Thursday, 29 September 2011

Craaaaaazy English People & Booze..

Well, I took a shower just now and am starting to feel better.

How did I land up like that? Answer is simple: English people & booze.
After writing yesterday, I decided to do a bit of reading because I am seriously not on schedule with that. Problem is, it's actually too hot over here! Even while sitting in the shade I felt like I was being cooked on both sides.. Not very comfi.
With that failure to do something useful, I completely gave up for the day.

Then, at 18.10 sharp, Simon & Joe arrived to guide me to Saffron. Joe's a really cool guy, like Simon, so that was great =) Only my handicap became apparent during dinner. While everyone was talking and having 3 conversations at the same time and megging/trolling/rassing and do on, I felt so foreign! It is a really weird thing, to notice that even if you do speak the language, you still don't master it.
Dinner was veery good! Incredible how good Indian food can taste like =)

Then on to a pub, called The Swan & Castle just next to Oxford Castle. Got my first lessons in ale and must say that it's better than what it looks like. Met a lot of people, like I can't even count how many. And they were all REALLY AMAZINGLY COOL =D So yeah, had a great time talking with everyone. By the way, it's so cute when English try to speak French wit zizz rreallie funniee aksent. Anz zen zey akt az if it iz verrrriee goet!
There was actually one guy who really spoke good French, was quite amazed since he had no French blood in him. Then, another friend of Simon doing Classics (yeah, sounds boring and dull, but he trully is not in a paradoxal way) is actually going to study at a college here close by!
A lot of the people are going to Cambridge though, saying they want a new adventure and try something new. Fair enough, but why leave the most amazing city ? They'll only get disappointed.. 

But the story doesn't stop there. We went to Cellar to continue. Imagine that all those English people keep on ordering drinks and all, of HUGE proportions. It was crazy, no other word for it. But it was actually really fun. Long story short, had an amazing night and a look at the student life in Oxford.

Today it is totally too hot again. Unimaginable! I really feel  like I'm melting outside. So I haven't figured out yet what I'll do the rest of the day. Probably visit the Ashmolean Museum and try to get on with some reading. No, changed my mind. I'll settle for finally reading, and then later I'll try finishing the assignments I need to do before term starts.. Not really interesting, so probably won't hear from me for a couple of days. Need to reorganize a bit and get back on track.

Have fun, and lots of luck for all those who already started studying! (I really like saying that =))

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Little Basterd Invasion!

The past two days I have finally gotten over the "Oh my God I'm in Oxford" feeling.
Yesterday I spent doing research to find my fellow Biomed students, and the one I found on facebook do seem to be very nice. Reassuring, since we are only 40. At least the people with whom I'll spend the coming 3 years with are cool =)

I also went on a biking tour along the canal (I thought..) but got hopelessly lost and ended up on in a beautiful park, just next to the Botanical Gardens. I saw a squirrel, just wandering about and looking for nuts. I, thinking it was special, started to make a looooot of photos.After 15 minuntes or so, I decided to go on. Turns out, squirrels are just as special as joggers in the park.. They are literally everywhere! Very funny to see them busy trying to dig in their reserves for the winter =) They are not at all bothered by people walking by, allowing me to get pretty close to them.

Then, when I wanted to head into town for my mobile phone, and I was walking towards my bike, I suddenly remembered that my key of the bike was still in my room. As I was heading back towards my staircase, I fumbled in my pocket to get out the BBKK (Big Brother Keble Key, essential, life is not possible without it) to become aware of the fact that I had forgotten to lock my room, and left the keys on the outside of my room. What's the problem then? Well this is: There's another door between me and my room for which I need the BBKK. In short, I locked myself out..
Too embarassed by the situation, I started to look around for a student to help me out. Nope, everyone gone around 4 PM here.. So I needed to head to the porter's lodge and humbly explain the situation. Luckily a 3rd year student escorted me.

Today I got up, and thought I might try jogging in the University Park. All set and done, I went. Beautiful, lovely in the morning and very nice. Jogging just ain't my thing.. Next time I'll just take my book. When back, I took a shower and when I entered my room again (bathroom is in the room adjacent to mine) there suddenly was a window cleaner! So I quickly took some clothes and disappeared into the bathroom again.

All dressed, I headed into town to look for a giftjoke to buy for Simon (it's his b'day) And Boswells is THE place to be =) When I returned, I came across Marisa. She's a 2nd year Medicine student at Keble. She was just on her way to the market. " The market? You mean covered market? No, a REAL market!" They actually have a real market on wednesdays =) Marisa explained a lot and showed some nice spots, a lovely Fairtrade shop which is impossible to find if not a local and a good bike shop (deffo a must for me =P)
Just got back, now I think I'll just get my book out and read in the Hayward quad with a view on my room =) The first time I take my book here, but I'm predicting there's many more to come!

Tonight : dinner at Saffron (just love the name =)) followed by an evening out under the guidance of Simon & his friends.

That's it for the moment!

PS: I took photo's, as soon as I've figured out how to get them on this blog, you'll see them =)

Monday, 26 September 2011

My home =)

Hey everyone!

Another post already, now that I still have time I try to tell as much as possible. Tomorrow I want to make pics so that you can get an idea of what Oxford's like and a few nice spots I already discovered.

