There is fun, after all

(For 5/11/10)

How my day went? That is a long story. But it’s a good one.

It’s glorious Friday. The only day school does not start at 9am. Of course, I exploited the hell out of this and woke up at 7.30am instead of 6.30am. It’s the only weekday I get to wake up late.

Late or no, it’s a great morning. My dad went back on Wednesday, so I’m all alone in my new place. It’s a 2-bedroom apartment which looks amazing. After living in a hotel and a bed & breakfast for the last two months, I really love the feeling of waking up in a house, in your own bedroom. I can just walk to the shower, use it as long as I like. And the shower doesn’t feel cramped. Hot water flows at decent pressure. There is no scrounging for soap, no peeling at soap packets provided every day when they clean up your room. There is no need to share shower and sink space with the owners of the house. It’s all for you. You take this for granted, but it’s one of those things you really enjoy after being deprived of it.

(There’s a whole story here about the house, the week with my dad, which I have yet to complete. Another day.)

The kitchen! The frying pan still contains oil from cooking eggs and bacon; I better clean that. The plates from the past 2 days are still in the sink, rinsed but not soaped properly; I better clean that. I eat a weird mixture of Frosties, Doritos, chocolate biscuits, and that weird peanut food thing which I never remember the name of, but comes from Malaysia and tastes exquisite. My morning drink is the usual, boiled and filtered dihydrogen monoxide (also called DHMO, or H20). I bring my laptop to the kitchen table. While I eat, I leave Skype on. Maybe she’ll come online? It must be about (9+8)-12 = 5pm back home?

As I finish, she’s still not online. But as I surf Facebook book, I see Aniar Gnok has messaged me. She is online after all! We have a pleasant, slightly dramatic chat. The message is clear: there is much to be missed by my inability to video call. I know this will resolve in a week, but still, a week is quite a long time. Time speeds up quickly, and eventually we have our own work to do. Goodbyes are shared.

Surf the net a little. Oh wait, I have Economics homework… eh, nevermind. I have time after Physics class. I can do it then. Oh, 15 minutes to school already? Better pack up and go.

Should I take my raincoat? This whole week I’ve gone to school with it every day. It never rained once. I think I won’t this time.

I open the door. It’s drizzling. But still, I’m far too stubborn to change my mind. I decided that I wouldn’t wear the raincoat, so I am not going to wear it. Simple. Anyways, as I cycle to class, the rain is barely drizzling anyways. It’s not that bad. Of course, the jacket is leather, so I am a little worried that leather gets spoiled by rain. I think it does anyway.

Enter room C2. The lights are off, everyone is gathered around Richard (teacher) who is slaving away at a electron accelerator. Through the class I have no idea what he was doing. Actually, I have no idea about half of what he is doing. The part about electrons, and the beam being deflected when subject to an electric current was easy enough, but when he began to talk about earthing the voltage source, and using the magnetic force of the coils to un-deflect the beam, I started losing track. My attention span was roughly inversely proportional to the number of wires used in the experiment.

By the Law of Conservation of Attention (attention cannot be created or destroyed, but can be used on something else instead), my attention had to be redirected somewhere. That ‘somewhere’ was the plank filled with oil and iron fillings. I spend a good 30 minutes playing with magnets, iron fillings and gravity (and also did a magic trick. Fooled Shu Hang for 5 seconds). Magnetic field lines went up on the board, and although I understood everything, now I can’t remember what he was talking about.

Sometime during that class Shu Hang suggested that we go to the fireworks tonight. Being completely unaware of any fireworks, I dug a little deeper (read: asked Germaine). There will be a carnival at Midsummer Common, with fireworks at 7.30pm. Do I want to go? YES.

Shu Hang asks if there would be a merry-go-round.

I cycle back to my home and do my Economics homework while trying not to fall asleep. I barely succeed. This time, before leaving, I take my raincoat. It wasn’t raining.

Economics whizzes past. I go over to Shu Hang’s house to drop off my bag, and since it wasn’t raining, the raincoat as well (!!!). The five guys who had bikes (me, and four others who do not deserve to be mentioned) cycle to Nando’s for dinner.

I must digress here: NANDO’S IS DELICIOUS. CHICKEN FRENZY. DELICIOUS.

Ok.

We leave Nando’s and it’s drizzling. I do comtemplate taking my raincoat, but hey, this rain will probably go away too, right? It doesn’t. It keep getting slightly heavier every few minutes. By the time we arrive at Midsummer Common I’m quite drenched already. But wow! It’s raining, it’s dark and it’s cold, yet at least the entire town of Cambridge and most neighbouring cities have come to the carnival. There must have been millions* of people there.

(read: thousands)

We look around for the other group of people (the poor, sub-species of humans who didn’t bike through the rain). They are eating carnival Thai food and burgers, in the rain, for dinner. I can think of far better dinners (like Nando’s). Then the fireworks started; I shall do my best to recreate the experience in pictures and words:

PEEEEEEEEEE BOOM
BAM CRACKLE CRACKLE CRACKLE
WHEEEEEEE BOOOOM BAM BAM
BAMBOOMCRACKBISHBAMOOMPBOOOOMWHOOSHBAMBAMPOP

By the time the fireworks finished, I learn about two things:

  1. Some people are completely and utterly enraptured by fireworks (no names, i don’t like making fun of people eltjse and shu hang)
  2. Despite stealing umbrella space, my leather jacket is soaking wet.
It looks like snow, it feels like snow, but it's rain.

We went for the rides:

© Andrew Dunn

This one is Extreme (it’s called Extreme). It rotates you, while rotating the seats. By far the worse part of the ride was the queue: there is a big crowd around the ticket booth and you sort of push your way through it while everyone else is pushing their way through it. £4 and 15 minutes of rain later we’re in the ride.

It’s really not that scary actually. The harness-seat-thing means that your body is always firmly attached to the seat, which means that you never feel anything like a free fall. It’s more a sensation of moving really quickly round and round. If you know the Spinner in the Genting Theme Park, I find that to be a little scarier than this ride.

© Andrew Dunn

Then there is Oblivion. It swings like a pendulum, but at the same time the seats are rotating horizontally. It is really, really fun!

And scary.

But fun!

Eight pounds poorer and soaking wet, it’s time to cycle to the cinema to watch Due Date. By the time I finally have a roof over my head, my leather jacket is dripping wet :(

One week later, the jacket is dry but wrinkled. Poor jacket.

Let’s learn Physics!

In Boston, lived Jack, as did Jill,
Who gained mgh on a hill.
In their liquid pursuit,
Jill exclaimed with a hoot,
” I think we’ve just climbed a landfill!”

While noting, “Oh, this is just grand,”
Jack tripped on some trash in the sand.
He changed his potential
To kinetic, torrential,
But not before grabbing Jill’s hand.