“Have a great day in my old stomping ground,” he said as I wave and run out the door. I am too excited. It’s Oxford. I get to go to Oxford.
The drive to the bus station is short but filled with conversation. I’m overflowing with glee. “It’s a beautiful day,” I say. “I hope the weather holds,” I say. The cab drivers smiles and asks where I’m from and an obligatory conversation of why are you here begins.
“Where are you off to today?” the man asks in a strong Ukrainian accent.
“What’s in Oxford?”
“Oh? What kind of research?”
“I’m an artist—I’m researching the town for a comic book I’m working on.”
With that simple statement his interest peaks. There is a barrage of questions thrown in my direction. All of which I answer until we turn into the National Express Coachway terminal. We exchange coins, I give five pounds and he returns fifty pence and we say our goodbyes. My ticket is printed and I’m ready to hop on the bus, only, I’m entirely too early. I take a seat in the airport style coachway. Apparently it was remodelled just before I moved to England. Everything is still new and shiny. People seated in birch and steel, modern moulded semi-uncomfortable chairs.
Putting in my headphones, I turn on Spotify and bounce my black leather and fur lined boot to the beat. Looking at my phone a whole three minutes had passed. I check into Foursquare and tweet out, “I’m going on an adventure—Bilbo style!” Friends tweet me back. The X5 with Cambridge on the side of the bus rolls in, I know the bus going in the opposite direction to Oxford is not far behind. From within my bright mustard yellow purse I withdraw a small mirror and red lip stain. A little girl with braided pigtails looks up at me. She came from nowhere. I smile. She points to her lips with adorable petite fingers. I laugh, “You want me to put lipstick on you?”
The little girl nods and her pigtails bounce. I laugh, “I don’t think your mom would like that.” She points to her lips more. I glance up to see my bus pull in. “I’m sorry sweetie, I’ve got to go. My bus is here.” And with all of the energy a toddler can have she bounded away towards her mum.
I step on the bus, feeling like that toddler, full of energy and a sense of wonder. I’m going to Oxford! Finding a seat, I settle in and send a text:
I’m on the bus! See you in a few hours!