Sunday, May 27, 2007

Writing on Buses

Bus Oxford to London, 11:53 AM Saturday

Oxford was gorgeous. I am so enthused about spending time in Britain after my one night with Martha. It was a good way to reenergize the batteries.

Luckily on the way in to town Martha decided to call me on the bus. I had tried to call her but my phone wasn’t working. She was there waiting at the bus station and made getting to her college much easier. Oxford is basically the grounds of Oxford University which is made up of 30 some very independent colleges. Martha goes to one such college which has about 150 students. Some of these students are completing their degrees which means the culmination of hell. There grades over the three years do not matter whatsoever. Only the scores they receive on these exams go on their diplomas – now that’s pressure.

I got myself put into Martha’s room and we went for a walk through the university parks and then down to the Thames to watch some Oxford rowing. Nothing more typical of Oxford past time than watching some crew on the river. The rest of the town is really calm and quaint. The buildings are short, lots of parks, flowers, and trees. The streets are narrow and traffic is minimal so it has a really nice feeling. Something completely different than London.

Then came dinner which was all too fitting. Dinner is a sit down formal meal where you sit at a long table in a very nice dining hall. Waiters bring the food out to the table and then you get served out of some very large dishes. Friday night was curry night and the whole college eats together in the dining hall.

After dinner, Martha and I along with two South Africans went to the park to play some frissbee. I’ve met a lot of interesting people over the last week and these two guys did not disappoint. Phil spoke a fair bit Afrikaans and some click languages and Ben had traveled to places all over like Buenos Aires, Uganda, etc.

Phil, Martha, and I headed for the Turn Tavern, Phil believes it’s the oldest bar in the world. It does have one wall though that’s remaining from Roman times. There are also some plaques on the wall commemorating some famous Oxford alum. Like a former Australian premier who holds a Guinness world record for drinking a yard of beer in 11 seconds.

Not be out done, Americans are represented by good ole Bill Clinton. The plaque says it is alleged that the Turf is where Bill Clinton may have smoked but did not inhale an illegal substance.

After the last week of traveling I was pretty beat so Martha and I called it an early night around 10:30. She has a pretty bizarre schedule over here. She doesn’t have any regular classes but instead tutorials that might meet once a week or once every other week. They are incredibly individualized and mostly revolve around writing papers. That takes dedication. She has a paper on Milton due Monday and another on post colonial lit due Tuesday so I wanted to skedaddle before I got her too far behind.

Saturday morning at 8 we had breakfast in the main dining hall which included peanut butter. PB is so ubiquitous here I don’t know what to do with myself. Can’t imagine what it will be like to have Jiffy everywhere.

I also still can’t get over everyone speaking English. I’m used to trying to eavesdrop on Hungarian conversations but now its just too easy and uninteresting.

After breakfast we went down to the world famous Oxford Press bookstore. So many interesting books to read – I could have spent all day in there. Also a trip to the Oxford market before getting the bus to London. This bus has a little plug in by my feet so I don’t even have to use up my battery power while I enjoy the scenery. Some of the buses to London even have wifi. On the plane I was wondering what I was going to do with all my free time in London, but after reading my guide book – there is so much to see. I’ll be running from museum to museum during the day and cruising the city by night. I’ll be exhausted by the time that flight home on Monday comes to pass.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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