13 October 2011

Thursday Throwback: Oxford 2007

Way back in 2007 I was going to school for my masters degree and dating Albert.  I went on a two week study abroad to Oxford, UK and while I was there I decided to blog about my adventures on MySpace.  Since I no longer use my MySpace account I figured I'd better get the posts I wrote and put them somewhere I actually use and so they won't get deleted from inactivity.  I will break them up into three different posts because there is a lot of material here :)  You can find the other posts here.

Jul 21, 2007
Oxford -- Day 1
Current mood: tired

Well, I made it to Oxford! My flight was actually pretty good.  I fell asleep pretty quick after I got on the plane, I even missed the snack, which is unlike me since I seem to have an unexplainable fear of starving to death on a plane.  Luckily there wasn't anyone sitting next to me so I was able to stretch out a bit.  I slept pretty well for me, probably got a good 3-4 hrs in. I got through customs and onto the Oxford bus with no problems and even got off on the right stop.  It took me a bit to find a taxi but eventually I got one and found my way to my friend Jenny's house.  I took a lovely shower and she kept me awake by taking me downtown to run some errands.



I forgot the all important tooth brush, luckily British Airways includes that in a little packet they give you, but I wanted a full length one so I bought one at Boots and after a bit of searching I also found the book I'm supposed to do my 2nd book report on (it's due next Monday and is 500 pgs so I wanted to get started on it). I couldn't find it in any book stores in the US and ordering it would have taken too long.  I looked up some bookstores in Oxford this last week to see if I could find one here that might have it, but had no success.  I did email back and forth with a manager of a store here and he said he could order it for me, but it would take a week.  It was funny cuz I went into that same book store today (unknowingly) and asked the man at the counter for the book and he asked if I was the person who he'd emailed. Crazy to talk to the same guy who I emailed in DC here in Oxford.  I took the guy's suggestion and checked a book store up the street and they had a used copy even so it was cheaper.


Oxford in the rain

It's pretty cold here and really rainy. They are selling scarves on the streets and everyone is wearing coats. The city itself is very quaint, Harry Potterisque.  Everyone is pretty obsessed with Harry Potter and there are books everywhere.  It reminds me a lot of Italy and I'm sure Jenny is already tired of me droning on about it.

After we went to the grocery store where I bought an obscene amount of digestives (to take back...geesh, I'm not going to eat them all myself, today anyway), a few Mueller yogurts and some black current juice, Jenny and I went to the LDS church to help out in a children's activity.  I had to be in a play about loving one another.  Luckily I only had two lines, which I was horrible at because I'm exhausted.  I'm really trying to stay awake as long as possible though.

Cheers!

---

Jul 22, 2007
Oxford -- Day two
Current mood: cheerful

Everything is going well.  I made it to my dorm after church.  I'm sitting here at my little desk drinking black current juice (it's very popular here).  I'm so excited because not only do I have my own room but I also have my own bathroom and they are both clean!  Immediately I put all my stuff away and blew out my i-pod speakers -- apparently I needed to use my voltage converter after all.  At least I have my laptop.  

This morning I went to church with Jenny and that was good. I walked back to her place alone cuz she wanted to stay for choir practice. I ate her peanut butter and honey and bread and packed up my stuff.  I took a cab to my new home for the next 2 wks.  The cab driver was new and had a hard time finding the place and I had no idea where it was, but he didn't charge me for the time we spent looking for it.  I'm still not sure if it's customary to tip cab drivers since yesterday he drove off w/o one, didn't seem like he expected one, and today he seemed surprised when I added one.  So I don't know.  After I checked in I got a little lost trying to find my dorm and ran into the teacher for my program.  He helped me find my dorm and even carried my very heavy bag up the stairs, I felt bad, but very grateful.  Everyone has been very nice and helpful.

I have an orientation and dinner tonight that I have to dress up for.  I'm still trying to get used to the time change.  I have no internal clock that tells me about what time it is...I can't even guess w/o looking.  It's a beautiful campus and the weather has been sunny and pretty warm...like a nice spring day.

 ---

Jul 23, 2007
Oxford -- Day 3
Current mood: cheerful

Hello!

Well, today has been the most exciting thus far.  I didn't get much sleep because the pub going folk came back around midnight and broke out a bottle of wine and were talking in their loud drunk voice right outside of my paper thin walls.  Finally I went out there and they apologized and went to bed.  Hopefully it doesn't happen again tonight.

During breakfast I sat by an older couple who are at Oxford researching for the book they are writing about the leaders who have influenced the Middle East including kings from the UK down to Wolfowiz.  Sounds pretty interesting.  It'll be out next year.

This morning we had class and learned all about the history of the EU. It was pretty interesting.  Our guest lecturer couldn't make it into town because of the flooding so hopefully she'll come later on this week.


For lunch we went to a pub and I had fish and chips.  The food was okay, but the conversation was good.  Afterwards we went on a tour of Oxford, mostly of the University.  I took loads of pictures.  It was fun.  Then I stayed downtown to check out the stores.  I bought more scarves even though I had decided not to buy anymore, because it's been cold enough to wear them and they were fairly cheap...for here.  If you think about the prices in dollars it's like everything is on sale, but once you convert them to being twice the price everything seems ludicrously expensive.



I went to Lush -- where they make handmade cosmetics out of all natural ingredients and I actually did come out with some soap that I bought (I'm a little primadonna with my face wash and like all natural ingredients if I can help it) along with a bunch of free samples that are quite large.  The store clerk really hooked me up with shampoo, conditioner and hair treatment.  I stayed there long enough.

Then I ran into a guy from my program randomly and we had dinner and went to the grocery store.  The city is small and quaint.  I really like it. It's fun. Expensive, but cool.  It would be fun to be here during term.  There is so much tradition, it would be cool to go to school here.  Don't worry I'm not planning on it...yet

2 comments:

kimi + joe said...

You certainly had quite the experience and I remember being jealous for those two weeks :) I think it's wonderful to record these snippets of your life.

Andi said...

How fun! My sister and her husband lived in Oxford for a year while he was getting a master's degree. I was lucky enough to be able to visit for 2 weeks and fell in love with it.

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