A week in the life of a visiting Cambridge student: Sunday

CUHH

Cambridge loves its acronyms, and this one stands for the university-wide Cambridge (cross country) running club: The Hounds and Hares. I’d scoped out this group already in April last year when I found out I was coming to Cambridge, and one of the first things on my list since arriving was joining a group run. The captains of the men’s and women’s teams put out weekly running meet-ups and they were quite easy to email with, but the group is incredibly competitive. Last Sunday when I went to meet-up for the group run, I was left behind within the first mile, getting too lost to ever have a hope of catching up to the group. This Sunday, I came with a little more speed and gumption, and the course was more straight-forward along the Cam river, so I managed to not quite stay with the main group (who went out for 12 miles at 7mpm or faster), but I managed to stick to the smaller group that went 8 miles at a more reasonable pace after losing the main group (it was still around 7:40 mpm). Needless to say, being at the back-end of a pack of runners and still doing sub- 7mpm was a huge slice of humble pie. It was a definite character builder these past two weeks.

Brunch

Brunch is a staple of the weekends in all the colleges, but it’s also a post-run tradition- and a nice way to socialize with the others. Each week a different runner hosts it in a different college, and this week it happened to be Trinity which was… woah. It was a surprise. Already waiting for the others at the Great Gate of Trinity College was a treat.

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Quite the meeting place, huh? (Source)

Here’s a map of the grounds by David Logan from 1690:

trinity_college_cambridge_1690-by-david-loggan

(Source) This will have to do until I make it over back again to take pictures.

But that didn’t even properly prepare me for the dining hall. The founder of Trinity College, Henry the VIII, presided over it and I was getting huge Hogwarts vibes. I could barely contain myself, but I of course had to act cool around the Trinity students and other runners.

trinity-college-dining-hall

Dining hall during the day (Source)

Oh! And because some may find this interesting, brunch in Cambridge can have waffles and/or pancakes, but it also consists of black pudding, eggs, sausage, baked tomatoes, and baked beans. It initially sounds quite odd (and some of the things look a bit off-putting), but you can’t judge it until you’ve tried it! While I didn’t really like the black pudding, I liked the beans. That could become a good, hearty (farty) -ha ha, sorry!- staple.

Having a run at 10 and then brunch at noon means that I didn’t really get started with work until 2 PM, but the nice thing is, if I hadn’t done my shopping yesterday, I would have been able to today- but only until 5 PM. Unlike Germany, England has its stores open on Sundays, but unlike the US, these hours are fairly drastically shortened. On this note, a small comment on the service culture here, which includes all sorts of verbal niceties like “alright there, love?” “cheers.” I still haven’t figured out the appropriate response to “cheers,” so I’ve just been saying it back.

Chapel

 

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After a few hours of laundry and library (I KNOW; my life is so interesting!), I headed over to the College Chapel for an interdenominational church service. Considering that I’ve been baptized and gone through confirmation, my relationship with the Christian religion has been a bit shaky since high school. Part of it was convenience, and while I know that going to church should not necessarily be convenient, having a chapel on campus is really helpful and I think visiting the Sunday evening service could become a habit. I enjoy the singing of the hymns, listening to the sermon and the choir, the organ music, and the shared dinner together afterwards.

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If anything, it’s an hour of introspection and talking to myself, if not to God. Since my college is one of the newer ones, I also hope to make it over to King’s College or Trinity (*swoons*) for a service before leaving here.

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7 comments

  1. You’re certainly settling in quickly. Though I think the running club should have taken you a bit more under their wing and stayed with you for your first time – so shame on them. But, if you stick with it, and them of course, your times will tumble. Not only that, but black pudding… I thought it might take you a while to discover that delicacy. There is a white pudding too, which I’d say was half way from the black version to being haggis. But then my taste buds were never very good. The hall does look amazing, but I suspect you will have a few more jaw-dropping moments like that before you leave. Oh, and I’d say there is no ‘proper’ answer to Cheers (other than when you’re both holding a glass of some liquid, in which case it is Cheers – or you could throw them with a Prost!) When said as a farewell, you can also say Cheers, or Bye or See you later. I hope that helps. Cheers. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was a little annoyed at how exclusive the club is. But then again, they mean serious business and at least I can be a part of the team without tryouts or anything. I am expecting lots of dropped-jaw moments. And thanks for the insider’s tip on how to respond to cheers. In the drinks setting, I can say it, no problem! It just seemed a bit strange to say as a reply to cheers as a farewell.

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  2. Love the inside view of the university. It is like Hogwarts!
    When I was working on my MBA, I fund church on Sunday a time to clear my mind. Sometimes I listened but often I let my mind clear which allowed me to recharge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. It is the perfect place to recharge. it’s also interesting to have an in-house chaplain, who of course can cater his sermons to his congregation. So I listen more often than not!

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