Osh-ford

Oxford (Osh-ford) was a pretty little place filled with cute cafes, fabulously old buildings, and well-kept gardens. I have a feeling this will be a reoccurring theme for most places we visit in Europe. History is just different here; it’s old… like Jay… (his birthday was yesterday). đŸ™‚

Side note:

I was looking back through our posts and realized Jay left out a few things we learned at the Crescent House:

Women slept sitting up to avoid ruining their up-dos. And by up-dos, I mean human hair, horse hair and whatever else they could find to stack their beehive at least two feet high. I don’t like to mess up my hair after an appointment either, but there is no way I would sacrifice my sleep for it — priorities, people.

Make-up was made of wax and arsenic. Yes, you read that correctly, arsenic. Hmm… I’m all for “beauty is pain (aka lip waxing… well, let’s be honest, any form of waxing)”, but not for death by make-up. Besides, did you notice the 18th century standard of beauty in your high school history book? Probably not worth it.

They only bathed 1-2 a year.. because they didn’t want to ruin their hair and make-up, of course! Once again, priorities, people — I think I would have chosen un-done hair  and an arsenic-free face in order to not die from my own stench. Then again, maybe the poison would have lessened my canine-like sniffing abilities and I would have been happy as a clam walking around in my own BO. Who knows.

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My American Accent

Today at the train station Jay left me to stand in the queue (aka what the British call a line) while he got a coffee. When it was my turn, I walked up to the woman and told her I would like two tickets to Oxford.

“Oshford?” she asks.

“Oxford,” I smile.

“Osh-ford,” she repeats.

“Umm, Ox-ford, please,” I reply, slightly confused why she can’t understand me.

“Could you spell that ma’am?”

“O-x-f…”

She cuts me off, “Oh, Oshford (with a “why-didn’t-you-just-say-so” look). You’re American, aren’t you?”

I smile tentatively, not sure if this is a good or bad thing. Hoping for the first option, I somewhat apologetically reply,”Yes, I am.” Why I was apologizing I’m not sure… Sorry for being American? Sorry for my midwestern accent? Sorry I can’t say Oshford in proper English? Note: I am a PROUD American, but I do realize that sometimes we are not looked at in the kindest light. Especially when we just kicked a** in the Olympics (WHAT UP).

She smiles (whew). “Would you like a single or return?”

Oh rats…

This question still gets me. Why can’t they just say a one-way or roundtrip? Luckily, Jay jumps into the conversation with his ice coffee in hand.

“Return,” he says.

She smiles again. I think she likes us.

“Eleven pounds, please,” she says.

“Here ya go (handing her my card)… but it’s a swipe,” I say, somewhat apologetically again (they have chips in the credit cards here, so no one has to “swipe” their card).

She hesitates. Not wanting to make her life harder than I already have, I dig out some cash.

“Would this be better?” I hold out a 20 pound bill before she can finish.

“Yes, but (she looks in her cash bag) it would be better if you had 21 pounds, so I can just give you this (10 pound) bill (instead of a gazillion coins).”

I’m not sure if we will ever get tickets…

Until Jay digs out another pound.

Thank God.

This time, we both apologize for being difficult and taking so much of her time.

Then she says, “Compared to most people, you two are angels.”

I knew she liked us. Point for the Americans.

Greasy Girl

The water here is hard, and in my bubble world, I really prefer soft water. Since I’ll be going without for 5 more months, I have been trying not to wash my hair (in hard water) every day because:

a) When it’s “clean”, my hair feels dreadful. I’d say somewhere next to straw.

b) Combing it is a chore. I swear I could make a small wig out of what is left in my comb, on my floor, and all over the shower. Sorry, I know that’s gross.

Insert Jay saying, “What’s the difference if a dog sheds? See? You do all the time.” Ooooh, not a good comparison to make, my dear. That is definitely not increasing your chances of getting a fury friend.

c) I have another 1.5 months before my next color job. I don’t want that grey hair showing up any sooner than it has to… Yes, I have grey hair, thanks Grandma.

d) They (aka “the professionals”) say you shouldn’t. I figure they know more than I do.

I think it’s funny how boys “ewe” at the thought of girls not washing their hair everyday, like it makes us dirty. They have approximately one inch of hair covering their heads. What do they know?

I’m sure none of you really care about any of this, but I was getting ready to go to the grocery store (and by getting ready I mean washing my face, putting my hair in a bun, and throwing on my sweatpants… and don’t forget the sunscreen!) and realized my hair was so greasy it was embarrassing.

Like, really embarrassing.

Like, “crap, why didn’t I pack a hat” embarrassing.

Oh, because I only packed a carry on and one suitcase and nothing else would fit… (still really proud of myself for that, btw)

Good thing I found one of Jay’s. There was no salvaging this mess with a headband, bobby pin, hairspray or any other tool a girl may have in her bathroom cabinet.

I promise to wash my hair today; I’d hate to give the impression that Americans don’t know how.

I also promise to write about our weekends in London soon — and the Oympics! xo