more comfortable spending time with. They are more like me and are really kind. 

I think that’s all. 
Thanks for reading:)

 

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