For the longest time, I wasn’t sure what to write about. I could have written about the disillusion I associate with American football or the experience of walking down non-pedestrianised roads just to have a bit of time in the sun. I could have gone on about the differences in teaching style or the obsession with Chick-fil-a.
But now that I’ve left Baton Rouge, there’s only one thing I wholeheartedly want to write about: the people who made my semester abroad more amazing than I could ever have hoped for it to be. Thanks to these people, I left Louisiana in tears.
I wanted to write about the things we did together that made every day wonderful, but for most of the people, the truth is that we just sat at Highland Coffees and did crosswords. There have been a few trips – to New Orleans, Abita Springs, Mandeville, Hammond, Houston, Memphis, and a few places in Baton Rouge – but if I’m being honest, the relationships themselves are what I want to talk about.
So what I’ve decided to do is write wee thank you paragraphs.
In no particular order, here we go.
Carlee was one of the people who helped me discover the city at the start of the semester. Aside from ditching the other internationals to go watch football, we didn’t spend all that much time together, but I enjoyed every moment we managed to fit in. Thank you for everything, Carlee. I hope you enjoy the rest of your year here.
I met Rowan before we came to Baton Rouge and if there’s one thing this girl can do, it’s tell a detailed story. Other skills include getting mono in record time and drinking drinks with fresh fruits. We went to a gig together and it was amazing. Stay weird, Rowan. Enjoy the rest of the year and come find me on Bath Street in 2017.
I managed to meet these two weirdos before they set up somewhat permanent residence in New Orleans. We went to Memphis that one time and it was fantastic, even though I had to steal a jeep the first night. We haven’t seen each other much since, but I did spot them in New Orleans, which was pretty cool. Good luck with whatever the plan has evolved to at this point.
Leslie drives a cool car and likes to take detours to show just how cool said cool car is. I have no complaints. She’s always something indisputably funny when we send tag yourself memes in the group chat and I think that says a lot about who she is as a person. She’s the night time squad member you don’t realise is a night time squad member until you see her in the daylight and catch yourself thinking what the [frick]. You can always count on her to interrupt drunken sex so you can go to the bathroom, which is an excellent quality to have as a person. I’m not sure that scenario’s vague enough to be relatable, but oh well. I hope I get to see you again, you overflowing glass of champagne. Good luck with everything.
Yes, the caption says Daddy. Yes, there’s an explanation. No, I’m not going to share it. Daniel is a tree and he once told me I weighed “all of four pounds” so I like him. As I’ve told him (and everyone else) a million times, I didn’t know we were friends until one day he told me he was going to miss me when I left. I regularly kick his ass at Words With Friends and I feel a surge of pride every single time. He is also secretly a dragon, but I don’t have video proof, so you’ll have to take my word for it. He likes to carve things from wood and for that reason, we have a group chat called Daniel’s Wood. The name is the funniest original content I’ve ever generated. Thanks for taking care of us all. Have fun reading the pretentious literature you love for the rest of your life.
We met at a tailgate and forgot about each other until we lucked out and met at Highland Coffees. I’m not religious, but if I were, I’d thank an unspecified divine force for that place. Ben is the reason I’ve managed to remain my deadpan self over the course of this semester and that’s something I’ll always be thankful for. We’ve been disillusioned with life together the entire time we’ve known each other and I have to say, it’s great to be able to share that with someone. Makes you look like less of a pessimist. It’s just a fun activity if it’s shared, right? Ben can’t wait to become a naturalised American and somehow not owe British banks money. I hope you manage to enjoy next semester even though I won’t be there to talk about Thatcher and Buckie.
Jon and I go on walkie talkies to buy cigarettes (for him; I mostly respect my lungs) and spew random Arabic words and phrases at one another because we can. We also take moon selfies aka. selfies taken through toilet rolls, which is dumb, but I’m dumb, so I love it. He’s my Main Sushi Pal, which isn’t a weird euphemism for anything, it literally just means we go buy ridiculous amounts of sushi together on a somewhat regular basis. Did, I suppose. Ouch. His room was sadder than mine (and that’s really saying something), but he gave me honey when I was there. OH MY GOD that’s not a euphemism either. This is getting weird. Thank you for all the amazing hugs, I’m going to miss them more than I can say. You’re an actual teddy bear. And apparently, according to me, also a donkey.
