Saturday, March 19, 2005


Cambridge is situated about 60 miles northeast-ish of London, in a region called "East Anglia." It reminds me a bit of the central valley in California, or the high plains. It is very flat. Much of Cambridgeshire used to be a swamp, until it was invaded by heavily-armed Dutch civil engineers in the 1600s.

Cambirdge has a population of about 100,000 but is surrounded by a number of satellite villages that mostly serve as bedroom communities for high-tech workers and other assorted people who can't be bothered to spend 3 hours looking for a parking spot in the city. Each village, and the city of Cambridge itself are in turn surrounded by geen belt areas where any sort of high-density development is banned. This, combined with a transport infrastructure that was outdated when Elizabeth I was queen, makes for awful traffic back-ups, accident-prone motorways, and a general sense that if they'd just convert that damned wheat field into a 6-lane superhighway, everything would be OK. Fortunately, wheat has been declared an endangered species and they can't do that.

Cambridge is known worldwide for one thing: pubs. (Here's another US/UK difference - What we in the US know as the second floor of a building is known to brits as the first floor. To them, what we call the first floor is known as "the pub.") There are over 127,000 pubs in Cambridge, the largest of which is known as the "University of Cambridge" and occupies most of the city centre. I haven't been to this pub yet, as it's supposedly very trendy and reserved for the children of upper-class twits.

There's some kind of school in town, but I wouldn't know anything about that.


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