Despite living in an intercollegiate hall solely for postgraduate students, there was an exception this year and the hall was housing quite a few undergrads as well.
Of this bunch, there were a few that I became extremely close to over the course of the year and when they left, one by one, the hall became a lot more quieter, a lot less crazy and I missed it as did many others.
So…we decided to go pay one of our favourite and most adorable undergrads, Alex, a visit in his hometown, York.
We planned on spending two days and a night there. Once he found out, the excitement level went up a notch and I couldn’t wait for the day to arrive when I could run up to my Little One and wrap my arms around his bony frame.
Tickets and hotel room booked, Dipa, Mary and I set out early morning to catch our train from King’s Cross to York.
And so the journey began !
From the moment we sat in the train, our adventurous trip started, so to speak.
When it was time to get off the train, somehow, Mary and I (resident klutz’s of the hall) got locked in while the train started shunting, getting ready to depart. Dipa, oblivious to our small panicky situation, was chilling on the station with no phone or laptop. SOMEHOW, we got out and thank god we did for I had no intention of wandering around Sutherland.
Having departed the station, we walked to our hotel, to drop off our bags and wait for our taxi that would drop us off at Alex’s house.
Despite very detailed and accurate directions provided by Alex, we found ourselves lost when it came to finding his apartment. He gave up and came out to look for us only to realise, we had wandered off in the opposite direction. Once we saw each other, us three girls ran towards him and gave him a big tight hug. At that point, any passerby would have considered him to be quite the lady killer.
Think about it…two PhD students and a Masters student travel all the way from London to York to meet an undergrad. He must have some tricks up his sleeve, am I right ?
We walked into his beautifully decorated house, to be welcomed by his parents, who were so incredibly warm and nice to us.
After playing one too many games of Jungle Speed and Articulate while the food cooked (which Alex had almost ruined; he was planning on cooking lunch for us, but ‘something’ went wrong and his parents had to take over), we headed to the dining room where I got to meet and play with their adorable labradors.
The lunch was extremely delicious. It was a traditional English Sunday Roast with roasted chicken, roasted potatoes, boiled peas, carrots and gravy. I couldn’t get enough of the food. Plus, the gravy was spectacular.
Once we had cleaned up our plates, we were served dessert which I kid you not, was out of this world. It was chocolate cake served with blueberries and my oh my, I could have eaten the entire thing if I had my way.
Our bellies full of amazing food which was a welcome break from the barely edible food served at the hall, Alex gave us a tour of his house and then volunteered to show us around his town.
He took us to the Museum Gardens which had a quaint air to it with half burnt pillars of the castle still standing strong.
We then walked around and past the Ouse River and had a small glimpse of the centre of the town before being dropped off at our hotel since by then, we were quite tired.
We said bye to Alex who was quite unsure if he would be able to meet us the next day.
Once in our hotel room, all three of us, without saying much, changed into our pjs, got into bed and dozed off till late evening.
Upon waking up and having shaken off the last traces of sleep, we dressed up and headed out for dinner, our appetites having woken up with us.
We decided on Kashmiri cuisine since Dipa kept insisting on it. This turned out to be a bad idea cause all the dishes we ordered were too sweet and by the end of it, we just didn’t want to eat or finish it. The food wasn’t bad, but the overt sweetness didn’t work well in our favour.
Upon leaving the restaurant, we all agreed it would be fun to go out for a midnight stroll. The sky looked spectacular with hues of blue and grey and the weather was perfect for a walk around town and thats exactly what we did.
Our midnight stroll involved some midnight goofiness with all of us climbing on top of benches decked with flower pillars.
We were looking for a bar with good music to spend some time at and soon enough, found ourselves walking down the stairs of Sotano.
We seated ourselves in a basement of sorts with blues music filling the air. While Mary got herself a drink, Dipa and I chose to pass on the alcohol.
After spending a good hour or so at the bar, we headed back to the hotel, very sleepy but happy with our first day in York.
We decided on waking up early, so that we could have ample time on our hands to go see more of York before catching our train and soon zonked out, our exhaustion getting the better of us.
To find out what happened next, stay tuned Mavericks!