Jen In England 2018 – Part 2: Driving and Dining in a Babysnatching Kind of Place

First, I found Oxford University. I found it 4 times in fact, because I kept missing the damn turn on the roundabout.

Recently, Jen took her first ever trip outside the United States. Please enjoy Part Two of this multi-part series chronicling her tale abroad, along with the requisite musings. Part One can be found here. 

Note: The internet is full of posts by smart, photogenic people taking meticulously staged selfies at famous landmarks, so this travelogue is restricted to actual personal thoughts, including things I found fascinating and/or hilarious. This entry contains baby snatching, naked arthouse mannequins, and a brief moment of uncontrollable public sobbing. Off we go!

Oxford Bound

Thursday I bid adieu to London and my Airbnb, and headed to Marylebone train station. After walking probably 30 miles the previous few days, I was looking forward to a train ride.

Oxford_marylebone
Pictured: Thursday Morning Bustling

Along the way, I people watched.

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When haoles stole Hawaii: a book review (and travelogue) of Princess Ka’iulani of Hawaii, The Monarchy’s Last Hope

What I learned in middle school was that a small group of right-minded revolutionaries overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy to bring democracy to a nation mired in outmoded traditions. My textbook told only one side of the story.

This book review is going to be as disjointed and ultimately unresolved as my entire trip back to the Big Island where I grew up. It’s a review of Princess Ka’iulani of Hawaii: The Monarchy’s Last Hope by Kristin Zambucka — a book that I picked up in my last hour in Hilo, at the locally owned and Hawaii-focused bookstore Basically Books.

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Early to the Theater: a preview of Call Me By Your Name

I will make no bones about it: if you feel uncomfortable about bisexual male romance, and feel disturbed seeing adoration and longing played out in a messy, direct, and exploratory way, this movie is not for you. Props to director Luca Guadagnino, though, for not shying away from any part of it, not the messiness, nor the aching emotions of longing, loss, and culmination, nor the delicate difficulty of filming experience and inexperience in a way that will undoubtedly freak some people out.

 

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Patti Smith’s M Train: “It’s not so easy writing about nothing”

What really to got me, reading M Train, was the unreliability of the narrator. Smith writes about loneliness and being alone, but in a small paragraph also implies that her life doesn’t let her be alone at all, and that loneliness might even be something she has to fight for. There’s a small paragraph embedded in thousands of words of solitary cafe-sitting that describes a frenetic journeying around the world — but the book lingers over the lonely times. As the dream cowpoke says to her in the very first line of Smith’s book, “It’s not so easy writing about nothing.”

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