Hanging out in Cambridge was like all my travel dreams rolled into one. J-man, my friend T and I wandered through the cobbled, narrow streets catching glimpses of historic, ivy-covered colleges with luscious grounds. We marvelled at all the people riding retro bikes. We went punting on the River Cam with a charming tour guide who cracked jokes about Australia’s convict past (“You Aussies keep your fingers to yourselves”), recent sporting failures (“Cricket…something something … Rugby something, also”) and tourist attractions (“You know that scene in Harry Potter where he learns to fly? That wasn’t filmed here”). We reclined on the narrow wooden boat sipping ciders, looking at the classic English landscapes and feeling alive.
But all of that was shattered by something I shall now refer to as King Intef’s curse on the flesh-coloured underpants. I wore those beauties again on my trip to Cambridge because I was wearing a vaguely sheerish dress and thought I might distract the scholars from their studies if I wore my fetching neon green ones. Anyway, the day went very smoothly until I went to the gals’ room in an old pub. Just after I sat down a woman burst in on me and screamed. The toilet stall was very long and wide and there was nothing I could do to slam the door, so we just kind of looked at each other in sheer terror – me with my flesh-coloured underpants around my knees, her dignified in a matching linen outfit. After she shut the door, I tried desperately to secure the lock, pants down, only to be burst in on seconds later by a teenage girl, who also screamed.
After urgently ushering T and J-man out of the pub I told them that was it. The Cambridge dream was over. Luckily T knew exactly how to mend my broken spirit – with fudge! Peanut butter and chocolate fudge! I haven’t actually had any peanut butter while in the UK because it seems the Brits love berry jams and Marmite on their toast and the spread of the gods is reserved solely for sweets and fudge.
I’ll admit this looks like something you might find if you were a plumber. But actually, it was a delicious specimen from The Fudge Kitchen in Cambridge. Also known as the happiest place on Earth, second to bed.
Peanut butter fudge cures all ills. Except travel hair and face disease.
(Hello! I’m actually writing this from Germany (see: öööäää), weeks after leaving the UK. I’ve also since been to Holland, where internet was mostly nonexistent. Hopefully now I’m in the land of the schnitzel I’ll be able to update more. Sheesh!)