Chapter 4: “On how I arrived in the UK, Heathrow Airport and Oxford”
I have a confession to make: I fell head over heels in love with England the moment I set foot in it. I must say tears ran down my cheeks when the plane landed. The flight had been long – 13 hours! – yet quiet and interesting.
|My flight on time|
It was a night flight, but I didn’t get to sleep much – I was so excited! I arrived at Heathrow Airport at 6:30 am on Sunday, 27th July, 2014. I went through Customs and Passport Control very quickly. Friendly staff, documents and letter of recommendation from Exeter College OK, no problem at all.
OUP had made arrangements for a chauffeur to pick me up and there he was, holding a tablet with my name on the screen. It was so touching! I just had to take a photo of the nice Indian man!
The trip from London to Oxford was charming. It was a nice summer morning and there wasn’t much traffic due to the early hour.
We got to Oxford at around 8 am. The chauffeur dropped me half a block from the entrance to Exeter College, on the corner of Turl and High Street. (Most of the streets in the downtown area in Oxford are pedestrian streets). I had to drag my suitcase for about 60 metres. Unfortunately, the College had no sign outside, so I went right past it and got to the corner of Turl and Broad Street. It was very early for the Tourist Information Office to be open, and even the shops on Broad Street were still closed.
I was starting to worry when I met my first colleague: KK, a nice teacher from China, who couldn’t find the entrance to the college either. We introduced each other, shook hands with enthusiasm and finally found the entrance to Exeter. We rang the bell and the nice porter let me leave my suitcase in my room, though it wasn’t the time to check in yet, and the room hadn’t been cleaned.
After doing that, I decided to go for a stroll and start taking pictures of the downtown area. It was like being in a movie! I just couldn't believe it! I was on the verge of tears the whole time. I made great efforts to take in everything I saw as I walked along, for I knew any experience would eventually become a memory to treasure. And I was right...
|The Malmaison Hotel|
|First selfie in Oxford|
|Hertford Bridge (popularly known as the Bridge of Sighs)|