Thursday, May 21, 2009

Trip Report: Reading, England

Jet lag can be problematic on long-haul trips. Fortunately I have recently discovered a love (or need) for coffee, so I decided to stumble through the day high on caffeine and oblivious to the fact that my body truly wanted to collapse. Finding the father-in-law's house was easy. This is my fourth time to Reading, and all of the old landmarks remain, including an odious TGIF restaurant that doesn't seem to belong with all of the Chinese take-aways and Off-License shops tucked into corners. Not much has changed here, with the exception of the father-in-law's obvious weight loss. Settling in with an Indian dinner made by his Pakistani housekeeper that he effectively calls Hattie, seems fairly normal. I managed to do a spot of shopping as well - including the purchase of fluorescent socks, which seem to be back in style after they went out of style sometime in the early 80's. My husband put me on a bus to the University of Reading and went back to bond with his father, while I attended a lecture by Dr. Robert Parker on sacrifice in Ancient Greece - a valuable (and free) opportunity I didn't want to pass up. Finding my way home was another matter. I missed the bus by a pinch and had to walk for fifty minutes before I found a bus that took me the remaining bit back. Had I caught the original bus, however, I would have missed the opportunity to stroll by artfully designed red, white and gray brick houses with gated gravel-lined parking areas and beautiful English gardens. I would have missed the walk over the Thames where I watched little black ducks glide through the water. It made it even easier to collapse on the sofa at night.

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