One of the greatest parts of having a spider as a mascot— besides being the only mascot smaller than a cracker that is able to scare a full grown man out of the house— is that there are (stupid) puns aplenty. Seriously, there is so much material to go off of. Web, fly, legs, silk, etc. Some are funny (e.g. I can talk about how there was a spider on my keyboard earlier, but, don’t worry, its under ctrl now), and others are more *ahem* sentimental. In this case, I will go with the word play that is most broadly-used, basic, and boring (yay alliteration!) and talk about how we, all the student Spiders, are connected to each other. We all spin webs. We’re joined, we’re connected, we’re a community.
Being a part of such a community means having long-lasting, wide-reaching friendships… the kind of friendships that cross borders… Can you see where I’m going with this? Yes, that is correctomundo, not once, but twice, have I met up with other Richmond students abroad. The first was a visit to Oxford England to visit <Name Redacted the First> and <Name Redacted the Second>. The second was when Tony <name not redacted ’cause he also totally writes for UR Travelogues>, who is studying in Switzerland, came to visit me in Galway. Some of the best memories I have were made during those visits. Maybe it was because I was around a bit of home for the first time (since I’m the only UR student here), maybe it was because the visits were an excuse to spend money and eat too much food, or maybe its because it was a chance to share my new world with someone else. I don’t know. But for whatever reason, those wonderful memories were formed and I want to share them; here, presented numerically for your reading pleasure, are my five top favorite moments from those visits.
Be warned, the majority of them have to do with food.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a city at night and a city during the day are two entirely different places. After spending the day giving me a tour of Oxford, <Name Redacted the First> and <Name Redacted the Second> decided it was time to show me Night-Oxford. It was a great time, but it isn’t relevant to this entry, so I will skip over the night-tour to the ‘goodnight’s. I was staying with <Name Redacted the First> so when it got late enough, we, as a group, were forced to split up. As we were waving goodbye, <Name Redacted the Second> called out and told us to turn around and grab some 2 a.m. food with him. We agreed and he took us to a very small, greasy food truck selling pretty much every food you could want at 2 a.m. One friend ended up buying a doner kebab, another grabbed a hamburger, and I bought some french fries covered in cheese, garlic mayo, and some sort of mild curry. They were the best french fries I’d ever had, hands down, no contest, indisputably and I will never forget gorging myself on them, sitting on a cold English sidewalk and sharing silent smiles with friends… But no seriously, I gorged myself on those fries. It was gross.
Alright, so I talked about 2 a.m. eating with <Name Redacted the First> and <Name Redacted the Second>, now its time to talk about 2 a.m. eating with Tony. This time I was the one showing off the city at night, and the one suggesting a delicious hole-in-the-wall. We bought kebabs, fries, sodas, fried rice, aaaaand salads. See Mom and Dad? I eat healthy.
Once before I visited the Cliffs of Moher and during that visit I fell in love with them; buuuut that trip was when I was new to Ireland, back when every single thing I saw was breathtaking and I was a nervous little thing who was terrified of doing anything by myself. This visit, I was in ~control~. I was comfortable and with that comfort came a new view of the world, including those magnifi-freaking-cent cliffs.
You know how people talk about falling back in love with their partner after twenty years of marriage? Well that was me and those cliffs. Obviously you can’t marry a natural landmark and I’ve only been old enough to get legally married for a short time, but I’m going to use that comparison anyways. Back off. Stop your judging and just let me write. Ugh.
This is kind of a biggie (and its also really easy to understand as to why its a favorite), buuuut <Name Redacted the First> and I visited, duhn da da duuhhnnnn, Stonehenge. We spent the whole day traveling there, braving the extremely inconvenient mist and slippery footpaths, and then spent the rest of the day just staring at it. I’m not going to spend much more time talking about this though, because it is impossible to describe Stonehenge, except to say that it truly deserves to be called one of the wonders of the world.
At one point during my visit to Oxford, we were just too tired to do any more touristing, so we just sat down, drank red bulls, ate chocolate oranges, and watched SNL skits. It was relaxing and slow-paced and enjoyable and a very wholesome type of fun… a very nice contrast to the quick paced glitz and glamour of exploration. It was the kind of afternoon that probably had some sort of moral that could be learned from it. Something about friendship, maybe.
Well, th-th-th-thats all folks!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!