First of all, I visited the Bodleian Library with my folks and sis before they left. It is really an impressive building dating back from the 15th century. (completion in 1488, 60 years of construction, they kept running out of money..) Lots of history, and a beautiful setting. And I will be allowed to use books out of there to study =) It's really a must see. The tour started in the hospital of Harry Potter. Then we went into a Welcome room where Parliament came together during crisis in London (The Plague and stuff) and I got to sit in the accused spot. That's where students who misbehaved or didn't pay their tuition fees were summoned and punished. Basically, the accused sits in the middle in a kind of cage while the judges are far higher looking down upon the poor thing.. Above, there's the actual library. The books are chained so that no one takes them away. It's quite huge, and smells like wood everywhere. Just next to the Bodleian is the Radcliffe Camera (not named after Daniel, but after John Radcliffe) This part of the library is actually more pretty than that it's useful. A very good study area though.

After that I had to say goodbye and was left to enjoy Oxford on my own. In the afternoon I went to do some grocery shopping (to put in my own fridge!) and bought a kettle (you see, I'm adapting) Then my very cool diagonal neighbour Simon offered to show me Oxford. We saw a loooot of places. I really liked the meadows (forgot the name) and there's a beautiful path alongside the canal. I'm gonna explore that sometime. And actually, Oxford isn't huge at all. It's the nicest, charming city I know of. Simon, as a real Oxfordian Englishman, sometimes uttered real Oxfordian english slang. Luckily he is kind enough to explain them so that I won't look like a dork everywhere I go. Back in my room I made my first tea! In plastic cups, but hey, it was tea =) Then, Simon tipped me a very cosy and good Spanish restaurant.

Next day I got up quite early. The gardener was trying to get all the apples out of the apple tree, which proved to be quite difficult. It was hilarious to see =) Then the brushing man came. It's a whole morning ritual here to take care of the grass. Got up, bought my gown, mortarboard and black ribbon at Shepherd & Woodward (turns out I've got a huge head..) and visited the Museum of Natural History. That's really great! They've got these stuffed animals at the beginning with signs saying "Please Touch" Very soft furs of Shetland ponies or leopords. There's also this impressive collection of dinosaurs and fluorescent stones =) (Really cool to see =)) As I was strolling along High Street, I suddenly saw a cute little church, and there was a very good concert of Schubert, Liszt and Chopin. One of the most beautiful I have heard. ( I was the only listener under the age of 50, but it was well worth going)

I've discovered the one thing that is cheaper in England than in the Netherlands : McFluyrries are only 99 pennies. As a student I will make use of that fact =)

So, tomorrow I'm gonna set out on a touristic walk through Oxford, and maybe bike along the canal and take some pics. Also of my room ofcourse;)


Sunday, 25 September 2011

Yeeeey! I finally arrived and I live "on my own" =D

Hey everyone!

As I mentioned a few times, I wanted to keep up a blog so I don't loose all the contact with you.
I only was too busy with all other kinds of stuff to actually do it.
But now that I am finally here, there's plenty of time! (for 4 days I mean..)

So, the packing was crazy. I wanted to take far too much. But how are you going to be able to decide what to bring to your future life? Impossible..
After a lot of packing, testint (just bought a laptop) and repacking the car started to be filled. Halfway through, I noticed that a bag was still full self-made jam which had exploded during my adventure back from the vineyards.. Great start..
Finally everything was set & done around midnight.

At 4.30 in the morning we got up.. In the end everybody wanted to get a look of Oxford, so it would be a family trip. After looaaaads of difficulty to get everyone IN the car, we finally took off.
Sis & I went sleeping. Mum&Dad were driving.
Before I knew it, we were already at Calais, checking in. We stopped for a well deserved caffe latte and drove into the train. The train transport is incredibly fast! I hadn't noticed that the 2 other times with school..

When we went out of the tunnel, we were quite amazed. It was actually good weather, with the sun and everything! But we still needed to travel another 3 hours. ON THE LEFT. Sometimes quite scary..

Arriving at my college (Keble) I went to the porter to ask for the key. And O my god.. I was staring at the face of Ron Weasley! With the most british accent I EVER heard.. All my courage sank to the bottom of my socks (probably not an english expression)

When I first got into my room, I only saw my view. And it is HUGE & PRETTY =D I've got this couch on which 2 people could sleep, and a huge desk and a fridge and a looooot of space for books =) My room here is double the size of the room I got at my parents..
Ofcourse I had forgotten something, I wouldn't be me if I hadn't. But this time I really screwed up.. I left my wallet with ID, money, cards and stuff in the bag which I repacked the last minute..
Thank god I also have a French passport!
Again, it's not my fault. It's in the genes. My sister already lost her phone at the cafe in Calais.

After 3 hours or so I was settled, and we went into Oxford a little bit. It was already after 5 PM so shops and attractions were closed, but it stays an amazingly beautiful city. Then we had a lot of trouble finding a spot in a pub, they're literally full. You can't even get in. Everyone is drinking or eating on the tables, next to them, on the counter, in the air.. They are too popular.
Finally found a spot luckily and enjoyed the good pub food and drink. I had my first Pimm's, and I sense that there are many more to come =) They are reeaaaally good!

Today I am going to visit the Bodleian Library and then I think I might do some shopping (gown, kettle) I'm gonna take it easy, and probably continue the loads of reading I need to do.

That's my firt blog! I'm going to try to update it regularly. You all enjoy studying and partying! And I see you soon =)

Marielle @ Keble College