From Oxford to Iceland

Oxford street

Lost in Oxford

If you were to dig a hole through the world from New Zealand you would end up in England. I took a route more circuitous than subterranean—24 hours of flight and several weeks spent in Turkey, but I am now here in what was once called the "Mother Country," a day and a night in Oxford before returning home.

"Right, right and then left," my English host instructs me, directions to the nearest cash machine and shopping centre in suburban Cowley. "There's quite a big shopping centre there, and a co-op where you can get healthy food and snacks."

"Brilliant" I think to myself—healthy junk-food, the best of both worlds, and exactly what I am after. Extra layer of clothing donned, I depart into the biting chill, dark falling already at four in the afternoon.

The first right turn was simple enough, but with the next and then left I am pretty sure I am heading astray. In deference to my hosts' knowledge of these foreign streets, I persist on prescribed course despite misgivings, up suburban hillside, past Christmas decorated houses leaking steam and cheer two days past use-by date, a graveyard in between. And on towards a dead end.

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