Tags: art: museum: england

hermione by oatmilk

London vs. Oxford and other thoughts on traveling

I went to the Ashmolean today. *shrug* It was okay. I'd forgotten how much east-Asian Buddhist/Hindu imagery appeals to me. And there was a sandstone shrine which had a female figure on each of the four sides, and they were nude from the waist up but had great expressions of power and authority; i dunno, i liked it. Also, they have Powhatan's mantle, yo.

There are a bunch of thrift stores here i wanna check out (yeah, like i have room to bring home more clothes).

I like Oxford better than London because it feels like i can just wander around and see things and discover things, whereas London is so big and intimidating that you have to have a plan. Also, because i'm staying in Oxford i see things like the various themed walking tours, whereas in London as a tourist you very much get the feel of any paid tours just hitting the major attractions/landmarks. I was talking to Victoria a while ago, and we both prefer Boston to places like NYC because Boston is more manageable and stuff.

Mandy said i'm gonna have to go to Sussex without her because she only has like a hundred dollars left ("Damn Beer Cellar," she said.). That seems to be a common sentiment among the people in the program recently. Caroline, Amy, etc. were planning a weekend in Scotland and talking about how little money they have left. The program is nearly 2/3 over. I will return to the States with a decent amount of money. Does this mean perhaps i could have afforded a weekend in Edinburgh? Probably. I certainly could have at least eaten out more frequently. (Things like Edinburgh have the added complication of obscene amounts of time spent traveling.) But being very careful with my money is ingrained into my being, and i really want to be able to afford things like textbooks when i get back to the States. Will i have done everything i would have liked to while i was here? No, due to a combination of timing, cost, meshing plans with other people, and other factors. Have i "made the most" of my time here? Maybe not in the squeezing the last drop out of it kinda way. I've had days where i just sat in my room and wrote fanfic. I've had times when i've actually been bored. But i don't like cramming my days with doing stuff. Sometimes that's good, but other times i just want mellow.

Here ends the mildly articulate entry.
anime night

Every time i travel i learn a little bit more about doing it.

And one of these days i'll stop sucking at it.

I'm not the type of person who sits down and cries, but if i were, i would have done so a number of times on Friday.

The short version is: There is something wrong with the fact that i left Oxford around 7am and arrived at Canterbury Cathedral around 5pm.

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I slept well, managed a morning shower, got free toast for breakfast, and wrote a lot (something i hadn't done yet that particular travel excursion) waiting for the shuttle, which got stuck in some insane traffic (I asked around 8:20; it was expected at 9; it arrived around 11.) and the nice Millennium Lodge guy was really nice and embarrassed/apologetic. Maybe i got it all out of my system yesterday, but i was very blasé about the whole thing, and everything ended up working out fine.

I saw some of the changing of the guard. And honestly, it's pretty boring. Is it cooler if you see the beginning? because i came in around the middle, watched for about 5 minutes, and then moved on.

Boston can get away with bad streets and few signs because it's relatively small, but London reminds me of NYC only no grid and few signs (endemic of all England). It's funny; sometimes there are street signs on nearly every corner, and there are lots of those black arrows to places of interest, and other times it's very fend for yourself territory. I managed to find both Sir John Soane's House Museum and the Tate without too much trouble, though, and i've definitely gotten the hang of the Underground. I was underwhelmed by both and am glad to be back "home." [The first room i walked into was the Making British History room, and that was the best. Waterhouse's Lady of Shallot. Sargent's Lady Macbeth. Sargent's Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (which i could have sworn the MFA had) was somewhere else, but that was also a highlight. There was some really great stuff in some of the other rooms, but generally, like i said, underwhelmed. The title of the Wolfgang Tillmans exhibit -- If One Thing Matters, Everything Matters -- makes me want to check it out, but every time i view modern art i am reminded that i much prefer the "classic" painters (Monet, Sargent, etc.). And £4?]

I've taken a good amount of pictures and will probably take more, but it was occurring to me that i took almost no pictures in London and why that is. People take pictures as remembrances of where they've been as well as to tell the story of their travels. The classic pictures can be found in any book and say nothing about my trip. What's important to me and unique to my trip is the stories. That's why every time i start thinking about the scrapbook i want to do it's full of text and not so many pictures.