Life in little ol' Wales has been pretty good. Just getting ready for exams, first one today! Biomechanics, not too worried about it. The fact that I love studying for it has me feeling assured that I just may very well get a decent grade. As a study abroad student, I only have to pass, so no pressure... jokes. There's still pressure.
Yeah, I'm in a funky mood. Apologies!
So, what have I been up to? Unfortunately, not too much other than studying. I did get the opportunity to go to the Chester Zoo on Monday. It's supposed to be the best zoo in the U.K., and it was pretty cool. I do prefer the Fort Worth Zoo, but hey, what else can you expect from me? Gotta represent my hometown! To be fair, the Chester Zoo was way better than the Washington, D.C. zoo. The Chester Zoo had a wide variety of animals with bats, flamingoes, komodo dragons, elephants, giraffes, orangutans, you know, just a lot of the animals you'd expect to see. Tickets for the Fort Worth zoo are definitely cheaper ($12 tops versus 9.80 pounds for a student in a group, but 14 pounds for an adult not in a group), but from what I remember, I felt like the Fort Worth zoo had more to offer. It had it's Texas Wild! exhibit, a petting zoo, that awesome sea exhibit where I got to touch a pencil sea urchin, Boo at the Zoo, ahhhh the list goes on. (Here's the part where I admit I am desperately missing my lovely Texas, so I may not be the most unbiased judge). Anyway, Chester Zoo, they had a batcave where you walked into a cave that just had bats flying around (pretty awesome!), and then they had a similar thing for butterflies, but they just didn't have anything else that really stood out to me like the Fort Worth Zoo. Apparently, according to the Fort Worth Zoo website, the Fort Worth Zoo has been ranked in the top 5 zoos in the nation. Congrats to you, m'dears!
Ok, so down to the purpose of a zoo: the animals.
The Fort Worth Zoo houses nearly 7,000 native and exotic animals. The Chester Zoo claims to house 8,000 animals from 400 different species. Here's the thing: after exploring both zoos, I feel that the Fort Worth Zoo holds more variety in the animal species housed, and the Chester Zoo holds more of the smaller animals. For example, at the Fort Worth Zoo, I can see white tigers, lions, komodo dragons, crocodiles, buffalo, gorillas, different species of bears, the list goes on. They've also got a massive aquarium, penguin exhibit (the penguin exhibit in Chester was rather disappointing), insect exhibit, etc. In Chester, the animals didn't have as big of a pen to roam around in as in Fort Worth, and the exhibits overall felt smaller. The old saying is so true:
Everything is bigger in Texas!
No joke, everything is seriously bigger in Texas. Check out our jelly beans for starters:
I love these things so much.
Just to put it into perspective.
Just an example. Haha.
Side note: I JUST LOOKED OUT THE WINDOW, AND IT IS RAINING.
Welcome to Wales!
Anyway, back to zoos. I think where Chester reaches its 8,000 animals is in the bird department (and probably through bats and butterflies as well). Fort Worth Zoo does have a massive bird cage, but I don't know if altogether it's as expansive as Chester. You know what? That's perfectly fine with me. I hate birds. They are evil. To back up my outrageous claims, here are two articles from the most trusted source in the world:
My hate of birds may or may not also stem from being chased by a parrot when I was 12 years old.
So, the Chandrie Elaine Cook verdict? Chester Zoo is pretty awesome, but I gotta give props to my Fort Worth. I do think the Fort Worth Zoo is better. I know I probably didn't do a good job of comparing the two or describing either, but if you were to visit the two, I think you would come to the same conclusion. It's just something you've got to experience.
After the zoo I went with my incredibly awesome friends to Cheshire Oaks and we had dinner together. One delicacy of the U.K. that I absolutely love: mushy peas. However, I prefer them to not be made by James. Just saying. A little inside joke for Jordan, Jade, James, and Chris if they are reading!
Right, so one thing that's been riding on my mind lately: driving distances.
Yeah, Texas is huge. You can drive for 8 hours in one direction and still be in Texas, but at least you'll pass through a billion little towns along the way! Everything is so spread out here in the U.K. When going down the freeway in Texas, if you miss your exit it's no big deal because you can just hop off the next exit and turn around. Chances are you'll come across an exit within a 1/4 of a mile. Here, if you miss your exit, there's a good chance you'll be stuck driving for another 5-10 minutes to the next exit... not to mention the added time of turning around. It's ridiculous, and it makes me mad. Not that I'm driving, but still, I'm impatient, dang it! Ugh, and don't even get me started on petrol prices. I thought petrol (gas) was expensive in the States; it's actually more expensive out here in the U.K. When I left the States, can't remember exactly, but I think we were paying something like $3.20 per gallon of gas. Here they pay approximately 1.40 pounds per litre (I think). Ok, so, the American gallon is equivalent to approximately 3.79 British litres.
Basically, you pay $3.20 per gallon of gas in Texas. The equivalent of that, here in the U.K., would be $8.57 per gallon. It makes me want to punch someone in the face. By the way, if I've gotten this calculation wrong, please correct me! I do not want to be spreading false doctrine.
Life is definitely more expensive in the U.K. It's crap.
Well, I've procrastinated life enough. I need to get some studying done before my impending doom of finals.