22 November 2010
When I first moved to the UK I was excited because London is a cultural hub with tonnes of fashion-action, thriving avant-grade arts pockets, comedy and tomfoolery aplenty, and history like you wouldn't believe. It has largely lived up to the hype.
But there was also one other special place I was looking forward to visiting: Oxbridge. In my imagination, based on the tales I'd heard, Oxbridge was a place that smelled of old books, fresh air, and enthusiasm. A place where rowing was a constant sight on a river made of glass, and people of all shapes and sizes went to better themselves. Sounded like a great place to visit.
Even the name, Oxbridge, conjures up the image of a river crossing where hard-working beasts of burden trundle along a rickety wooden overpass, on their days journey from toil to travail, bathed in dawn light. How romantic.
But Oxbridge is a myth.
It is a magical fairy-tale land where, allegedly, people go to become "the dominant forces in Britain's cultural and political establishments." As if. I mean, how naïve was I to believe that such a place could really exist?
Look on a map of the UK and you won't find it. (Actually there's a tiny village called Oxbridge in Dorset, but it a tiny and sleepy place; there is no way that 85% of the judiciary went there: they wouldn't fit. Especially not if the majority of politicians were already there.
After falling for such an obvious ruse, I now get embarrassed when people mention Oxbridge, and all the benefits bestowed on those who manage to make it to this special place.
It's just too good to be true.
Besides, I've recently heard of a place that sounds even more interesting: Camford.
It's a depressing industrial town where children of the elite go to learn how to do soul-sucking low-paying menial jobs. That I'd like to see.
Problem is, I can't find it on the map anywhere.