We arrived to London this morning. We will be having a screening and a discussion tomorrow, Saturday, at the University of Cambridge. The screening promises to be very interesting, it will take place at a local independent cinema called Cambridge Art Picturehouse and it looks like it has been sold out for the past three days and admissions are now only on a waiting list basis.
We had a chance tonight to watch a selection of short films from Ukraine including the winner of the Palme D’Or for short films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. We will have another post tomorrow with details about how our screening goes, but in the meantime, here are our first impressions of Cambridge and the journey so far.
Our first steps on British soil actually started with a major faux-pas. Our bags got delayed and, upon arrival to Heathrow Airport, we rushed to the United Airlines counter to sort things out. There, we learned that they would not be able to deliver the bags to us in Cambridge until after the screening. We got appalled and started pleading and arguing as to why we needed to have our dresses before the screening and not after. At one point, behind the counter, the men’s faces went blank and they all froze. We continued our diatribe and tried to be louder than the music coming from the speakers. The men didn’t react. They even put their hands on their chest as if in deep regret. Only then, did we understand that in the entire airport, there were only our two voices that could be heard. Everybody else was silent. It was 11 am on Friday 11/11/11. The British were commemorating the people who fell dead during conflicts past and present…. and we were still arguing about our luggage. Way to go for two filmmakers who preach about commemorating the losses of the War.
We apologized profusely, and to make up for our blunder in etiquette, we purchased two poppies (symbol of Remembrance Day) and wore them the entire day.
On the way to Cambridge, Olia’s first thought was: “Oh, this is just like Virginia, just driving on the wrong side!”
When we got to the city itself, our impressions completely changed when we saw the little streets filled with the cutest shops, restaurants and coffee shops, the countless kamikaze bikers and finally the majestic campus of King’s College where we are hosted. When we started looking for our rooms, as we were going through endless narrow corridors, up and down old flights of stairs, walking by ancient doorways and heavy framed paintings, we felt this place strangely familiar. And then, when we got the student cafeteria, it all made sense: This is where Harry Potter lives!
This entry was posted on Friday, November 11th, 2011 at %I:%M %p
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