Sitting in My Window

July 5, 2007

I am sitting in my window seat with the windows wide open. The first thing I did to my when I arrived here in Oxford on Saturday was flip desk around so that the window seat could be my desk chair. Behind and three stories below me, on High Street, drunken Americans are celebrating Independence Day by trekking several blocks in either direction to bars offering 1L Budweisers in honor of George III’s failure to subdue our unruly predecessors.

Bah humbug, I say. The last four days seem to have been packed with maybe….two weeks? worth of stuff. I did go down to the University’s beer cellar and see the “disco” that the College planned on our behalf. Summer students from UVA and Emory were there, too. Yes, you read that right: the University beer cellar is owned and run by the university. It has cheap beer and mixed drink, pool, darts, and a great jukebox. I pop in a 30pence piece and turn on “Gangsta’s Paradise” every time I go in there. You know how I do.

I was only there for about 20 minutes, which really was more than enough for me. As with anything, cute pictures were taken. But the 4th isn’t my favorite holiday anyway, especially here in England…though the British PA’s and every club ever seem to be able to take a good joke today. One good note: the closing song was a (moving? slurred?) rendition of “Born in the USA”. Go America.

I sit here with the window open most of the time just to listen to the noise of the street. There are a lot of tour buses and people walking around. It might sounds hectic and maybe annoying, but keep in mind that there are no horns, loud music, or bad smells- things you might associate with Houston’s busy streets. Do apartment windows on Westheimer in the Galleria area open at all? If the rain was not so unpredictable, I would leave them open at night to listen to the soothing melodies of drunkards singing British pop songs on their way home.

I love it here. During the day the streets are really busy, especially Cornmarket, which is the main shopping street and is closed off to traffic. Busy Streets in Oxford But it is actually relaxing to walk around alone amidst all the hubbub and let the sounds just wash over you. If you slow down a little and actually look at the people around you, it is pretty fantastic. Like America, Brits come in all colors. I try not to be, but I am always surprised when an Asian person opens their mouth and a British accent comes out. Likewise with black people (I keep having to catch myself and not say “African-American”). The there are the many tourists here, largely from Asia and Italy for some reason. They clog the streets with their matching red backpacks and hats.

Psshh. Silly tourists.

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