kebab van

i thought i’d written this up on here before, but i can’t find it. so let me tell you my favourite story about my time in oxford.

my college library is a converted church (with graveyard still attached). and it closed at about 1am every night, but they let people keep working in the vestry – where there were… i think six desks? – overnight. i was not very good at doing my work at anything other than the absolute last minute, and would fairly often end up in the vestry the night before an essay was due.

it was grim. honestly i do not miss it.

the highlight of those nights was when i allowed myself a break to go out to buy a burger from the kebab van that was on the other side of the high street. the nearest kebab van was ahmed’s. kebab vans in oxford are serious business (there are few kebab shops, and they’re mostly not near the colleges, where the first and third-year students often live in). i just looked ahmed’s up to check i was spelling his name right and found this amazing painting of the van!!

anyway. so one night in – i guess it was probably april? i think it was in my final year, and not too long to go before exams – i walked out to the kebab van. it was 2am, or maybe 3am. a weeknight – maybe a tuesday – and there was nobody around. too late for other people taking study breaks, and maybe the people who were out clubbing weren’t coming back yet. i felt like i and ahmed and the other guy who worked in his van were the only people alive.

and then an entire band of men turned up in full 16th century regalia. 

i think maybe one or two of them had musical instruments with them, but not all of them. they stood there. they didn’t seem to think that they were doing anything unusual. i guess for them, it wasn’t. nobody else came by. nobody said anything except to order some food.

i thought: am i hallucinating??? what is happening???

i always ordered a cheeseburger at ahmed’s, and as it wasn’t a busy night they didn’t already have any cooking, so i stood by the van for a good five minutes while it cooked, just watching these men, who seemed like time-travellers, solemnly order their kebabs. none of them had phones out or anything. nothing broke the illusion except the situation we were in. it honestly felt like time was collapsing. like we had all been pulled out of the timestream and were just chilling here together. it wasn’t april whatever, 3am, 2011. it was no time, no place. The Kebab Van At The End of Time.

they just seemed like people from the past who wanted to get something to eat. an eternal constant. and the guys in the van were as nonchalant about it as the men themselves were. yeah, we get sixteenth century people through here all the time.

and you know what, they probably do. it’s oxford.

Pizza Boy

Summery: Sometimes hooking up with the cliché isn’t so bad.  

A/N: A short ficlet. Natsu is such a cute part-timer and he can be my delivery boy any day. 

Staring at the door apprehensively Lucy was beginning to regret her actions. He was going to think she was obsessed or she couldn’t cook to save her life. After all, who ordered a pizza four times in one week? Lucy Heartfilia did. Trying not to be annoyed for developing such a cliché crush, she continued to look through the picture album Cana had sent her. Said album containing evidence of last night’s drunken antics. Lucy would prefer to deny its existence altogether. Clustered emoticons at the end of the IM consisted of winky faces and kisses meaning one thing, she had embarrassed herself again. Honestly, she could strangle drunk Lucy.

Groaning in mortification at her own stupidity she prepared the table for dinner. As if on cue, her doorbell rang. Swallowing in trepidation she walked woodenly towards the door, smoothing down her skirt. Acting like an idiot was one thing, looking like one was another. A Heartfilia always looked on point. Giving herself a once over, she hummed happily before opening the door.

Leaning on the railings, outside her apartment was the gorgeous boy she had met only five nights ago. Smiling the same cheeky smile and wearing the company hoody unzipped, revealing deliciously toned abdominals. That must against their uniform code, right?

