It is taking me quite awhile to acclimate to cooking in England. The kitchen here is not well-stocked on cookware, and many of the pieces of equipment I use most often in the US are not easy to find at an affordable price. When I have found a deal, it has more than once come at the cost of horrendous quality. A cast iron skillet was high on my priority list, but the first one I order (for a bit more than a standard Lodge cast iron in the US) cracked while I was seasoning it. However, failure on this front was not an option.
I settled into Cambridge a bit less than a week ago, and have been slowly acquainting myself with the city since. Since I didn’t pack much other than my clothes, I’ve had to get out and about quite a bit to establish myself in comfort. To some degree the high density of shops, cafes, and restaurants paired with the small extent of the city reminds me of places like Gainesville, FL or Athens, GA, but in truth I’ve never been in an American city quite like this. The streets are narrow and the buildings remnants of another era like historic Annapolis, but every sidewalk is as crowded with pedestrians as Manhattan. Students play cricket, rugby, and soccer in Parker’s Piece while teenagers test their skateboards and bikes in a nearby skatepark. There are bits and pieces of familiar elements of places I’m familiar with, but it forms an incongruent whole, as least for my American sensibilities. Nonetheless I am delighted by it.