Monday, 5 July 2010

short and sweet. 2

Oxford. Home to the polite, the educated and the very, very English.

I had decided before my arrival to the motherland that I was not going to be spending my last days as a solo traveller in London, as there is something about that city which I really don't enjoy. So it was up to Oxford and straight to my new couchsurfer upon arrival. A tall, gangly, pale, educated, bespectacled ENGLISH boy. Going by visual observations anyway. He was actually very cool and the one night I was planning on staying with him and his father turned into three.

I spent my days here wandering around the picturesque university city, visiting old buildings and English gardens and museums, cycling, eating scones with other genteel English folk and generally feeling unfeminine surrounded by all the gentle, proper, well-dressed Enlgish ladies. I also spent a lot of time marvelling at the ridiculous amount of importance that is placed on heirarchy and social class in England. Coming from Australia (and I met another couchsurfer from Germany who shared my sentiments) it is impossible to take class importance seriously and impossible to believe how ingrained into the culture it can be.

My nights were spent meeting new people, and learning new things. One of which was geocaching. Kind of an Internet based treasure hunt, it has been around since 2000 and seems to be quite a delight for procrastinators the world over, as according to Wikipedia (a most reliable source, as we all know) there are now 1, 114, 101 geocaches on the planet. Australians also seem to love it, but if you have no idea what I'm talking about, google it. It's way cool.
English father's day fell upon the second day of my stay, and since the English lad I was staying with lived with his father, we had a lovely father's day dinner together. I thought it was only polite to help with the cooking, as I was a guest in their home, but although my host was 23, he was only just learning to cook and hadn't really got the hang of it yet, I ended up being in charge of the kitchen. Which was actually fine by me because my bossy side tends to be on prominent display when I cook and I like to be in control.

Self-photography and reflection in the Oxford University Botanic Gardens.

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