A typical day.
I took a week off from blogging, because I wanted to have time to find the rhythm of my days here. I think I have! Here are some pictures from one day (today) in the life. 🙂
I woke up and had breakfast, then went down to the River Cam to study duck behavior with my behavioral ecology class. I was the official bread-thrower. It reminded me of giving bread to the ducks with my grandma years and years ago, although now I don’t know if I have the memory or just an album picture I’ve seen so many times that it has become a memory. It was a sweet morning.
On the way to my classes, I always stop at this fudge shop and get a free sample. I don’t think they recognize me, yet… Today the flavor was orange-chocolate, which tasted just like those chocolate orange slices wrapped in foil. Delicious!
Across the street from the fudge shop is King’s College, so I decided to duck into their library and return a book.
I kept walking on through my usual route through the streets of Cambridge. There are tourists, cyclists, umbrellas, and photographers galore. I’ve never seen so many French teenagers in my life! Although there are many unstylish tourists, I have to say I’ve seen some really cute outfits. Maybe it’s true that Europeans take a higher interest in fashion. Regardless, I am newly inspired to wear my beautiful clothes.
I had a lecture for my other class, War and Insecurity, at Cambridge Union Society. Today we debated, pretending to be American insurgents stuck in the UK without citizenship. The US had entered into war with another super power during the Olympics, and it had ended in a nuclear holocaust. We had been stuck in England for five years, unable to return home or live on more than five pounds a day.
After lecture, I made the glorious mistake of stumbling upon a health foods store right outside the Cambridge Union Society. Holy Mother of God. So many products from Germany and Spain, all heretofore unknown to me, all vegetarian-vegan-gluten-free. I covertly took a couple pictures of the nut butter section. I plan to return with a list!
The below pictures are outside the windows of an art shop on my daily route. I admire the ceramic pieces every day, and I think tomorrow I’m going to ask the shopkeeper if she has a card for one of artists. Who knows, maybe that person is local and I could see their studio? Carpe ceramicum!
At this point I was hungry, so I went to the hippie-est restaurant I could find, which ended up being The Rainbow Cafe. They’re the only fully vegetarian restaurant in Cambridge, and I ordered the Shepherdess Pie with garlic bread.
What I enjoy about Cambridge is the fact that through the 800 years of its design and remodel, it was always made for walkers. Cars have only been in the equation for the last century of eight. On top of this, no meter of space is wasted. Restaurants that look tiny will have two, even three, floors below the street. Cafes are tucked into alleys so narrow it’s hard to walk alongside someone. The Rainbow Cafe is a restaurant tucked away into just such an alley, and it’s all underground.
I was planning on having a quiet lunch reading 100 Years of Solitude (name dropping books) avec moi-self, but something much more delightful happened. There was a boy my age eating alone right next to me, and when he heard me order in an American accent we started talking. He’s a PA for another Cambridge program for high schoolers, and he’s actually from San Diego. This was his first day in the city. Leave it to a Californian to find The Rainbow Cafe within 24 hours!
We had so much fun talking to each other that we ended up leaving the restaurant and going on a walk through town to the park. He’s a sophomore at Lewis and Clark, and just one of those effortlessly conversational people. We talked a little about it all, high school, college, Europe, Beanie Babies, my trip to the Kentucky Model Horse Convention (Breyerfest), debate, destiny, relationships, youth, etc, etc, etc. I reveled in our cliched, young-adult delights.
I had another class at 3, so I pulled out my phone to exchange numbers. It was then, after almost three hours of flowing conversation, that we realized neither of us had asked the other’s name. He wasn’t a name person, and I’m not either! We loved that, and decided to guess each other’s names. How often do you get to do that? I thought his name started with an M or a J, maybe John? It’s Jack. Pretty close! He said his gut was telling him something about my name, but he didn’t want to guess it. K? Yes!! He was thinking Kathleen, or something similar.
Isn’t that crazy? That we got so close to each other’s names? Does that mean we so embody our own names that they’re guessable from our personalities?
Nothing can top an interaction like that, so the rest of the evening has gone by quietly. Class, pleasant company at dinner, and now homework.
This is currently the view from my window. A bit dreary, i’n it?
The sad part is I know how beautiful this city looks with some sun! Please sir, I want some mo’!