Well, day one feels like day one and two because I haven't slept since before the flight. It's 9:00 pm on May 10th, but only 1:00pm over in California. The travelling was long, but not particularly unpleasant. Besides the fact that a revolving door severed me from my carry-on baggage, the whole thing went smoothly... until we landed, of course. I will never again scoff when someone warns me to pack an extra set of clothes in my carry-on. American Airlines failed to transfer my bags from one plane to the other during the THREE HOUR LAYOVER in LA. British Airways has offered to have the bag sent to me by car free of charge (which does me no good at all at nine pm after I haven't slept in over 24 hours). I almost wished I had stayed at the airport to wait for the bag and then met my travel buddy in Oxford later.
During the day, Carla and I took the long bus ride to Oxford and struggled very hard not to nap. Despite being able to check in to the hotel early, we resolved to take a walk around the city and prepare for the first day of the program tomorrow. After some shopping, I finally found an ATM outside of the Oxford Public Library which we both loved. It was large, well organized, and highly accessible for the public. We were able to use the internet for 15 minutes without any kind of library card. At one point, a charming older man hobbled over to us and began to recite poetry. With his little skull cap and crooked smile, I couldn't help but enjoy the moment. Soon I realized that the soda bottle he was carrying was full of alcohol of some kind. I've never had a stumbling drunk in the United States recite poetry to me. Nevertheless, I quickly told him that we had to meet someone but it was very nice to hear his poetry anyway. To end the evening, we met up with Maria, another woman enrolled in the program. We were quite the bunch, Maria working in a medical library, Carla with data management (with a future in academic libraries) and I in a public, but we all had some interesting things in common too. All of us were convinced that our library is the kind where we are the most appreciated and do the most good.
Nine o' clock never felt so late. I'm sitting here praying with all my might that the courrier will arrive at any moment. Please oh please bring me my toothpaste, my shampoo... my pajamas.
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