So this past week was Fulbright Forum, an intense five days of catching up with other scholars and learning about innovation/regeneration in the UK. Well after a few days of relaxation I know feel rejuvenated enough to discuss my experiences. Here we go.
Last Sunday I made the journey from Bath to London and into the world-renowned Travelodge. Clutch. Well it so happened that the one and only Oliver Haas was visiting his dear friend Lizzie in London that same day so we decided to meet up for drinks in Shoreditch. This would have gone without a hitch expect my navigation skills were at a zero and my painful shoes skills were at a ten (cut to me walking mindlessly around London for 40 minutes as I tried to ignore the pain centers that were my feet). However with some assistance I was able to hobble off the street and into the welcoming arms of my dear friend. We caught up about UK life and his AMAZING plans for next semester over lychee martinis. Needless to say by these happy faces, the late night jaunt in wedges was well worth it.
Well Monday morning marked the start of forum and the beginning of five jam-packed days. Highlights included: seeing what will become the site of Olympics 2012, touring parliament, chatting with all sorts of politician/reporter/representative types, exploring Cornwall, going to the Eden Project and wishing I was an artist at St. Ives.
I would say a few events deserve special recognition. Namely, hanging with The Hoff, The Zone, and becoming an impromptu gypsy gang. Let’s start with The Hoff.
As a taste of British culture all of the scholars were taken to see a panto version of Peter Pan. Now I don’t know what version of Peter Pan you grew up with, but the story I remember was much less racist and had way fewer crude jokes. I mean what else can you expect when you through a global mega-star into the mix.
Now moving on to the Zone….It was the last night of forum and a dark and cloudy night in Cornwall when the Fulbright scholars crept out of their hotel and past the stone wall surrounding them. What did they find you ask? Why only the two finest drinking establishments frequented by minors that you can imagine. We leave the details of that night to the Fulbright gods but let’s just say it ended up here, with scholars (those braver than myself that is) rocking at the hotel bar until 6:30AM. Oh yes.
Well the last night of forum logically brought us to the final day. We traveled to St. Ive’s and spent the day exploring art galleries and open coast line. I don’t think a group of exhausted and slightly hung-over scholars could have asked for anything better.
As all the scholars said their goodbyes to head back to their respective cities, I was pleased to learn that I wouldn’t be heading back to Bath alone! A group of other scholars had decided to extend their hang out time and spend the next two days with me. We kept each other company with banjo playing and folk songs while we awaited our train back to Bath.
After only an hour delay our Bath adventure began while I played dual roles of tour guide and inept dresser (look at how good at buttons I am!). Beautiful.