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Oxford, Days 2-4
I'm now settling in, learning the nuances of my flat. For example, one of our showers doesn't get hot enough to have a comfortable shower, the lights in the bathroom take 5 seconds to turn on, I can get moderately dodgy wifi from one corner of my room, and the washing machine on the far right gets stuck mid-cycle.

I'm also slowly getting acquanted with Oxford itself. You can't seem to walk anywhere without bumping into a beautiful old church or something, and I love that. I even intentionally got lost a few times. Sometimes I was following squirrels. Yeah, feel free to judge me. 

Today I went to the Asmodean Museum...wait, Ashmolean (dammit, DS, for putting Wheel of Time into my head, but it's your birthday so I'll forgive you) which turned out to be quite amazing - I spent about 2 hours wandering around there without even paying to get into the "special exhibitions"! I especially liked the collection of Egyptian mummies, the musical instruments (omg, I saw the Messiah!), everything Roman (I managed to read a few of the Latin sentences without having to look up the translations!), the Greek pottery, the Chinese porcelain, and the Japanese paintings. Actually, I was really proud of myself today because apart from buying some tofu (hurrah! I can stop being malnourished!) I didn't spend any money today (Ashmolean museum is free, and I have a frequent-rider bus ticket).

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for my other days in Oxford. Okay, granted, I had to do several rounds of groceries because I prefer to cook most nights, even if all I cook is pasta, noodles and fried rice. I also ran out of hotel soap...but fortunately Boots chemist was having a 50% off sale, so I got this fantastic vanilla/raspberry body wash for a little more than one pound. This stuff usually retails at Coles for over $4 a bottle. And oh my gosh, I love it! It smells like those strawberry-and-cream hard candies that I haven't seen since the 1990s. And even though I have been using it for less than a week, I already feel all nice and moisturised. When I get home, and it comes on special at Coles, I will buy a shelf full of it.

But yeah, I still need to get a dress for my formal college dinners. I saw a nice red-and-black dress today, but it was a little bit big and not quite formal enough, so I put it back. I kind of want an excuse to get something from this quirky place, which I see every time I ride the bus, but it's probably so expensive I may as well be shopping in Australia. And as hard as I try, I will probably gain weight in between now and my gradball in November. 

Anyway, you're all going to think I've been all play and no work. I actually disagree...I think I've been fairly well-balanced so far! I've been getting to hospital at 8am for ward rounds, then going to the ward, or the cath lab, or outpatients. I've also spent some time in echo. The bosses and registrars have been really nice so far, even when I've asked horribly dumb questions like, "What's a firm? Is it just like a team?" Some of them even seem to like Australia (one registrar thought that Australians have cool place names, eg Wagga Wagga).

I feel like I need to work on my mannerisms because the way I phrase things sometimes sounds odd to English people. In my next entry I'll make sure I describe in detail a situation where someone looked at me a bit funny. I mean, usually they can smell my accent a mile away so they roll their eyes and think, "stupid Aussie" but like...oh, I dunno. Actually, to be honest, it works both ways, because sometimes I take awhile to process what people with heavy northern accents are saying :( some of the doctors must just think I'm really dumb.

I've also had the pleasure of meeting one of the other elective students. K is from Poland, and apart from being ridiculously smart, beautiful and gracious, is a really fun and adventurous person! I actually feel quite bland next to her (in fact, with everyone telling me Oxford is extremely competitive, how the hell did I get in?!?)  I imagine all the other elective and native med students are similarly super-hyper-overachievers...eeeeeek!

But yeah, there you go! Not only have I survived week one, I'm having a ball! And the other Oxford students haven't even officially started term yet...next week, the parties start!!

February 2013

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