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You alright, love

Almost all of the shops close around 5 or 6pm in Preston. On Sundays, it seems like everything is closed.

I ventured outside yesterday afternoon, braving the bitter wind, in search of something less pathetic to eat than the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I had been surviving off of. The campus and town streets were deserted. And as I took a right to explore a different part of town I hadn’t yet seen, I began passing closed storefront after closed storefront.

I’ve had a nasty cold since arriving in England, so my mission was to find a take-away as nearby as possible so I could hole myself back up in my flat, as soon as possible.

I passed a pub, and a 24/7 fish and chips and chinese joint, until I noticed a man walk into the tiniest little diner I would have otherwise completely missed. The place was cozy, served an all-day breakfast, and had lots of dishes that included sausages.

I settled on the tiramisu – probably the least English thing I could have ordered.

Noticing I had an accent, or perhaps taking pity on me because I looked like a wreck, the woman behind the counter and a man I assume was her boss began chatting me up: They let me try a bite, and it was one of the best desserts I’d ever had. Apparently the cook who makes the dish is authentically Italian.

Two colloquialisms I’ve had to adjust to hearing are “You alright” and being referred to as “Love,” the two often used one after the other.

The first throws me off the most: What is meant to be a simple “How are you?” gets me wondering how pale I must look if people keep asking if I’m okay. How do you respond? Do you say you’re fine, good, doing well, getting by, or simply by replying “Yes”?

Being called love is a term of endearment used, I’ve found, mostly by adults, and by both men and women. It’s kind of nice.

To my loves back home, hope you’re all doing alright.

PS – Hi Grandma.

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