Cambridge Journal: Days 8 & 9

First I’d like to start off with what I did yesterday evening after I posted the webcomic. There might be some people in the States who are still unaware that the world’s most popular sport had a cup final last night, so if any of them are my friends and family who read this, there’s my public service announcement: World Cup soccer! Netherlands versus Spain! A friend and I watched the final at a bar called The Fountain down on Regent Street. We packed into the bar and it was very crowded. For whatever reason, we had decided that we were supporting the Dutch. Of course Cambridge is crawling with Spaniards and the Dutch are thin on the ground, but that didn’t stop us. Between us, some local English and a small handful of actual Dutch, we had enough passion to drown out the mob of Spanish up front by the big screen every time they started to sing with our chanting. It was great fun, too bad the Netherlands lost.

Today we did our usual: up for breakfast, history class, break, law class, the rest of the afternoon for ourselves. It’s Monday, and the one museum we went to last week was closed on Monday. I didn’t want to walk all the way down to the Archaeological Museum to have it be closed. So I took a much needed (after staying out to watch the World Cup and all that) nap, then bounced out to the dining hall for dinner. After dinner we decided that we were going punting again, so we rounded up a small group. By virtue of having done it before I ended up being the one to check it out again. At first they told me I couldn’t, there was some confusion and all that, but then it worked out for us, and I was told I was “privileged”. I’ve felt privileged the entire time I’ve been here, this was just the first time anyone has commented on it. Anyway, this time I wasn’t afraid to bring my camera, so I have a bunch of pictures. I did the punting for the first half of the trip, then gave over to my classmates so I could just enjoy being on the river.

OK, I’m just going to dump a bunch of the pictures I took. I think they pretty well speak for themselves…

Except for this one. This is a picture of the bridge that almost knocked me off the punt last Friday.

I call this fellow, “Johnny Two-Punts”. He put us all to shame, because we struggled with one punt while he expertly poled along TWO by himself.

OK, picture dump over.

After this I grabbed my rugby ball and got a couple of the guys to go out with me to toss it around. I didn’t have any concrete idea for how it was supposed to go down, only that I wanted to go throw my new ball around. Standing there thinking about it on the lawn we started passing it, and the next thing I knew almost all of the KU contingent had emerged from their rooms and somehow we were kicking a soccer ball instead. A Bulgarian high school girl had been throwing the rugby ball with us, but by the time we were playing “men in the middle” with the soccer ball we had an Italian college guy with us instead. Sometime in there a match between KU and his Italian college was arranged, and I’m sure it won’t go well for us.

That’s when it all went pear shaped.

I may have mentioned that doing things on the grass was forbidden. Apparently it’s far beyond just a clever joke for me to have made. We were enjoying ourselves immensely when a porter came running out and started chewing us out for playing games inside the college. Members of the college don’t even do that, so you can imagine how horrifying it was for a bunch of Americans to be doing it. After a thorough lecture it was all worked out to a misunderstanding and you can be well sure that none of us will be making that mistake ever again. The fellow was quit serious, and communicated his displeasure thoroughly.

After that I retired by rugby ball back to my room, then watched the season finale of Doctor Who on a friend’s computer. I had wanted to take a walk around Cambridge after hours following that, but I stopped at the front door when the porter standing outside smoking gave me a funny look. Turns out the college closes and looks the doors, and if I left I’d just be outside the walls for the night. Which was disappointing, to say the least. So I sat on the river-wall watching the swans sleep for a bit, while bats flipped around and a group of Americans who I sincerely hope had permission made off with a punt from one of the local tour businesses in the dark of the night.

Aside from the dressing down over playing in the yard it was a good day.

Reviresco!

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