Sunday, October 01, 2006

In Cambridge

Hi all,

I got to Great Britain on Friday, September 29th. It was a hell of a trip. First, I had to go through security barefoot because I had to take my shoes off. You'd think they would have figured out that it is difficult to conceal explosives in a pair of flip-flops. (At least this time around the TSA security people seemed to be actually paying attention to what they were doing. The last time I flew to Great Britain, they seemed to be mainly concerned with gossiping with one another.) Then, I had to wait for nearly two hours in the airplane after it was supposed to have departed because it was stuck in line behind several other planes which could not take off because of bad weather that lay between them and their destination. About one hour into our wait, the British Airways captain made an announcement apologising for the delay and noting that the air traffic controllers at Philadelphia International Airport were not the most organised group, eliciting cheers from most of the passengers.

The flight itself, which left on Thursday and landed on Friday, was very pleasant, much better than the last time I flew to England, which was basically eight hours of serious turbulence. This time, the skies were calm and you could actually walk about the plane without feeling like you were in an earthquake. Heathrow Airport was also much better than last time. I was able to get through passport control in only a few minutes, as compared to over an hour last time.

Since I have arrived in Cambridge, I have been extremely busy taking care of various things, mainly shopping for various necessities such as pots and pans, food, beverages, etc. I've also had to remove my belongings from storage, which was a bit of a hassle. I had to go off and buy a flashlight because my goods were stored in an area without lights, and none of the porters had a torch on them. The part of the basement where I had my stuff was slightly flooded; luckily, none of my belongings got wet. I had to wheel my belongings to my house using a hand cart.

I ate at The Mitre, a local pub, last night. I had an 8 oz. sirloin steak, which was especially good. I also tried a rum and coke, which was genuinely disgusting. It burned my throat and tasted somewhat like the cough syrup Robutussin. I also had their chocolate pudding, which was delicious. While I was there, a female member of the staff said that she liked my t-shirt, a black Amnesty International shirt. She seemed to be flirting with me, and I was happy to reciprocate, but unfortunately she spent most of her time in the kitchen, so we didn't get much chance to talk.

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