…reading. One of my new friends just sent me an email to inform me that her bag has been stolen from her while she was waiting for a bus near the uni. It’s a horrible thing to happen to her; but even she can’t help noticing the great irony that the bus stop is just opposite the uni’s security office…
I do hope they find the guy who did it; or at least, find the rest of her things intact.. I have volunteered to be among those who lynch him if he ever gets caught.
I was already paranoid; now am even more distrustful of people with idle hands walking near me…
Anyway, I have some time, so a quick recap of the last 2/3 days:
So Thurday, I went on a high quest to discuss my dissertation title with my supervisor…that is, my new supervisor. He happens to be the fun guy I’m doing a module with; the mad guy, yes..
We had a meeting at 2. At exactly 2, I reach his office and knock on his door. He’s busy with some other student, who, incidentally, is in one of my classes: a PhD student doing Joyce, of all things… Anyway, he told me to wait for a while and that we’d start in “five…no, make that ten minutes. Ok?”
What could I do? I agreed and waited and waited and waited. 20 minutes later, I was still waiting but starting to fume. He and the student could be heard discussing heatedly, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to burst into the room again as I did initially. So, I went downstairs to take a breath of fresh air. I returned 10 minutes later. My eye was constantly on my watch since I was well aware that he had a class at 3pm.
It was 2.30 already. The good thing was that when I went up again, I met a few students waiting for other lecturers, and I struck a conversation with them. The two in the office were still talking! Finally, she left at 2.40 and I managed to get my interview and discussion. The odd thing was that some of the people from the 3 pm class had already arrived…and he made them wait till he’d finished with me… at nearly 3.15! I got very odd looks when I came out..especially since some of them are in the same class as I am, but within a different seminar group. After that, I went to the School of English Foyer to do some reading and I stayed there for an hour and a half..
In the afternoon, I agreed to meet with the other Mauritian student I know here at the International Students’ Office, which generally organises a get-together for international students every Thursday from (cir.) 7 pm to 10 pm. This place is just wonderful and you get to meet all sorts of different people; all of whom coming from varied locations around the world and doing different courses. I am, I must admit, not a very regular goer. I go there when I feel like it. I went – I think – about 5 to 6 times last year and this Thursday was to be the first time this year that I would be going…
The strange thing is that every time I go there, it seems as if I’m going for the first time. Oh, I do meet people who’ve been there many times, like me, but I also do meet lots of newcomers. And that night, I did what I do best. I just sat at a random table, introduced myself to complete strangers and by the end of the meet, we had exchanged emails/phone nos.
I also met some French guys and gals and we had a merry time talking in French while the rest looked on in gentle bewilderment. It was a good practice though and it turned out that some of the English people who’d also turned up at the meet had or were still studying French. My French has become rustier in its contact with Fresh English… But I plan to revive it again…
Anyway, before we all went our respective ways that night, we were informed that there would be a party at someone’s place somewhere not very far from the uni. It would be mostly for international students. I wasn’t really sure of my schedule, so, when asked, I just shrugged.
Then I returned to my flat, where everyone else were quietly being good.
Friday was the day I had to submit my dissert title to the Postgraduate Administrator. And I had left the title in my supervisor’s pigeon-hole, as advised by him, for him to approve and sign on. But at 10, he wasn’t here. At 11 he still wasn’t here. I was thinking about the previous day and I fought the urge to go and complain to the Administrator who is very friendly and has always personally been very kind to me. But a last incursion towards his office revealed that his door was open.
Wide open, in fact. I however knocked, and when he called me in, I saw him sprawled on his chair and clicking on his mouse.
Without looking at me, he says, “They asked me if I’d agree to a partial fellowship (???) at Brunel University. I’m just looking at the pictures.” He indicates a picture and says, “look at this…Not very inspiring! I don’t think I would like to work there! What do you think?”
