Oxford Redux

I have never been so happy to be American than during the time I spent in Oxford. To be honest, I have not really met many Americans in Sweden. I have had only one American friend during to the whole semester (a grad student who was also from California!). I stepped off the train and into Corinna’s dormitory, and suddenly I surrounded by them. At first it was weird. I wasn’t used to it. But after a while I realized it was actually sort of fun to be around other people who can reference 30 Rock or recite the preamble to the Constitution or sing verses of “I’m on a Boat” from memory. These were the kind of superpowers I forgot that I had. The American Kind.

Aside from hanging out with Americans, Corinna and I made went for runs in the meadow and out to old Abbeys that were destroyed in the Reformation, went and looked at colleges in Oxford (and visited Harry Potter film locales), peeked around bookshops, and ate dinner in a Vegetarian Pub called the Gardener’s Arms. Corinna also wrote a bit on her Master’s thesis (which is about a guy named Dudo who wrote about Vikings having identity crises in Northern France during the middle ages) and I printed out maps of Sweden while trying to contact organic farms (see upcoming blog posts). It was totally wonderful and restful.

I also got to watch the World Cup Final on a enormous screen in a room full of around 100 Oxford students. It was something special, to be sure.

Two days in Oxford, and that was it…on to London. I felt sad to leave Corinna, as I don’t know when I will get the chance to meet her again; she is starting her PhD at Cornell in about one month. Yup, she’s one smart cookie. And besides, she couldn’t resist the call of America for much longer.


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