Yet at some point, my brain soon starts to filter a stream of staccato images at the mere mention of the word "Britain". Being independent and distinct at the same time, they would have been my original "memories" of the great country, if it were not for the special tour this time. Technically speaking, there is no such thing like memory---they're nothing but personal imaginations and assumptions, but I do prefer this word anyway because it draws me closer towards Britain and increases the intimacy in this subtle relationship.
After all, with the movies and TV series and similar entertainments watched, I have already imagined Britain to be a place where people hold dark umbrellas, running around in the sprinkle with either their Burberry scarfs wrapped around their necks or hill-collars upright; ladies are invited by gentlemen for a proper dinner at some fancy restaurants, both acting shyly while moving their knives and forks; the symbolic clock---the Big Ben rests along the banks of the Thames River, accompanied by the Houses of Parliament… And whenever the British accented English arises by my ears, the same question strikes my mind "Can I fit in if we speak the same type of English? Can I fit in if we share the same interests and passion? Can I fit in simply if we are all living under the British sky?"
The truth is: nobody cares. Being lost in the streets of London is the same as being lost in an enormous forests as a little ant. You will hear noises: disturbing, exotic, comforting and voices of all kind above the ground. Drifting like a duckweed in rapid river streams, you squeeze yourself through the gigantic crowd. In terms of how small you are, you seem to be the only one performing retrograde motion. The situation becomes even more terrifying when you realize that the cars are whooshing towards every possible directions right beside you. You look around, trying almost desperately to search for familiar faces, but wherever you look, you are confronted with unacquainted and hollow expressions.
Even if you are able to communicate fluently with one of the shop assistants and ask for a kind make up try-on, you can never possibly tell what their real motivations are. Are they simply being kind to you just for products promotion? In that way, after all, it won't hurt them to have a little nice conversation with you.
That, however, is not the only resource of noises. Your own heart is also contributing a lot: being clutched with fear of isolation, the heartbeats soon become powerful and resonant both in your chest and ears. At last, if you're truly paying attention, the noise of the sky and the underground can also be noticed. Although delicate from the distance as they may be regarded, they all played a role that cannot be ignored in witnessing the vicissitudes of the great city.
I have never been to London before, not in this life. Yet I felt somehow connected to it, like an old friend I've known for such a long time; or, to be better worded as, a vague figure that silently appeared in one of my half-remembered dreams. It was a woman with her long black veil on, so I was unable to recognize her face. Not until the day I set my feet near her did I felt her breath on my face. It was the most wicked spell she had cast on me, and it was so mesmerizing that I've forgotten my true identity.
From that single moment, I became privileged to have a taste of her shocking beauty. Her Gothic style of architecture that can be seen in every street and valley: each path that you accidentally find yourself on, are ready to tell you a history of over-200-year time; her amazing technique of weaving the past, the present and the future into one harmonic art piece yet with considerable impact acting together; her outpouring creativity that is emerged from the historical sediment but all fits perfectly well into the tide of age; her incredible being as a center of not only shopping, but also crowdfunding, fashion and finance.
And it all comes down to the saying of Matthew Arnold, "And that sweet city whit her dreaming spires, she needs not June for beauty's heightening." She, just like a British literature giant--- William Shakespeare, is not of an age, but for all time!
The two-week residence was temporary, but I was fortunate enough to make it. Some time alone with the two inspiring cities—Oxford and Cambridge was a great idea and was indeed appreciated. Yet not everything happened as the way I expected; or to be exact, towards the dark side of things. There are tons of ways to embrace a city's spirit, and shopping is definitely one of them, but it should never be the major ones. I couldn't manage to put a smile on my face when all I wanted to do is staying in the museum, discovering treasure that I have never seen before. However the time given was so limited that we only took a brief look at the famous exhibitions. The Greek gods, the Christian religious portraits of the Madonna and child, the early Egyptian statues and gods, and all the exhibitions I was obsessed with but haven't stood a chance to see.
As well as that, I wished the courses to be more academic and challenging. I'm not afraid to say my thoughts out loud because for an educational institution with a promising future, it should accept everybody's first-hand experiences (mine was hardly a criticism) and try it best to modify.
Adventures like this cannot be perfect, as they are designed by human ourselves with natural imperfection. What I can do is to focus on the joy and knowledge it has brought me, and appreciate it with all my heart. After all, what is to be complained about if we were once in the Great Britain? Ending this article using counterpart of the title would be a lovely idea: "But thy eternal summer shall not fade .Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st…..So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee." Sooner or later, I shall see you again, my beloved Britain!