I drily reply that one picture of one building does not mean that the entire uni is bad. He hums… and agrees. Meanwhile I take out my sheet of paper (I had 2 copies made on Thurday, just in case…) for him to sign on. I wave it significantly at him, but he’s still engrossed with the pictures. He then invites me to look at (and comment on) the site along with him as he scrolls and clicks…and I find he’s looking at the uni’s entertainment and student life page. He clicks on ‘nightclubs’. I grow more impatient and I thrust the paper between him and the screen, loudly saying, “Oh, I FORGOT! Here is the paper YOU asked for!”
He looks at it as if he were encountering paper for the first time in his life, and after taking a good look at what I’ve written on it, he signs it. He then takes a second look, and asks me if it is an official document since the format looks official.
I told him I just did it on Word (took me only 2 minutes, perhaps less). He whistles. As he returns it to me, he seriously whispers that I should tell the postgrad administrator to use this format as a future official document. I gave him one of my special Looks.
We have a similar way of thinking, he and I. And some others in the class are revealing a similar tendency…How much fun I’m going to have this semester! Before I leave, he tries to impress me with his signed copy of the book I’m writing on. I look at it and reply that this is perhaps the only book whose author went out on a signing spree before he (and the book) actually got famous! I should perhaps subtly hint next time that I might be plotting to steal it from him or something…or ask him if his coffee has recently started having an odd taste. I had mine from Amazon for £.01. I’m not going to pay from £10-20 smth just for a squiggle on the first page!
Friday Night, then: Having no urgent work to do, I decided I might as well go to this party. It has been a very unusual week for me since I have been uncharacteristically extrovert and outgoing. So, we all meet up (there’s a fairly large group, most of whom, I don’t even know!) in front of the uni at 10 pm. I found that some of the others had plastic bags with them out of which outlines of bottles and cans could be seen. I then remembered overhearing someone say on Thursday that it would be a ‘bring-yer-own-drinks night’… I talk to some of them and wait for everyone to come. We then take the bus to this mysterious place. We walk a bit…and then reach the place, which is already full!
So many people… I wasn’t really at ease. Most of us who came along did not bring any drinks with us. The others who were there had theirs in hand and seemed to be declaiming monologues to their cans/glasses. 15 minutes later, I just grabbed my jacket and asked the few people around me at the time if they’d be willing to go out and buy some drinks.
Some of the others agree but when as they reach the door, most of them start talking and I know it’s a lost case. But then, one of the girls and one of the guys propose to come along; so we set out. We go to a bar first, where we have a couple of drinks…there must have been at least 150 to 200 people in there – it’s one of the hippest bars in town, and all the young people congregate to it. We stayed there for quite some time and the gal proposes that we go back to the uni instead of the party. The uni’s nightclub is also very popular. Having nothing to do, we decide to adhere to her suggested plan. On the way, I buy some fish and chips (I couldn’t resist) and I munch (and talk at the same time, because I’m also rude) as we joyously walk towards the uni.
Or so we thought. We’d already walked quite a long way when we realised that we were lost. We asked a passer-by for directions and he told us that the uni was in the opposite direction and that it really was TOO FAR away to go by foot. We thanked him and went on our way. Just then a taxi stopped and we jumped in. 5 minutes later, we were standing in front of the uni’s main buildings. We went in the nightclub and spent the most fun 3 hours I’ve had for ages!
I returned home at around 3 something am and surfed a bit on the net and read a bit before falling asleep on my book.
Saturday was pretty tame in comparison…I stayed indoors most of the day, to catch up with essential reading. I was half-expecting various parts of my body to ache, if not detach themselves and fall on the floor, what with all the contortions of the previous night (they call it ‘dancing’) … but it was ok. It was a very rainy day, anyway, and I went out at 5pm to buy some essential groceries.
Today’s been equally sedate and calm. I had to finish a book as well as prepare a presentation. Well, it’s well past midnight but it’s still not time to go to bed!
By the way, here’s the proof that alien body-snatchers exist: