Monday, January 5, 2015

Oxford 2014 Part 1: Mirror Dimensions and Jet Lag


     Ok, so I guess it's time for me to do an actual post series about my trip to Oxford. The reason it's taken me pretty much six months to get a post up about this is mostly because its taken me to this point to put pictures from the trip on my computer... like the lazy bum I am.

     I'm 90% certain that I have no photos from the airport or from the plane ride, mostly because my goal was survival at that point (yep, I checked, nothing from airport through day one). 9.5 hour plane rides are not fun, but I can use my words to describe the start of the trip!

     Ok, so a week prior to leaving the group that was going to Oxford met up to have these discussion class things. We s had to read eight books prior to the classes and write rough drafts of papers for each book. I repeat rough draft essays for each book. Needless to say I turned in maybe a page for each one. I liked most of the things we read (That Hideous Strength, Brideshead Revisited, The Wasteland, Ballad of the White Horse, The Four Quartets, Idea of a University, Julius Caesar, Silmarillion, and The Great Divorce, so 9, actually), so that was ok. Then we spent, like, eight hours for several days (and by several I mean 2) talking about the books before we left. I cross stitched most of the time, so that wasn't as bad as it could have been. 

     After our class meetings we had to go home and pack things. It is amazing how much you can fit into a carry-on if you try hard enough. Of course I ended up bringing way more than I needed and I thought I was packing light! 

     Bla bla bla we made it to the airport, and then got on the plane, and we were off! I don't mind flying that much, but I just have so much trouble sleeping on flights. Luckily they had in-flight entertainment, so I was at least mildly entertained when I didn't sleep. I say mildly because the movies I picked were far from fantastic. Rio 2? Not that cute. I think I also read some, but honestly it's a blur. I was so tired and the food was so gross, and I was so tired, but we made it eventually.

     Touch down in England was fairly uneventful. We took a bus from the London airport to Oxford. You can get pretty much anywhere by bus. It's amazing. The drive was a surreal experience, mostly because I hadn't slept in more than twenty four hours. I was really struck by how normal England looked. I really don't know what I was expecting it to look like. It's really hard to remember this first day, because, if there's one thing you need to know about me it's this: I need to sleep, I need to sleep a lot. When I don't sleep horrible things happen. But I was looking at the trees like 'we have those in America. Trees. What kind of a place is this? Grass, you're not so special are you? It's the same. Their highways are backwards American highways with loopy loops. What kind of a sick mirror dimension is this?' I'm pretty sure I said some of these things out loud because people kept giving me weird looks.

      The next thing I remember is that we got to Oxford late in the morning and went to a restaurant to get brunch, and honestly everything went downhill from there. I got eggs benedict (which you should never do when you first arrive in a foreign country, never, when you are already exhausted, get a dairy product). After that I thought I was dying. I have never had jet lag before, but it was the most miserable experience I've ever had. I was so tired I felt like throwing up (and I did... several times). My whole first day in England was spent in and out of consciousness in the semi-darkness of my room thinking things like 'I wish I were dead. Why did I ever come here? I'm going to die and they'll have to ship my body home and what a waste of 4,000 dollars. I wish I wasn't here. Blech.'  I'm not really sure what everyone else did that day. Explore I guess. Oh well. It was a great beginning to my England adventure.

     Anyways, that's the story of how it all started. Tired, sick, and miserable. Don't worry though, it gets better. I'll return soon with part two of my globe trotting adventures, this time with more pictures!  

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