If you are a book worm, I have found heaven! Hold the excitement, I need to get through the start of my day, before I get to the heaven part.
By the time that I finished the post for yesterday it was about 2 am here in England. My roommate’s alarm went off three times this morning and I went back to bed after each one of them. One at 7:30, one at 7:45 and one at 8:00. I did finally get up, but my roommate stayed in bed this morning. which was a shame because today for breakfast it was an egg over hard and bacon with a glass of apple juice. It was a nice change to the crescent roll. Growing up I only ate my eggs scrambled with maple syrup drizzled over the top. After the fist tentative bite of the egg I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I ate it all thought. I would cut a piece of egg and then chew it up with a bite of bacon. The bacon made up for the egg’s lack of flavor.
Spring is most definitely in the UK. Our room was almost warm this morning. This afternoon we had many little visitors on our window panes. I don’t know if they are Asian or German, but the little beetles that look like lady bugs, but are orange or yellow and smell bad when you suck them up with the vacuum, were mostly minding their own business. There was some adventurous buggies that decided to crawl on our beds. Their reward for their exploration was a flick across the room.
Today, I had my first class with Nigel Frith at 8:45. I found out that he has published some Epic poetry, and I would love to get a copy of it and have him sign it. There are nine of us in the class: Quests for the east and the past. Dr. Nigel divided the lecture into two parts, first talking about the quests for the past, then the east second. He brought up names like Heinrich Schielman, Sir. Arthur Evans and Sir. Mortimor Wheeler for the finding of the past. For the east he talked about Sir. Richard Burton, Sir. Max Müller, and Sir William Jones. Dr. Nigel so far has been the only teacher to actually assign homework on this trip. Thankfully we already read the texts before coming to England. He also wants us to go to the Ashmolean Museum before we meet again next week.
After class was over, I went back to the room and tried to catch up on the sleep I missed last night. I don’t think I reclaimed the lost hours though. Lunch today was a slab of ham, baby potato halves, carrot chunks and what I think was boiled spinach. All the calories I burn of walking around the city are coming back to me in these meals, they are so big. I feel bad because little me can only eat half of what they put on my plate. Mom, I ate the carrots, the potatoes and fought the gag reflex with the spinach. The ham on the other hand I took a couple bites and had to say I was done.
Right after lunch was Dr. Chapman’s lecture to prepare us for our first field trip. Tomorrow we are going to the City of Bath. The Roman’s adapted a natural hot spring into a bath house system that was open to everyone from slaves to Roman generals. However the Romans didn’t call it bath. They called the city “Aqua Sulis Minereva” which translated means: water deity Minerva. Minerva was a roman goddess of hot springs and before the Romans moved into the area the pagan locals believed that a deity made the water hot, so the name reflex both cultures. It is the best preserved roman sight in Britain and is second only to Italy when it comes to preservation of roman buildings.
The day was ours after that. At lunch my roommate heard of a football (soccer) game going on tonight that most of the Moorhead kids were going to. She decide to go. Seeing how it costs 15 pounds to get in to the game and you would have to take a bus to get there, I’m passing on this adventure.
Some people may be wondering why I haven’t named my roommate. Until tonight I hadn’t asked her if she would be willing to be mentioned and wrote about on this blog. I asked her if she was OK with this as I was face timing my mother. With that being said, let me introduce you to the travel buddy and roommate that I am sharing this trip with. Her name is Aimee. She graduated from the Bemidji High school and now has only one semester left at Bemidji State University. I’m sure now that I know she’s OK being written about, you will be seeing more pictures with her in them… that is if I can get her to pose for them. She like myself doesn’t like having our pictures taken.
But I digress. I got a little ahead of myself talking about our plans for this evening. I need to go back to the middle of the day after the travel Lecture was over. A group of students went down to the market street; some going to the mall others to the Market. I haven’t been to the mall yet, but the market had been the place that Aimee and I had explored yesterday. We were in such a large group that there were times that we all wouldn’t get across the street at the same time, leaving half of the group behind. My group got to the market in one piece and headed for a cookie shop that some others had visited previously. It was called Ben’s Cookie, I think. Here you could get a single decently sized and good tasting cookie for 1.4 Pounds.
As some of us munched on our cookies, I had a double chocolate chip, others went into a meat and pie store and bought their own snack. One guy bought a liver meatball and another bought a pork pie. I didn’t try the liver ball, but tasted the pork pie after we had warmed it up at dinner. It wasn’t too bad, but I think I’m getting sick of pork. After meeting up with two runners our group slit. I stayed with the male runner and his girl friend while the rest of the group got lost around a produce stand.
We all got back together again. And then we separated again. Originally we had one Moorhead boy with us, but he was soon joined by two others and they chose to stay in the market. The rest of us went searching for a book shop. we stopped in one looking for Dr. Chapman’s most recently published book: “Slaying the Dragons.” My classmates and myself included wanted to get the book and then have Dr. Chapman sign it. This first book store didn’t have it. So we tried another; this one was Heaven.
Blackwell was the name of this book store. Four floors jam packed with books. Barns and Nobel has nothing on this place. I could go in there and be content for a good three straight days, at least. Blackwell had multiple copies of “Slaying the Dragons.” Unfortunately not enough for the whole group. Three more copies are on order for those of us who didn’t get a copy today.
