Hola! Hope you're smiling :)
And that first evening in Oxford is when my experience with couchsurfing began. I have been on couchsurfing for many months now and met some very cool travellers. I always wished I could host travellers but I, myself use my dad’s couch as I stay with them – my parents, therefore can’t host but I am always happy to meet travellers over coffee or drinks and/or take them around the city. It’s a creepy idea if you think about it – to meet someone for the first time, a complete stranger only whose profile you have read on the website and you decide to stay the night at their place! That’s creepy!
And thanks to Alex, for sprinkling a generous dose of creepiness over that experience! Not his fault, ours for we didn’t get him. We didn’t understand why Alex was on couchsurfing but wasn’t interested in talking and we were more interested in interacting and talking to him, to know what it is like to be a computer research assistant at Oxford University, does he imagine being in service of the Crown someday? Something like a James Bond of computers maybe? We wanted to talk about all these things than just using his place for that night and the next. Terribly uncomfortable with our host who we acknowledge is a kind person but maybe not our types, we moved out of Alex’s house and after much walking and searching, found a beautiful bed and breakfast inn.
Happy to have found a lovely place to stay for the day Juli and I headed out into Oxford, we had no agenda, everything was so beautiful! The sun had come out, Oxford was gorgeous on the 17th of July – that I know for sure. Who doesn’t dream of studying at Oxford, I am sure everyone interested in academics does, I did but then I had forgotten that one needs to be a good student throughout school and college to study at Oxford. I realized that quite late so Oxford is impossible – what is possible however is to buy an Oxford university pullover and fake the feeling of being a student.
Georgina had recommended visiting the Ashmolean museum and we intended to but we couldn’t help pop into Oxford’s lovely little shops and cafes on High Street. We spent over two hours in an antique shop as we had found treasure – old postcards from many decades ago – real postcards, real emotions, real messages to real people. We spent a lot of time reading and unsure of what postcards to pick for purchase, they were all special!
We walked on the bridge over River Isis as the sun shone bright and lovely adding more colour to the summer flowers all over Oxford. People young and old were eager to take boat rides over the Isis, so were Juli and I but we decided against it as the boats were small, we imagined the worse – I can’t swim and Juli wasn’t confident of saving me should need be.
We decided to spend that money on some great pizza, more postcards, Oxford souvenirs and some ugly, selfish Primark shopping. The Ashmolean is at the end of High Street or even further. It takes no more than 20 minutes to walk the length of High Street – 5 minutes by bus but since we were so mesmerized by the street, the shops, the cafes and the spires lining it we reached the end of the street only around 5:30 pm – the Ashmolean closes at 6, it’s interesting to note now that we left our B&B on Iffley street around 11 am, we could have made it to the Ashmolean but destiny decided otherwise – or maybe it was the shops!
The shops and the Ashmolean closed by 6 and we returned to our house for the day to dress up for some pictures on the street and dine at an Indian restaurant for Juli was missing Hyderabad terribly. Juli was in Hyderabad for a year, doing her PhD in women studies.