Goth Panda

Day One: Oxford 2008

I traveled to the U.K. in June 2008 on a combination work/vacation trip. I posted about it on my old group blog Population Five. Now that I am writing more about traveling at Goth Panda, I am reposting these here for thematic unity, and also because reading them reminds me of the trip. I want to go back! Anyway, that explains some of the dated references.

We arrived yesterday completely exhausted. The flight can be summed up in two quick sentences: There was an unnecessarily loud group of twenty-somethings seated all around us, and I did not sleep at all. Mike slept for at most 10 minute intervals before waking up. So by the time we landed, I had been awake (with only six hours of sleep on the previous night) for over twenty-four hours. Barb and Kris, I know you are planning to be ready for anything on Saturday after you arrive, but trust me. You will be ready for one thing only: sleep.

Through the foggy haze of the sleep deprivation, we managed to catch the train to Oxford from the airport. For Barb and Kris: first you must walk a million miles to get to border control. The lines there look long, but they move quickly. Then you must fetch your luggage. There is a convenient ATM machine near the baggage claim. Then you go through customs (Nothing to Declare), and follow the signs to the train station. They have vending machines for the tickets, and a big board that tells you which gate for the train.

The train ride to Oxford passed through countryside and towns and sheep, and do I remember anything more than that? No. Sleep-deprived. Finally we arrived at the train station and took a taxi to the hotel. Mike collapsed, but I had to go out and inspect the room for the conference. Then I too fell asleep.

We woke up at around 8 p.m. and went out to forage for food, because we hadn’t eaten since the flight. So now, starving and still sleep-deprived. We spent a while looking, and when we finally got to a pub that looked good, they had just stopped serving food. So we came back to the hotel and ordered room service. Mike got fish and chips and I got a Traditional Ploughman: bread and cheese with apples and celery and a pear chutney. We also got Coke with sugar, not high fructose corn syrup. Why does every other country get the good stuff and in America, we get the swill?

Also, we discovered that the sun doesn’t set here until after 9 p.m. Why? Different latitude? Daylight savings?




After that, we fell back asleep.

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