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Oxford: sells postcards.
Oxford in General
Member Name: RiotGrrly
Oxford in General
Date: 14/02/03, updated on 14/02/03 (144 review reads)
Advantages: The buildings., The food., My degree.
Disadvantages: The cost., The people., Need I go on?
That, I think, is the only true purpose of a city like Oxford. I have lived here for eighteen months and am very ready to leave (although I can't until 2005!) The only thing I'm getting out of my time here is a professional qualification, and it's costing me dearly.
On the plus side, Oxford is a beautiful place. The towns where I went to school and college were, shall we say, "architecturally challenged", except in places where the local council have built some kind of arts centre. The buildings in the city centre are magnificent and the fact that there is so much history steeped within them really makes visiting Oxford a worthwhile trip. In the summer, it's a very green place and it can be enjoyed on foot or by boat.
What all this beauty and history translates to is a booming tourist industry which I have to say I saw no sign of being affected by the September 11th Attacks, but last summer was my first here. The streets become crowded to the point of being unbearable, which I feel is all a bit much when I'm only trying to get to work! Thankfully, I haven't been asked "Can you tell me where Oxford University is?" because I don't think I could keep a straight face.
Oxford is an expensive place to live. It is a desirable place to live, I would agree as there are nice houses and good schools, but this makes student life here a bit of a struggle. While Oxford is close to London (some 54 miles according to the signs on the M40) it falls outside of the area surrounding London where cost of living bonuses are available. A student in London will recieve extra loan for living in London while a student living in Oxford wont. Hospitals like the John Radcliffe have experienced recruitment problems because nurses can't afford to live here: the location 'bonus' simply isn't enough. I would love to stay here post-qualifying, but I can't afford to. Another factor raising the cost of livin
g is tourists: they bring money to spend and prices are raised accordingly - but what about the rest of us?!
The nightlife isn't up to much unless, again, you're a tourist. There are lots of restaurants, however, to cater for all tastes and budgets and that's just in the city centre. Tea at the Randolph or an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet? In terms of food, Oxford has a lot to offer.
Shopping is also mainly tourist orientated - in the summer you can't walk staight for tripping over postcard stands. There are the standard high street shops but the choice isn't vast: River Island, Next and New Look just about cover womenswear. There are some top of the range shops, however, like Whistles and Agnes B. What surprised me was the number of shops selling skate wear or off the wall clothing, DNA and Cult Clothing to name two. My advice: Reading is cheaper to get to than London (although both are possibilities) and the choice is much better.
My final dislike for Oxford is the vast majority of the people that I meet here: the rudeness, arroagance and sheer contempt for fellow human beings is mind blowing! So many people that I know who moved into the area have noticed it. I don't feel any real pride in it as a place and could never call it home because of these attitudes - they're not representative of me and I don't wish to be associated with these people that behave so appallingly.
Oxford, you're only good for selling postcards to gullible tourists who couldn't find Oxford University. And that's nothing to get sniffy about.
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