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Melbourne Gothic (Inner North edition)
  • You take a shortcut through the bicycle parking on Lygon Street.  The bikes are too close together.  They seem to be moving.  All you can see are bicycles.  Forever.
  • You go to the pub for a meal.  You order the vegan parma.  “100 percent cruelty free”, the menu says.  The eggplant makes no sound as you bite into it.  
  • The next station is North Melbourne.  Change here for Craigieburn, Werribee, Williamstown, Sunbury, and a growing sense of unease.
  • Your flatmate sells terrariums at the Fitzroy Markets.  Using tweezers, she inserts tiny plastic people into mossy landscapes.  You look closely.  The people have your face. 
  • Lost cat signs are going up in your neighbourhood.  New ones appear every day.  Where are the cats going?  Are they running away from something?  What do they know that we don’t?
  • You buy the ornate baroque bed that has been sitting in Franco Cozzo’s window for as long as you can remember.  You sleep well.  When you wake up, you’re back in the shop.  You sit up slowly, becoming aware of the people peering at you through the glass.  But it’s not you they’re looking at.  It’s the bed.  They can’t see you at all.
  • A new bar opens on Sydney Road.  It has a pan-Asian theme.  Smiling white people bring you a cocktail named after a massacre.  You sip it and think, This is reality now.
  • This is reality now.
  • What evil lurks in the empty shell that was once a Spotlight?  No one dares even to ask.
  • Gourmet pizza.  24-hour-fermented crust.  Brunch pizza.  Dessert pizza.  Breakfast pizza.  Apocalypse pizza.
  • Someone has yarn bombed the poles outside Brunswick Town Hall.  The pattern grows more elaborate every day.  The yarn spreads to engulf the building, the road, the tram tracks and the kebab van opposite.  Fire cannot kill it.  Leave while you still can.
Oxford arts student gothic
  • the layout of the Exam Schools changes every time you set foot inside.
  • you could have sworn there was a growling coming from e.M09.155-15987 that only abated when you put that copy of Hugh Kenner back in the right place.
  • you’re sure you saw the heads outside the Sheldonian move last night.
  • the hotplate at breakfast rattles. uneasy, you put back that extra, contraband sausage. the rattling stops.
  • you spend all your time in the Rad Cam, waiting to hear the closing bell. you never do. the library shut two hours ago and it’s just you and the figures of the Western Canon left in the gloom.
  • there’s a ghost in St John’s, but it’s the least of your worries compared to their bar prices.
  • your books are overdue. the librarian hisses something about blood to the girl at the head of the line, and you decide to pay the fine online instead.
  • the cobbles whisper. 
  • the faint howls of tormented souls fill the quad at night. you draw the collar of your coat up, and mutter something about freshers.
  • sometimes you see the shelves moving in the Upper Gladstone Link of their own accord.
  • someone’s taken your houmous from the shared fridge. the streaks of ectoplasm give you some clue as to which member of your staircase did it.
  • you stumble into Bridge, quickly losing your friends in the mob. an unearthly force pushes you upstairs, into a mass of somnambulant figures, all hypnotised. the music doesn’t change for twenty minutes. you find yourself guided in a ceaseless loop, up and down and up again, the stairs never ending, no one answering your questions until you push through the mass of clammy limbs for the sanctuary of the smoking area.
  • past midnight the proprietors of the kebab vans seem shrouded in shadow. their teeth glint brighter than the glass over the anaemic looking salad. to compound the horror, cheesy chips are now £2.50.
  • there’s never a copy of Introduction to Literary Theory in the college library, but there is a dark, reddish stain on the shelf where it should be.
  • the sound of shuffling footsteps follows you around the English Faculty. it might be a lost coursemate, but every time you look around, all you can see is terrible sixties architecture.
  • you actually met a History and English student the other day. they seemed to be breathing.
  • SOLO is always open on your computer. you can’t close it. it looms over you as you sleep.
  • you can’t hear the word ‘Cambridge’ without screaming and clawing at the walls. you never used to have this problem. 
  • the author isn’t dead. the author is most definitely undead, and they’re slavering as they make their way towards you.
  • an unearthly shrieking rises  from the mist on the Isis. birds fly from their roots. the city seems empty. Summer Eights has started, it seems.

Anyukám a fóti gyermekváros menekültrészlegén dolgozik. Ma én mentem érte, és ahogy közeledtem az irodája felé, láttam egy akkora Audit, mint a teljes menekültrészleg épülete. Egymással szemben haladtunk el, és egyértelmű volt, hogy egy iráni család, épp jókedvűen beszélgetnek. Kérdezem anyukámtól, mit keresnek itt a perzsák? Kiderült, hogy kaját hoztak (természetesen gyros tál, hagyma csípőssel) a menekült gyerekeknek.

Kifelé menet látunk pár pastun és hazara gyereket, dumálnak. Anyukám szól nekik, siessetek, kebab van ma vacsorára. Én ilyen futást utoljára olimpián láttam.


Wednesday 27th January 2016

9:00: I was meant to have a criminal law lecture at 9am, however I missed it because I had a high fever all night and did not sleep much. When I woke at half seven I felt really ill (headache, achy, sore throat, and blocked nose, the usual.) so I decided to sleep in. It’s okay to miss lectures when ill. I woke at 9:25, opened my curtains and made breakfast (tea and cereal). I then took some medicine. 

10:30: I decided to go shower, this cleared up my blocked nose a little. 

11:00: made a cappuccino and got ready to work. I watched back the lecture I missed in the morning (which was my only lecture that day) and made notes.

12:30: made lunch , pasta with mushrooms and garlic, I used the super pasta mixes because I did not have much energy to cook anything else. 

13:00: Carried on with my criminal law workshop prep.

15:00: decided to do some yoga, and then had a 20 minute nap. (I nap a lot when I’m ill). 

17:00: went on tumblr for a bit, and then two of my housemates came home (they are two of my best friends, I’m so lucky to live with my bestfriends). So we hung out for a bit and then decided to go to the kebab van for dinner, as they’d been working all day and I was to ill to cook. I got a kebab wrap and chips. (Our kebab van is literally behind our house, so lucky but it’s hard to resist temptation). I ate this in bed and watched TV and youtube videos. 

19:30: Finished off my workshop prep for criminal law. 

22:00: Hung out downstairs with my house mates, I had a cup of camomile and honey tea. I then made a cup of sleep tea.

23:00: drank my cup of peace and snore tea (by clippers) and watched a couple of episodes of absolutely fabulous, and went to sleep.

Just wanted to note, that I know I haven’t had many lectures. This is for two reasons,  the first it is the second week back and my course works in blocks of two weeks (so a lot of work shops have been cancelled due to the fact we haven’t learnt the material), and secondly I’m only ever in for 12 hours a week (4, two hour lectures and then 2, two hour workshops). This is because my course is mostly independent work. Normally I’d spend more time working but at the moment I don’t have much work to do. (also I’ve been ill so my favourite place rn is in bed watching tv).