By far the strangest Easter that I’ve ever had. Mary, Jenna, and I had plans to go to the 9th annual Goat Race–a play on the famous Oxford vs Cambridge boat race on the Thames. We arrived at Spitalfields Farm after taking multiple buses and walking a decent ways. As soon as we arrived, we realized how awesome the vibe was. It was basically a thousand hipsters, getting drunk, and watching farm animals race. What more could you ask for from an Easter Sunday?
When we first got there, we ate, because we were starving. I had the best falafel I’ve ever had, and my first sweet potato fries in three months–delicious. While we were waiting in line it started pouring–harder than it’s rained since I’ve been here. Typical. Luckily it stopped raining long enough for us to eat. But then it started again. We watched the band playing for awhile (they were really good), until it started raining too hard to comfortably stand out in it. We took refuge in a tent building they had set up with face-painting and coloring. Eventually it stopped down pouring so the tent cleared out enough for us to sit at the coloring table. We sat there for a couple hours waiting for the goat races to start (coloring of course).
Eventually we went outside where they had lined up barricades for the animals to race though. The first event was the Shoat Race, where two pigs (one for Oxford and one for Cambridge) in tutus “raced” down the track. The next event was the Coat Race, where they attached coats to a rope pulley system and literally just raced them up a tree (what?). The third event was Tug-of-War where two teams had to pull “money” (it was fake USD) over to their side so that their “goat” (it was a person on their team) could “eat” it (while they didn’t actually ingest it, they did have to chew on it). The fourth event was “Goateoke” where people had to bleat like a goat to the rhythm of popular songs.
And finally we made it to the main event–the Goat Race. We first had to practice cheering quietly, so as to not scare the goats. The actual race was a bit anticlimactic, seeing as though the goats more so walked to the end of the track following the human in front of them with food. But it was still fun to see. Oxford won. Oh, and I forgot to mention that this entire spectacle was being narrated by a man dressed as a goat. He literally had goat horns and furry legs and everything. It was the strangest thing.
After this whole spectacle, we found a pub to warm up in. After sitting for a few hours and talking about life, we decided to head back to campus (too much excitement for one day). But not before I ordered pad thai from the Thai restaurant that was operating inside the pub (this is such a beautifully strange city). On our way home we stumbled upon this tiny anarchist independent bookstore, so we took a look around. It was the coolest little place in a little alley off the main road. What a strange way to spend Easter.
I ended the day with a long phone call to my family, and Thai takeout. An unorthodox Easter for sure, but a great one.