Going Back On My Word

October 3, 2008

So, I pledged to myself that I would not sink to that most insipid of levels, the persoal diary blog-post, but I find myself unable to avoid it. So…

I arrived at London Heathrow about… oh… 42 hours ago (a very good number). I staggered in a daze through Heathrow until I found the Central Bus Station, where I boarded a bus (my bank doesn’t charge to convert money when I pay with my card!?) to Oxford, and sat in a daze, listening to the most energetic music I could find. A few Sarah Lawrence people were on my bus, but none of us were even coherent enough to acknowledge each other. Finally we arrived at Oxford. I snagged a taxi from the bus station, and made my way to Wadham College:

Where I picked up my keys. Sort of. I got back in my cab and we drove a block before I realized he was still holding my keys. He was mortified. David, nice guy. I hopped in my Cab and made my way to my flat in Iffley. The cab dropped me off “next door” at 263, but I couldn’t find 265 for the life of me. I tried to go to the next house, but discovered it was a car dealership. Figuring I couldn’t possibly live in a car dealership, I walked past it, to the next house. Sadly, that house was 279. I wandered back and forth and asked directions from a half dozen passers-by. I live over the car dealership. The view from my front window:

Yes, it is over a car dealership, but you know what? that means no downstairs neighbors to piss off when we throw parties! And the apartment is smashing. View from kitchen window:

So I moved in, met my room mates and headed to the pub. We got lunch at a fantastic pub called either the General Arms or the City Arms, depending on who you asked. “We” meaning “Ashlinn, Mary, and Me.” We talked about our excitement about finally being at Oxford, and how we could easily see living in the General Arms (as I choose to call it). We got phones. The pound is harsh 😦

Bed, after a little unpacking. ALL day, we had meetings. A fantastic man named Alan Chapman showed us all around the college, and delivered an original one and a half hour lecture COMPLETELY EX TEMPORE, and I mean REAL ex tempore. It was unbelievable. Did you know that there was a man named Richard of Wallingford who invented a clockwork device that showed the movement of the seven known planets accurately? And kept time for 200 years? Yeah, he died of Leprosy at age 47. That’s a snippet of Alan Chapman, approximately 0.1% of the info in his lecture. He rocks my socks. Also, he’s ONLY accessible by note (he doesn’t read e-mail or answer his phone).

So, he talked for a while, the Chaplain came and talked (No separation of church and state here, folks! Queen = Pope? cool!), the Warden (read: president) of the college came for a while… A few other folks. The most common joke was about how “England and the U.S. are two countries divided by a common language” (a Geore Bernard Shaw quote, although some people seem to disagree). We had lunch together, and then we headed back to our flats to get ready for dinner (lunch actually happened before Alan Chapman – whoops!), which was a formal affair. OH! I almost forgot. I got pulled over by the cops. On foot. I found a “Men At Work” sign (a man with a shovel and a pile of dirt), and, thinking it would make an excellent living room centerpiece, I snagged it. The cops spotted it, and stopped me, telling me to “pull it over to the side.” They questioned me, and I explained that I was looking for a bit of roadwork to whom I could return the sign (it WAS in fact totally separate from any possible roadwork). They let it go, and we continued on our way; we looked for some roadwork they had suggested, but couldn’t find it. We joked about how silly it would be to explain the whole story to OTHER cops, if they stopped us: so… some cops already stopped you, but told you to give it to some workmen… who you now can’t find? riiiiight… Finally, we found an EMPTY sign-stand, that perfectly fit our sign. Seeing it as a sign (HAR HAR), we stuck our Men at Work into the slot, and left, laughing merrily all the way.

So we arrived at dinner (woah segue), had white wine with our tutors and the administrative staff of SLC in the old library. Chatted with a financier, met my tutor in Ethics, and just generally had a good time, and two glasses of wine (start counting).

Then we moved to the dining hall, an unbelievable and enchanting old gothic hall:

Chatted with a Serbian PhD candidate in History, and David, from before. He’s rul (it means really) nice. We finished a bottle of wine together, and each had another glass over and above (that’s a total of four at dinner, for you all keeping track, not counting the aperitif).

THEN we went to the bar. Very nice time. The Bar is located WITHIN the college. Gotta love a legal drinking age below the lowest regular age for attending university. We sat around, I met a number of fantastic Oxford students (and Colin, the bartender), and had a scotch and a bit (half?) of a pint of guinness. Plus two 😉

THEEEENNNN we went to a pub around the corner. I skipped the alcohol on that stop (too expensive – 3.5 pounds a pint? ew). Bonded with some SLC guys, met a crazy Irishman. I wonder if they are all crazy, in some way ( the Irish, that is). Finally, Mary, Ashlinn and I walked back to our flat in Iffley.

We say around and I drank another three units of scotch (Mary didn’t want to finish hers), and now I’m writing this. No, I am not drunk 🙂 Gotta love food AND liquor.

So that’s the last two days. Hope y’all are doing well. COMMENT!

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2 Responses to “Going Back On My Word”

  1. Chris Says:

    Dude that sounds awesome! And yes, all Irish people are crazy. That is a proven Newtonian fact, discovered by that distinguished physicist shortly after gravity, upon witnessing an irate and heavily inebriated Irishman succumb to the afore mentioned phenomena.

    Those pictures are great, by the way. I’m so glad you’re out having fun in old England, and that you’ve been meeting such cool and interesting people!

    What are your roommates like?

  2. thehamp Says:

    They are… Good! I actually like them all, although I was reticent about at least one of them when I first heard who I was living with. No worries, though, it all worked out well. I’m living with one of my closest friends here, so it’s really good in that respect.


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