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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Oxford

In part two of the surely-to-be-multipart Distracting Day-trip Diversions series, Emily and I went to Oxford.

Emily went there for university -- which is surprising if you meet her, as she's very indie and not pompous at all -- so she gave me the guided tour. There're lots of old buildings, cool museums and students in scarves.

It's a strange place. Kind of has an air of entitlement and "ooh, aren't I special" about it, but maybe I'm just a bitter, angry person, made more so after a day surrounded by young, successful, rich and/or smart people who got to go to a real school, not the lame-ass U of Calgary.


JRR Tolkein used to sit out here
and think of hobbits... how dirty...

Anyway, we saw where Emily went to school -- her college, Merton, is a lovely set of old buildings with courtyards and gardens and all that britishness. It's also where JRR Tolkein studied and taught. It's also where Kris Kristofferson and TS Eliot studied. Ahh, such history.

I had great fun comparing Merton to the good ol' U of C. Emily noted -- unpretentiously, I assure you -- that the school dates from the 1200s. I noted that the U of C dates from the 1960s. Her college, including grad students, is made up of about 130 students. I've had classes with three times that number. She pointed out the grand old exams building, and the amazing hall they graduate in, and the beautiful courtyard where they got their gowns prior to the ceremony. Me, I pointed out where all these things happened while at the U of C: the gym, another gym, and the running track around the oval.

And okay, I admit: pretty architechture and ridiculous tradition are not the cornerstones of a good education. But then, neither is cramming students into lecture halls the size of movie theatres and hoping against all hope that they maybe learn something, as long as it's cheap. /end rant

Even dead ponies are cute.

Then we went to a museum of natural history (full of hella awesome Victorian-era dead-and-stuffed things) and an art museum. Good times had in both. Then we got drunk and openly mocked 18-year-old girls for wearing heels they couldn't walk in. Then we felt old, so we went home.

This is so Tim Burton. The Victorians
were so awesomely crazy.

While waiting at the station for the train to speed us (ha! it took three times as long as the train that took us out there!) back to London, a man walked by wearing no trousers -- he was dressed normally on top, but just sheerish brown underwear on the bottom.

He walked right past us, spoke to a station attendent like nothing was weird, and then (thankfully) got on a train going the other direction.



It's especially strange because I kept thinking: That man has no pants. It's like the no-pants dance floor. But here in Bizarro World, pants=underwear, so in fact he was wearing pants, just not much else. So a no-pants dance floor here would be a scary, scary thing indeed. Just a warning should anyone (looks -- um, virtually -- in Kris' direction) decide to shout out "No Pants Dance Floor!" in a London club. Just saying.

Wow, that last paragraph probably makes so little sense to anyone who isn't me. Well. Sucks to be you, then.

More pictures here.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Peter said...

Hmmm!

Sounds like a muggle at Hogwarts.

20/11/06

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol. I guess gyms are more popular in canada

3/4/10

 

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