Tuesday, August 2, 2011

On the way back home

I’d better remember today, because I was so happy in the morning, so sad in the afternoon and now I am having a big headache.
Today is the last day of my oxford program. The garden party was a total blast. I loved the food that Brain and Chuck prepared for us, I loved the game we played, I loved the group picture we took. Oh, I miss you guys already. It was an great ending, a happy ending, and we will meet again soon.
So as I went back and pack my stuff, I found my passport alone with my flight information, and apparently I have a different flight than Kevin and Han, and I missed it. I started panic and crying. I asked Kevin and Han to double check it, even though we booked the flight at the same time, I was supposed to be on the earlier flight. It was already hard enough to fly to the UK, now I have to worry if I can go back home.
At the airport, the people from the company told me that if I miss a flight, my ticket is no longer valuable, so I would have to buy a new ticket to Beijing, and that was nearly seven hundred pounds. So, 700 pounds was how much my careless mistake cost me. I had to buy it, and it made me feel like I am a total idiot.
It’s good to finally go back home. I shall remember my last day in the UK. I’ll be back.

Tate Modern Museum

I have heard a long time ago that AI weiwei’s huge art piece “sunflower seeds” is exhibiting in the Tate museum. Ai weiwei, a anti-communist, I heard very little about him in China, but when I was in the US, I found a lot about him in some websites that Chinese government has blocked. It was a great opportunity to see his art in London.
The Tate Museum as a whole was mind-blowing. I think it was my first time visiting a modern museum, I felt so entertained walking around the museum, it is totally different than these historical museums, in a good way.
The sunflower seeds were giving a big room for exhibition; they were piled as a taper shape. When people see this pile, most of them were stunned. They just look like real sunflower seeds except bigger. I tried to find out why he wanted to make so many of then. Then I read the background information on the wall, I had to admire his imagination.

Practice cooking

Ever since we moved to Herbert Close, our flat started to buy groceries and cook meals by ourselves. I ain’t no expert of cooking. I know only some basic stuff, but I thought is was a good way to practice cooking since I will be live off-campus next quarter.
Buying groceries was really fun. Usually when I go to supermarket, I will first go to the snack section and search my favorite crackers and chips, but this time, my major task was to buy some  raw cooking material, like eggs and meat.
What is the easiest dish of all meal? From my perspective, noodles! It is easy as long as you know how to boil water, then you add whatever you want and noodle in the water, there you go, a bowl of noodle is done. So for the last two weeks, I had a lot of noodles as my dinner, it wasn’t so bad.
I also cooked some real Chinese dishes twice, which were not as good as my noodles. Ha ha.
Cooking is fun, cooking while having a lot of homework to do, not so much.


Usually when I visit somewhere, I always do research about it before I go, but this time, I dicided to get lost in this beautiful little town Salisbury.
The major goal of this trip is to see the one and only super famous Stonehenge. I didn’t know Stonehenge is located in the UK until I came to Oxford. I guess it’s because it’s hard to imagine such a mysterious attraction will be so famous in such a religious (historical) country, it should be located in Egypt or something.
Anyway, we took a tour bus to get there, after thirty minutes bus ride, there we are! I almost couldn’t believe that is the actually Stonehenge, because it looked much smaller than what I saw from the postcard picture. But it is mysterious enough to attract thousands of tourists to come here. 
After Stonehenge, we got on the bus again and took off at a place where supposed to be a scenic spot. We walked up the hill, hope there is a cathedral to see, instead, we went to this small stud-farm. I have ride a horse before but that was when I was very little. It was a little scary to see horses so closely. But my friends were very brave, they even picked some grass and fed a pretty female horse. I was too scared to touch her, but when we were going to take a picture with her, she just shook her head and looked like she was going to attack me. So I creamed really loud. My friends “unmercifully” laughed at me.
Even though we didn’t really get lost at the city, but it felt great to be so close to the nature.

Hot hot wings

I used to be a fan of fast food, but after I came to the US, I discovered the real beauty of Chinese food and all other kinds of food, fast food became my least favorite.
The “hot wing” fever began on the first day I got here. After having a British style sandwich, I suddenly see a KFC at the end of the road. The sandwich did not quiet fit my stomach, so I walked in and surprised to see they have hot wings. Because that not all the KFC restaurants provide hot wings. So I decided to get six and went back home. I did not know their hot wings can be sooo good, they are even better than Chinese KFC hot wings, more juicy and spicy.
Apparently, my month doesn’t like British food so much. Hot wings became my favorite. My record is 15 wings in a day. Then we moved to Ship street, it’s a three minute walk from my room to KFC, I can not be happier. Having too many wings is not a good thing, so when we moved to Herbert Close, I had to say goodbye to KFC.
Hot wings also remind me lots of things happened that related to them. I once had a birthday party at KFC, my mom used to take me to KFC every week when I was a little girl, the first time I had KFC in the US, and my friend and I had a eating hot wing contest last spring. OH, the magic of hot wings.

Bodleian library and Education Library

Our research topic is about education. We were happy when we realize the university has a specific library for education topics. So we decided to do our research there.
We have all been to Bodleian library, it is huge and historical. It holds nearly nine million books, some collections are from several centuries ago. So we picture this education library in our heads, it should just like the main library. But we were wrong.
First of all, when we ask any of the local people or oxford students, none of them knew where education library is, it is not even on the map of Oxford. So we had to use web map to direct us, and it appeared to be a twenty minutes walk from city centre to there. The library was not like the Bodleian at all, but it is surprisingly quiet, I guess that is because people hardly know this place. When we walked in, I was amazed by the inside design of this library, so old school style but nice. It is a even better place to study than the Bodleian library.
To find a book, I had to climb the staircase to look for it. When I finally find a book from the bookshelf, I felt so happy.

Shopping and Summer Sale

For day 2, I simply decided to go shopping in London. There is one quote from my ECON 300 text book says, “Whoever said money cannot buy happiness doesn’t know where to shop”, which I found it really interesting. Just like many other girls, I like shopping. According to the tour booklet, the best shopping places in London are Oxford Street and Regent Street. Unfortunately, I didn’t pick the right day to go. All the shops open at 12 in the afternoon and close at 6 on Sunday, which really surprised me, because in China, stores usually open at 9 in the morning and close at 10 in the evening, on weekends, they close even later than 10. I guess it’s the European style.
It is the right time to shop in London, because of the huge summer sale is on. Almost every store marked their price down. I am not a shopping expert or fashion expert, but I only know one thing, shopping makes me happy.
Not so hard to imagine, the Oxford Street full of shopping people. So crowded that for one second I thought I was in Beijing. Summer is my favorite season, because I buy so many cute summer dresses.
I remember the first play we read was “Shopping and F**king”, it reveals two original sins of human beings: greed and lust. But when I shop and pay by my mom’s credit card, I hardly can relate shopping to that play.