I hated to leave Blackwell, but I’ll have to go back there to get my copy so that makes things a little better. After Blackwell we tried to find the Alice in Wonderland shop that one of our group members stumbled upon earlier. He got us lost, but his buddy got us there in the end. This little shop is entirely dedicated to Alice in Wonderland. There were mugs, tea spoons, necklaces, toys, copies of the book and it’s sequel in the print and original Manuscript forms. I plan on going back to that shop and buying a copy with both books in it. The reason I didn’t today was because 1. I was low on cash because I couldn’t remember my PIN for the ATM. and 2. because there had been what appeared to be a Asian tour group that came in, making the little store very cramped.
Once we got out of the way of the crowd, what remained of the group wondered into a Tesco store. This would be England’s equivalent to to a Target or a Walmart store. I was feeling thirsty and picked up a bottle of Fanta. It was a different flavor than one you would find in the states. Unfortunately Frugal Fanny here found something better and she put the new Fanta back in its proper place on the shelf. Miss frugal fanny found the Tesco equivalent of Sam’s choice flavored water. She really liked it. For a 1 Liter bottle I paid 49 pence compared to the 1.25 pounds for the Fanta. Not to mention that this water was more than twice the size of the Fanta, and this water isn’t sweetened by aspartame.
Dinner tonight was a handmade burger and fries. Once again there was too much food that I couldn’t finish it all. Right after dinner, the Moorhead group left for their football game taking Aimee and one other Bemidji student with them. I went up to my room and started getting ready for my night. I had heard that some students were going to the pubs again tonight. I wasn’t going to miss the fun this time, so I tagged along.
We went to two different pubs. The first one was called The Turf and most of it was outside. This would have been fine if it hadn’t been raining and windy. Most dove right into their drinks, I and maybe two others didn’t have anything here. This is where things turn sad, at least for me. I’m not a big drinker and I’m a little reserved in my behavior. So when some of my group members start acting exceedingly crude in public I was almost embarrassed to be seen with them. I can’t even begin to describe their behavior other than it was loud and so inappropriate for the public that it would have made their Grandmothers faint. Being cold, on the outside of the conversation and not anywhere near drunk enough to make the select group member’s behavior acceptable, I wanted to leave and go back to Wycliffe.
Please don’t think of this as bad press for The Turff. I would love to go back there with better company and enjoy the open space with the rest of the locals. The reason I didn’t leave on my own was because I had no idea how to get from there back to Wycliffe. Walking in the dark would have been fine with me. Oxford is a very safe feeling city. The only crime you have to worry about is sneak thieves. The homeless may ask you for change but won’t stab you when you don’t hand over your spare coins and the streets are well lit. A very safe feeling city.
Eventually the part of the group that I was with decided to relocate to our second pub of the night, The Wig and Pen. I liked this one a lot better. This pub was more like a night club and it was completely out of the rain and wind. I even got a drink here, a double shot of rum and coke. This pub even has a live DJ Friday and Saturday Night’s. When we got there the place was pleasantly packed. Another girl and I secured a table on the upper balcony while the rest got their drinks from the bar. Our rambunctious group members had reigned it in a little bit during the walk over and I felt better about being seen with them. People seemed to accept me in the group more once I had the rum and coke in my hand. I was almost done with my drink when a group member offered me a sip of their scotch. I learned tonight that scotch is some nasty stuff. I don’t care if it’s twelve years old or older, the stuff is still nasty.
I left The Wig and Pen with three other group members. We walked back to Wycliffe talking about Gravity and Velocity and Cow crap. When we got back Aimee was still awake. Turns out that she and the other girl didn’t go to the football game and spent the night at home. Aimee and I talked over our plans for a trip to London on Sunday and our travel break to Ireland. I shortly Facetimed my family only to realize that my Project Proposal was due at 6 pm Minnesota time. Mom let me go and as I was booting up my computer to finish the proposal I realized that I had missed the deadline. Thankfully, I had gotten some of it done yesterday, but this still sucks.
Well, I turned in what I had and know that I’m going to be asked to rewrite it and will loose a weeks worth of points. In my tired state I want to say that I don’t really care at this point. I’m still going to continue blogging about my experiences here in United Kingdom. and if the teacher doesn’t want to give me points for what I do do, then FINE.
Actually this whole blog and other homework have me so stressed out that I feel like I’m failing to fully enjoy this once in a life time experience. Well that’s my closing rant for the night. Tomorrow I’ll be writing about the first field trip of Euro Spring, so don’t miss it. Good night.
In case you missed the Links
Heinrich Schielman: http://www.myrine.at/Schliema/schlieme.html
Sir. Arthur Evans: www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/196901/Sir-Arthur-Evans
Sir. Mortimor Wheeler: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/641690/Sir-Mortimer-Wheeler
Sir. Richard Burton: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/burton_sir_richard.shtml
Sir. Max Müller: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_M%C3%BCller
Sir William Jones: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Jones_(philologist)
Oxford Covered Market: http://www.oxford-coveredmarket.co.uk/
Slaying the Dragons by Dr. Chapman: http://www.christianbook.com/slaying-dragons-destroying-history-science-faith/allan-chapman/9780745955834/pd/955834
Blackwell Book Shop: http://bookshop.blackwell.co.uk/stores/oxford-bookshop/
Barns and Nobel: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
Alice in Wonderland Shop: http://www.aliceinwonderlandshop.co.uk/index.html
Tripadvisor, The Turf: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186361-d1977867-Reviews-The_Turf_Tavern-Oxford_Oxfordshire_England.html
Tripadvisor, Wig and Pen: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186361-d3929835-Reviews-Wig_Pen-Oxford_Oxfordshire_England.html