“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’” —Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Wow! I cannot believe I have been in London for almost a month. The days feel much shorter here, especially since the sun sets at around 5 PM. Where has the time gone?
On the 23rd, I visited the beautiful city of Cambridge. Beautiful is an understatement. It is one of those charming spaces that fills you up with a sense of serenity and wonder. Of course, the main attraction was the university with its grand and antique buildings towering over the river. Unfortunately, its access was very restricted to the public or we had to pay a fee to visit, which was a very foreign idea to me when compared with the openness of American universities.
After scoring a deal on punting, we went down the river Cam to get a sneak peek of the 19 colleges along the banks. Just imagining what it felt like to sit on the grass reading books with such gorgeous scenery left me with envy. While the colleges were connected with bridges, each seemed to be unique. My favorite was the Bridge of Sighs, especially the intricate details on the windows. Geese also flocked by the sides of our boat. It was a lovely and surprisingly sunny British afternoon.
The university was surrounded by a small town with the nearby market and walkways of small shops. We checked out the place from many kids’ dream: a shop full of candy. Hungry from the early trip, we went to the Crepeaffaire. I had the most delicious maple bacon crepe with English breakfast tea. Despite the crowd, it was a nice escape from the cold weather that crept on later in the afternoon.
After walking through many parts of town, we went to the Fitzwilliam museum. The architecture was stunning. It seemed as if the paintings were framed by a larger sculpture. The caricatures exhibit was pretty interesting. I had yet to see those at art museums. Before I said goodbye to the city, I got the postcards of the city. Maybe one day I will get a chance to return.
On Sunday night, my flat hosted a potluck that was delicious. I just loved all the food from different cultures. Not being the most competent cook in the world, I made a fruit salad of strawberries, mangoes, clementines, and blueberries with mint and lemon zest. It was a quite nice bonding activity.
Before the end: I haven’t posted on the blog recently. All of my writing energy was devoted to crafting my essays for the medical school composite letter application. I had to answer the question “Why medicine?” not only for the application but also to my peers here who seemed puzzled at first about my concentration in computer science and my pursuit of a medical career. Unexpectedly, it was great practice to fully express my intention. The application was due at 5 AM London time today….Guess who was up until 4:30 AM and had class at 9? Though I was very satisfied with the final pieces and am extremely grateful for the person who read over my essays way too many times for revision. Thank you!
To keep updated semi-live with my life: follow my instagram @omchi23 Await the upcoming posts about my adventure in Harrods, my time getting the 5 pounds ticket for Matilda, and cheap late night eats around UCL!
Until next time, with love and best wishes, Chi.