Where the Rational and the Religious Go For a Pint
Why I have been busy:
-Shittons of coursework deadlines that I think I keep in the back of my mind but when they arrive seem to have come out of nowhere
-Reading Thomas Pynchon’s “V.” in one sitting (NOT THE RECOMMENDED DOSAGE!)
-Trying to cure my homesickness by going out on too many dates (NOT THE RECOMMENDED DOSAGE)
-Not leaving the house and instead watching terrible tattoo reality shows, forgetting I live in fucking England and could be doing way cooler stuff. Ostensibly.
A whole month ago, I did go on a day trip with the other international students to Cambridge. It’s about one and a half hours from Norwich by bus, and the first thing we did was split up into different tour groups, getting first to see the iconic view of King’s College, with coos inclusive!:
Our tour guide was an older gentleman who walked way more quickly than our tour group, which mostly comprised us lazy, non-walking Americans. We suck so bad, am i rite, all of Europe? Psyche, we re-elected Obama, you like us again. Tour Guide made only one allusion to how Cambridge is better than Oxford, and I was impressed with his reserve! As far as I know, we don’t really do much in the way of inter-collegiate pissing contests here at UEA, but I think I’ll arbitrarily start one with NUCA. You hear that, NUCA? You guys are good at art but not as good at fabricating climate change research! BURN.
We moved onto my favorite part of the tour, which was a quick visit to the Wren Library at Trinity College, which contains early Shakespeare folios, notes for Winnie the Pooh, and 12th century manuscripts. We weren’t allowed to take pictures and our visit was limited to five minutes, but I didn’t mind, because if it means the better preservation of rare books, I’m going to be a grateful fuckin’ nerd about it.
While I found Cambridge to be stunningly beautiful, certainly more picturesque than the UEA, it’s a small city that couldn’t accommodate the amount of tourists pounding the streets, and if I were a student trying to get my work done and get around I’d be pretty annoyed that people were gawking at me and coming into buildings that are only supposed to be for students and getting in the way of my bike. I got in the way of SO MANY people’s bikes.
We stopped at several buildings of historical significance, unsurprising considering the caliber of intellect associated with Cambridge, but I found myself irritated at the repeated celebration of Watson & Crick and how they “discovered the structure of DNA at the Eagle Pub” without even a passing mention of Rosalind Franklin.
I finished the day with the requisite punt trip down the River Cam. Since I got in line by myself I was put with a couple, and I felt sort of bad for them that they had to have their date ruined by a random American girl. Luckily I couldn’t ever ruin anything as bad at the punter did!
Our punter (I LOOKED IT UP, THAT’S THE RIGHT WORD. IT DOESN’T JUST MEAN THE CLIENT OF A LADY OF THE NIGHT), about 5 minutes into the tour, threw up off the side of the boat. And apologized profusely. Wouldn’t even be a big deal if he hadn’t then gone on to yell at every other punter on the water for being unprofessional. He yelled at a young (and “fit: in both the English and American sense) shirtless punter because “no one wants to see that”, he told all the amateur punters they were doing it wrong, and generally made things much more confrontational than necessary.
He knew a lot about Brutalist architecture, though!
I think I could use a return trip to Cambridge when it’s less crowded to get a better sense of the whole town, but generally it was a good day to narrowly avoid being barfed on in this gorgeous medieval college town!