Friday, July 8, 2011

Oxford: Day One

Hello! Did you miss me? I know I left you hanging with my, "I'm off to Europe!" followed by ZERO entries for three weeks. I truly wanted to write, and believe me, I meant to. However, it turns out it's quite hard to blog when you don't have a laptop. Obviously, I didn't think this plan through.

But, fear not! I'm back! It took a taxi, a bus, and one helluva walk to get me here but I have arrived in Oxford. I have stories to tell and even a few recipes to share if I can find the napkins and bits of paper I scribbled them on.

So, let me begin by saying that I have learned a number of things on this trip. The most important is this: I really need to learn how to pack lighter. The second: I was stupid for thinking that summer in America is kind of like summer in England, because, well, it’s really not.

I took a taxi from my Aunt’s house in Uxbridge to the bus stop. The grumpy cab driver left me across the street from the actual stop, so I was forced to drag my giant backpack, my little backpack, my duffel bag, and the lunch sack my Aunt packed for me across the busy road. That was a battle in itself. Three cars plowed through a massive puddle, leaving me completely drenched by the time I even made it to the bus. And to make matters worse, it’s cold here.

Luckily, Thom, the friendly bus driver helped me with my bags. Thom is a jolly fellow who wears his hair in a ponytail and speaks in an accent I can barely understand. He is from a town that ends in “shire”, which really narrows things down in this place. He hates London and doesn't really care for fish and chips. He loves Oxford.

“That’s Oxfords oldest buildin’.” Thom said as he pointed at an old tower on the high street. “Think it was built in 1000 or somethin'. Pretty cool eh?” (Please excuse my horrible and probably offensive effort to convey his accent.)

“Wow, that’s…older than America.” I said stupidly.

Thom didn’t respond.

To be honest, I was totally in awe of the incredible architecture and history before me. Oxford is beautiful, and it’s actually not very big. In fact if I had blinked, I would have missed the city center. It’s a quaint little place filled with massive stone buildings. Parts of the shop-lined streets are cobblestone. It’s everything you can expect, and oh so much more. Many people don’t realize that the university itself is made up of nearly forty small colleges, and each college seems to have a personality of its own. The quads of Keble differ from the gardens of Trinity and the grassy grove of Magdalen. It's amazing.

I finally arrived at the bus stop. The weather had cleared up, and thinking I would save a few pounds on bus or taxi fare, I figured that I would walk to my dorm. It seemed like a great idea at the time...

Lesson number three: It rains all the time in England.

I was a mere three blocks away from the station when it started to pour. I was tripping and slipping over cobblestones. My bags were falling down. I pulled my sweatshirt over my head only to end up looking like a giant gray pillow hobbling down the road. And after making every effort to avoid it, I fell on the street. My bags toppled over my legs, so I couldn’t really move. So there I was, pinned to the ground by my own luggage. The rain was pouring. And all I could think to do was eat my egg salad sandwich.

People were staring at me, and an old man actually patted me on the head as he walked by. I didn’t care. I had finally made it to Oxford, England. After weeks of sleeping on trains and buses and creaky hostel beads, I was here. By the time I finished my delicious sandwich, the rain cleared up. I gathered my things and carried on to Parks Road.

So yes, this was my first day at Oxford, England. Unpredictable Weather: 1 Megha: 0. But tomorrow I will buy an umbrella, find myself a map, and explore my new (temporary) home. 

Don't worry, I wont forget to tell you about Europe! But I think a good nights sleep is definitely a must for me. Sweet dreams!

1 comment:

  1. Megha! I love it. I love your voice. Keep it up :)