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Shopping and longing for free refills

Campbell Robbins '09

 

Our day today was spent in the ancient city of York in the north of England.  One of the trip’s most anticipated events occurred, when we were fortunate enough to sing in the awe-inspiring York Minster Cathedral.  This medieval architectural masterpiece took over two centuries to build, as we could see, for instance, from the immense amount of detail on even the smallest panes of the stained-glass windows. Our voices echoed beautifully throughout the structure, and a substantial number of patrons paused for a while to listen to us.  After singing, we were able to go on a guided tour of the Minster. 

The rest of the afternoon was spent at our own leisure in the city center.  Old, narrow cobblestone streets wound all around the city.  One of the streets, called the Shambles, was so narrow that two people could shake hands from the tops of houses on either side of the street.  I was relieved to find a restaurant which served hamburgers.  Having never been a particularly ardent admirer of certain traditional English dishes—such as Shepherd’s pie or mincemeat, which had lately been the predominant choices on the menus of restaurants I ate at—the opportunity to devour a burger was one I decided not to pass on.  When I was last in England in the late 90s, there was an outbreak of Mad Cow disease, but I was reassured by a couple of my companions that British beef was safe to eat.  Even if it wasn’t, I would quite possibly have ordered a burger anyway, as my longing for one was quite strong. 

Right now the British are gearing up for the World Cup.  English flags are everywhere, hanging out of house and car windows.  Supposedly, the English squad is one of the favorites to win the tournament, so there is understandably much anticipation as the days count down to the Cup’s commencement.  It’s evident that anything less than the team’s bringing home the Cup would be heart-breaking for many people all around this soccer-crazed country. 

After satisfying my culinary desires, I spent the remaining hours just visiting a few different shops.  I’m not a shopper by any means. (I realized today that, although I’m nineteen years old,  the majority of my clothes have been picked out by my mother, with me just complacently wearing them.)  So I took the lead of the three or four other guys I was with, and followed them into whatever stores they desired to visit.  I was more interested in admiring the architecture and ancient remnants that are still present, such as parts of the Roman wall that used to surround the city.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the tour up to this point, but I’ll sure be glad when I return to the States and be able to get as many free refills of my drink as I desire, instead of having to pay circa three dollars for every miniscule glass of beverage I drink.  Oh, and a tall stack of pancakes drowned with syrup for breakfast will be much appreciated upon our return to the states.  Otherwise, the tour has been nothing short of wonderful.