Saturday, October 09, 2004

Cambridge Chronicles 1: Getting There

Hello Folks,

Sorry about the common mail, but i figured, i wontreally get any mailing done if i dont bunch you people up! Please to bear with me... just the first few mailsperhaps. dont have no idea if I'll be as loquacious as this in future, but u never know, with me! :) Read on... if you have the time to
One of my frends mailed me today, asking me how I felt on alien shores. ALIEN?????? From here, india looks completely alien to me! :) Arright, I don't want to be ribbed about that forever, but that was just a manner ofspeaking.

And no, I ain't jet lagged in the least. In fact I'm raring to go... primarily because this is a real swell place. You love being here, despite the cold. I walked out of Heathrow airport into the open and asked my sister (who had kindly come to helpout intially) where the a/c blower was located, trying to figure out where this really cold gust came from.

And she said 'What blower???? It's the blessed wind. Welcome to England!' Like last night was something like 4 degrees and it showed! We were just coming back from the college pub and we had to nearly run back all the way. But the trick is to be well clad, i've discovered. Since it does not really matter inside the rooms.

I actually love the chill... imagine getting back to 40deg C?! In Chennai. And yes, i have internet access in my room. Which is abig bonus, really. Because net charges can be astronomical for people, especially someone who is yet to get used to NOT saying 4 pounds * 70!!

Just imagine, I had to buy a soap dish for 1 pound 20 and I was like 'phew!' That's more than 70 bucks! For a soap dish?????!!!! But such is the way of life. And it is easy, cos I'm already getting into the groove.

Been downtown to the citycentre and hunted out shops that apparently sell the best stuff at the cheapest prices... and yes, I'm kinda getting used to not thinking INR! Not entirely, but getting there.

In company, though, i do seem a bit like Mr. Scrooge himself. There is this other press fellow with me, Sanjeev Verma, one hell of a spender! To give him the advantage, he has been here hazaar times and just picks up any thing that meets his fancy. I'm simply amazed at his ease with spending.

But there is a booksale there that does seem a nice place to splurge is tempting I admit, but I have my eye on every pound... or shd I say penny...which is why I love the free breakfast, lunnch and dinner, nay, supper that we get here... real wholesomefood, quite tasty, at no cost.

They do seem to have quite a spread for veggies as well, considerate, i should think. Otherwise, I'm just eating the kind of food that I'd love to eat... boiled veggies, salads, soups and yoghurt! Except for the yoghurt(which i have discovered, can be more than just 'Thayir') everything else is rather less fattening... and there is quite a spot of cycling and walking to do everyday.
Let's hope I will c a much depleted me soon enough...but I'm told hardly anyone looses weight in Cambridge! :( Right then, I simply have no choice but to makehistory in Cambridge...

But if one were to get fat, simply on the sites, then it's eminently possible that I become round as a beerbarrel soon. It's such a swell place, it's unbelievable. Especially today is a bright and sunny day... it is quite splendid the way things are just like in all those movies we've seen.
I think I did believe until now, that they were all sets... but it's real, mate, real mccoy. I could go on and on abt these well- paved pathways, lungfulls of fresh breath and the greenery. But that would just be a cliche!

So i'll just tell you about the view from my I sit here typing, in front of me, I have this window which opens out into the amazingly green lawns of Wolfson College. I can even see some blood red tulips and yellow daffodils under the shade of an unknown tree. Today, as the sun shines brightly, the tulips have just gone a shade darker, as have the daffs! Do I have to say more? ;)

I dont really know about London, because I arrived there on a rather cold and grey evening...and left immediately for Cambridge...but I'm hoping to explore it sometime soon... Maybe this weekend, or the next...

Btw, how could I forget, quite a few Brits you meet here, are er... rather one-task people.
Maybe not in the unviersity area. But most of those in clerical jobs, are! Take their tellers away from them and they're done for! Remember not to ask any of those types to do two things at a time, like we're used to in india. They won't hear, or if they do, they'll forget what they were doing first and have to do it all over again!

Hmmm... I kinda like this! maybe I should do it more often! I would, except that I don't think its fair to be uncharitable to somebody who is actually nice enough to pay for you to have a ball! :)There is one thing though, here. Chivalry. In bits and pieces and on its last legs, but it does exist! You just have to try and look weighed down and people will help you carry your bags! Helps. Especially, if like me, you are carrying `India' in your suitcase. Otherwise, they wont even look at you.

But, I overreach. Facts first : there is an amazzing lack of ppl here! It's just a place... very few people around. I'm sure London will be different, but Cambridge really is sparsely populated. THAT, I think is the culture shock. Where are the people, you are asking yourself! After India, and Chennai (with a population of 6 million), especialy!
Now, if I just tell you about my house- the one I'm staying in, I think I can shut shop and go to the
Cambridge University library, where I hope to spend at least a good three hours! More about that later, perhaps.

We live in this delightful place... called Norton House. I'm on the first floor (the room with the view) and there are a few others in the place, apart from the press fellows. A coupla frendly Swedes, some stiff upper lipped Brits... and the two other press fellows. One of then, is from New Zealand.

Ah, I just got a call. I simply must leave, I guess... the library calleth! Anyway, its been a longmail... I hope not to be so boring or lengthy in future... it's just the initial soakin' in you see, ijust HAD to tell you all about it.
but take care, allovu and do keep mailing...cheers

p.s. did i tell you that i love the brit accent? :) it's something you have to grow up speaking. No short cut, unlike the American accent we can achieve rolling a few 'r's. The closest you can get, is to merely speak slowly and grammatically!



Post a Comment

<< Home