Oxford and its caricature


When my friend Henning heard that I was going to Oxford, he said "It's a bit sad. The town has become its own caricature." I only understand what he means when I saw Oxford today.

It's a magnificent town littered with game of thrones style towers. But it's also the most commercialized tourism town I have ever seen. The streets are packed with visitors, restaurants and shops. (I even met a guy from Siberia!) Every college, library, castle, church, even just a small mound, charges a fee for entry. If China builds a British themed amusement park, it is going to be exactly like this.

I visited two colleges, Balliol and Merton. The first is one of the oldest. The second had Andrew Wiles. Both has lawns as well-kept as Wimbledon tennis courts. The impression that I go from movies is that only a college fellow, e.g., people like G.H. Hardy, is allowed to walk on these lawns. Although I didn't see any signs saying that, I stepped on every one of them in case the stories are true.

Oxford is flooded by summer-school teenagers from around the world . While waiting for his group to gather, a summer school instructor saw me and asked "are you one of our group?" Oh, being mistaken as teenager really made my day.

One the way to Oxford, I met an old, grumpy, Brexit lady who wants to blew up North Korea. She doesn't like China, especially Hong Kong. The reason is "Oh the last time I was in Hong Kong, a guy felling from the sky almost killed me. If I were not pushed aside by someone, I'd have dead!" No wonder she has never been to Hong Kong again.

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