I’ve only had one panic attack about this whole going-to-grad-school-in-London thing. Ok, it’s more like 2. 2+1. So, the total number of panic attacks I’ve had about this whole going-to-grad-school-in-London thing is 3. I swear. The most current one was right before I packed my bags and got on the plane, because Jenn sent me a text with a link about UCL. The link?? This year’s school rankings…with UCL ranked #4…one above Oxford. The whole “ranked number 4 in the world” part didn’t freak me out, it was the “ranked above the University of Oxford” part that had me breathing into a paper bag (but I didn’t have a paper bag around, so I grabbed the nearest plastic bag. Biiiiig mistake). Here’s the link to the website to prove I’m not lying: www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2012
Anyways, that crazy introductory paragraph was supposed to segue into what I did this weekend. (I went to Oxford. Wasn’t that obviously implied??) People…I have found my next place of residence, after I’m sick of London…although that might never happen. It is SUCH an intoxicating combination of ancient buildings, incredible history, and modernity wrapped into one cozy English town. Plus, I am really very strange because I happen to love old cemeteries, and dragged Jenn through several of these on our trip today. I find them peaceful; it sort of feels as though comfortable spirits are floating around, grateful that people are still coming to visit them. Sometimes I worry that, 100 years from now, no one will know that I existed. But knowing that strange girls will be taking photographs of my grave in an attempt to capture the serenity that lies between headstones is strangely comforting. Headstones and cemeteries aside, I could go on for days about the reasons why I fell in love with Oxford today. But until I can find the words that truly express how I feel without being sarcastic and incredibly witty, I will save my descriptions.
As a side note/tangent, I have always been jealous of Rick Steves and have been trying to devise a way of copying him while still being original. This latest attempt is the “Kobi Penland Guide to Not Being An Obvious Tourist”…it’s a working title.
1. Do not walk around with maps. That is the first clue to being pointed out as a tourist: you clearly have no idea where you’re going.
2. Bring a friend who carries around a map. Because, let’s face it-you’re a tourist who has no idea where you’re going. But, since you are a devoted fan and are sticking to step 1, you need to be sly. (Jenn has no idea that I never have any idea where I’m going…I’m that sly at being a non-tourist)
3. Bring another friend who actually knows how to read a map (Jenn is making me put this step in, even though Jenn is the friend that I bring with me that carries the map. Jenn knows how to read maps. Jenn also knows it is VERY obvious that I have NO idea where I’m going).
4. Never join a walking tour.
5. Rule #4 can be amended if walking tour is free, and the tourguide is incredibly cute and funny. Then you are allowed to bypass this rule and flirt with the tourguide.
6. Don’t drop lines that sound like, “You need a muzzle” when the cute and funny tourguide is walking right in front of you.
7. Do NOT insist on walking in the front of the walking tour, and stop every 5 seconds to take photos. Ignorant Americans curse you for this, and make a huge deal about you being a a-hole. (I was totally THAT American)
For the moment, I will leave this incredibly helpful guide at 7 steps. Your reward for reading through my advice are these little tidbits that I either overheard (Oxford is supposed to be an amazing academic setting, right??) or said. I feel a little dumb for the things that I said, and was shocked that Jenn still wanted to go to dinner with me once we got back to London.
“They are the same, but Jesus gets less visitors.”
::Russian accent:: “Do you like Joe Pesci??”
Jenn: “My nose is cold. They should invent something that keeps just your nose warm.”
Me: “They do, it’s called a muzzle. You need a muzzle. I’m actually surprised you’ve never made me wear a muzzle. That would be the best Christmas present ever! Don’t actually get me a muzzle.”
Tour Guide: “A muzzle?? Are you really talking about a muzzle as a gift?! ‘You need a muzzle.’ That is so funny that I’m going to use that…I’m going to write that down when I get home.”
Me: “Holy sh*t, Jenn!! I’m getting published! In the same town C.S. Lewis got inspired!!”
Jenn: “Please don’t encourage her…I’ve been trying for a year and a half to avoid feeding that frenzy.”
See what happens when you read through my tidbits?? You get rewarded with GEMS!!
So, earlier this week my amazing family put the link for my blog on their site, teamfricke.wordpress.com. Which was incredibly sweet of them!! But unfortunately, opened the door for me being on the lookout to embarrass Aaron. He had made a comment that he loved Oxford, and especially loved a pub in Oxford. But he was too drunk at the time to remember the name of this pub (I might have made up the “too drunk to remember” part). So, to reciprocate his generosity of complimenting me/basically telling me he was proud of me, I made a conscious effort of finding his beloved pub for him. Aaron, are any of these them??
Let me know if I was of any help. Alright, everyone, next post I will add some legitimate photos of this week, but I took 218 photos in a matter of hours. That’s not really that surprising, but I need to go through and pick out my favorites, as I feel WordPress won’t let me add 218 photos. Until then, haverim sheli, I bid you adieu.