Living at Brasenose College, Oxford
Monday, August 24, 2015
After we said goodbye to dear sweet Geoff, Joe and I checked into Brasenose, the college where we'll be living. The student assisting us at check-in was very helpful, and even talked me through my most pressing concern: What is the fastest, or best, or cheapest way to get to London from Oxford?
His answer was simple: "The Oxford Tube."
"Oh, there's a tube here?", I asked in amazement.
"No," he smiled rather sheepishly. "I actually have no idea why they call it that; it's just a bus."
Very well, then. Tube or no tube, Joe and I have so many travel plans already booked -- all of which require us to depart from London -- so I made a mental note to get acquainted with this non-tube tube as soon as possible.
Once we settled into our room, we noticed there things. First, the room is slanted. No, really -- it's as though we live on a hill. The slope is so drastic that I think you could turn our room into a skate park if you so desired. Second, the smell. Oh, the smell. To say it smells like urine would be putting it mildly. In reality, it smells like someone peed over every square inch of our floor and then left said pee there to dry for approximately 100 years. How's that for a visual? And third, our beds (two twin beds pushed together) are different heights. So, that's disappointing. I'm not sure how we can fix that, but the thought of propping a book under each of the lower bed's bedposts has crossed my mind.
You can't tell the beds are different heights from the photos (nor can you see the slope, for some reason), but let me assure you that the height difference is real (my back pain can attest to that).
Other than those three minor issues, we have no complaints.
Wait, we have another complaint: jet lag.
We are so jet lagged. It's not even funny. I always forget how much worse it is coming here rather than going home.
Our first night here, we fell asleep at 5:00 AM. And we've sort of just slumped into this routine every day since: We both fall asleep around 5:00 in the morning, and then Joe wakes up for class at 8:30 (his class starts at 9:00, and they provide breakfast for us in the dining hall). I keep sleeping, and wake up in a daze around 10:00 when housekeeping comes to "hoover" (vacuum), make our beds, and clean our bathrooms (much to my detriment, the urine smell has withstood the first few cleanings). Upon entering and seeing me in bed, though, housekeeping inevitably offers up a flustered, "Oh, oh I'm so sorry, I didn't know" apology of sorts, and then returns an hour later at the end of their shift, by which time I'm wide awake (or at least, awake). Shortly thereafter, Joe returns from class, collapses onto the bed, and falls asleep until dinnertime.
And the next day is the same.
We have to break this cycle. And I know we will, soon, but it's just so hard to beat it.
That is my last complaint, I swear!
Although if Joe were writing this, he might complain that he can't really fit in the shower, but as the saying goes: not my giant man-body, not my problem.