Brandon is, in his own words, “basically a human funnel” and as someone who has witnessed the funnelling in person, I can confirm. He’s good at taking selfies in which he looks terrible, which is impressive because he’s hella cute. He has a septum piercing that I accidentally kicked a volleyball at a couple of days after he got it done. I’m not sure why he doesn’t hate me, because it looked like that hurt quite a lot. I made dinner for him once because he doesn’t spend his money responsibly. Then I quietly asked if I could do the dishes because I’m a strange person who apparently likes to do the dishes. We sometimes both wear flannel. His avatar in the group chat is John Krasinski and whenever I see it, I have to remind myself that it’s John and not Brandon. You’ll always be the king. Of what, I’m not sure.
Amber’s Australian and nobody in America ever gets her name right on the first try. Then when they do get it right, they insist on saying it in an “”Australian”” “”accent”” which always makes for a good time. She’s good at distancing herself from the drunk version of herself, who’s prone to doing inexplicable things. She knows what I’m talking about. She’s also good at drinking copious amounts of coffee, which is a skill I didn’t develop until I went to Baton Rouge. Sometimes she says five sentences in a row that can all be misunderstood and it’s fun to watch her dig the hole deeper and deeper. We’re good at finding the cheapest drink deals and bumping into each other at traffic lights. She somehow managed to start somewhat enjoying American football and I’m impressed. I’m so glad our goodbye was really just a see you soon.
Jeanne is an actual Disney princess, who often flawlessly raps a song nobody expected her to know. She likes dark roast and cigarettes and she can’t wait to move to Europe some day. Her eyelashes are impossibly dark and lengthy, so me and my short, blond lashes are indescribably jealous of her. She always gets to sing the girl part when we sing Tangled and Frozen songs, because her register is higher than mine. Gender stereotypes are real even though gender isn’t. She always looks cute, even after her infamous all-nighters where I’m not sure she actually accomplishes anything other than watching the sunrise. She’s incapable of looking bad in photos and I envy her for that as well. You’ll always be my Rapunzel.
This is Grace who likes pepparkakor and Caroline. She’s good at makeup and being athletically competitive when she’s drunk. I’m amazing, so she’s decided to uproot her life in Baton Rouge and follow me to the United Kingdom next semester. We’re going to wreck Glasgow (more than usual) on a frighteningly regular basis and I can’t wait. I saw her clean her house one day and I’m still not sure if that was a dream. I sleep at her house a lot, so it might just have been a dream. I’ll never know. She looks cute in a beanie and likes to say things like bye and mcfreaking. Sometimes she likes frat boys, but she’s gay in the dark. Every time she says “It’s fucking funny!” she says “Red. Orange is the New Black. Season 1. Episode 2. 41:26.” I can’t wait to see you in Europe.
Last, but the furthest thing from least, Anna. She started learning Danish a couple of days after we became real friends and briefly tried (and failed) to convince me that it wasn’t because of me. She orders too much food and forgets to eat the leftovers. She can wear anything and pull it off, which is impressive. Other special skills include being as sappy as me and coming up with impressive double entendres. We watched The Prestige together and she almost figured it out before the reveal, so that was pretty cool. Gravity doesn’t work on her, so she’s easy to pick up. She made me mochas before we became friends and she only spilled them 75% of the time. Now she pours my flavoured roasts perfectly and refuses to let me pay for them. I miss your midnight eggness. See you in June.
That’s all, folks!
If you’re not included in this blog post, but feel like you should be, rest assured that I most likely agree with you. I just didn’t have a bad/silly photo of you.
Thank you to all of you for co-writing this phenomenal chapter of my life.
I’ll smile like an idiot every time I look back on my time in Baton Rouge.