My new favorite place is the Oxford Union Bar. It’s also a cafe. Their coffee is cheap, the chairs and couches are squishy and comfortable, and the strangest types of people walk in and out. The bartender is a blonde woman with a tattoo of something on the back of her arm. I’ve yet to tell what it is, because it’s always just peaking out of her blouse. She and the other bartender seem to have a comfortable working relationship. They chat behind the bar a lot, although the echoes caused by the strange acoustics of the high ceilings prevent me from properly hearing what it is that they’re saying. I have a feeling they’re not students, that they’re Oxford locals. It must be extremely odd, to live in a university town and to work in its offices and facilities and yet to have either no interest in attending it or else no financial or educational opportunities leading you to attend it. I suppose most Oxford locals who want to attend university tend to try to get as far away from the city where they grew up as possible anyway.
I’ve also found out that some of the stereotypical old English men, who talk in posh accents and have eccentric and bizarre conversations, still exist. When I was at the Union bar with a friend last week, I saw a man in red pants, suspenders and flyaway white hair tufting off the sides of his head. He was with another old man who was taller and rounder. They were joined eventually by yet another old man with a long Dumbledore beard and a brown coat. The last addition to their group was a surprisingly youngish man who was neatly and very typically dressed. They ordered the fancy food on the menu and sat at a table together for their lunch. I had to go before I could eavesdrop on their conversation for long, but I could tell that the older men all had ridiculously posh accents, reminiscent of the royal family.
The cold weather is wonderful. I’m incredibly happy to be back in zero degree weather. New York has acclimatized me to it, and I don’t think I can bear to live anymore in a place that doesn’t have seasons, or at least a significant change of degree between summer, autumn, winter and spring.
It’s mid-January already. 2013. Happy new year and all that.