Please excuse the really poor picture quality. These pictures were taken a few nights ago at a very disorganised meet-up of new postgraduates at Cambridge. Earlier this year I created a group on Facebook for people, like myself, who were planning to come to Cambridge this semester. The group currently has almost 400 members and the hope was that we would help each other through the journey of getting here and then settling in. I created an event on the group for us to meet, and we eventually established a time and place to gather at an outdoor location. The plan was then to head to another venue, as a group, to ‘socialise’. That was the extent of my planning, especially since I didn’t expect more than four people to actually show up (although almost 70 people had clicked ‘going’ on the Facebook event).
Turns out though, when I got to the planned meeting location, in front of King’s college, a large group was there and waiting (embarrassingly, I was late), and they acknowledged me as the ‘planner/administrator’ and basically asked me ‘Where to next?’ You might be able to grasp the feeling of shock, cluelessness and embarrassment I felt at that moment. I’d say that there were maybe 40-50 people there expecting me to say something and I just went blank and felt like a complete idiot. Thankfully, there are many at this university with great leadership qualities and social skills, and those so gifted suggested what could happen next.
It ultimately boiled down to which bar/pub should we go to. Not being a drinker and having absolutely no clue about many things in Cambridge, I was again unable to offer any suggestion. We eventually decided to walk in a certain direction and when we found a place with space, we’d settle there. So, we began to walk. We arrived at one bar, went in, some people ordered drinks…but the remaining space was too small to accommodate us all. So, a wonderful Spaniard took charge and she suggested that the rest of us find another place. We finally settled at the restaurant and bar that you see in the big pictures. Once there, we moved three tables together, creating a long table (much like what is present in the dining halls), and we settled down there. I wanted to head home early (I had never imagined that so many people would show up and so my initial plan was basically to say ‘hi’ to the few, chat a little, and head home). I stayed for about two hours, after which five of us (the two Chinese girls, the German guy, the Jamaican girl– all very nice people– and myself), all headed back to our respective colleges. The rest went on to meet the other group at the first pub.
I had ordered cranberry juice. Some others ordered beer.
My head had a bump on it. It still hurts a little if I rub the area now. I had hit it the night before (matriculation night) on a washroom sink whilst frantically trying to use a toilet. I don’t think that I’d ever felt so uncontrollably un-coordinated (slightly) in my life and I never want to feel that way again…so I plan to avoid more than one glass of wine/port. I have some other events to attend though, and I’m almost certain that once again they will be serving wine/port… but my body doesn’t seem to care too much for it and neither does my mind.