Is Cambridge on a bank holiday weekend the worst thing in the world?
I’ve had enough of crashing my bike into tourists
For all its flaws, I love Cambridge.
I love its wonderful buildings, its quirky, higgledy-piggledy streets, and its unapologetic traditionalism that I know will never change. But one thing I can’t abide about it is the transformation that occurs on a summer bank holiday. For want of a better phrase, it’s hell reincarnated.
I get it, Cambridge is beautiful. Tourists have every right to experience the aspects of it that we do. But it’s almost as if the sun coming out acts as a metaphorical key unlocking the houses of some of the most irritating people to ever walk the planet. Getting around Cambridge this weekend was arguably harder than getting in here, and I had to come back to re-interview.
I mean, can people not understand that pavements are for walking on, and roads are for cycling? Obviously not: as I was on my bike this weekend in town, I could honestly move about a metre before being confronted with a barrage of photo-taking tourists or a group of drunk, hobbling ladies on a hen do.
And it seems that being blind to the highway code doesn’t improve their hearing because no matter how hard I ring my bell, no one moved out the way. In fact, more often than not, they just stop, making it far more likely that I’ll crash into them. One time I did, through no fault of my own, and was called a ‘posh f*cking c*nt’. Nice.
It becomes even more problematic trying to get to Sidg. I always thought orgasms were meant to be fun, but my idea of them has changed since attempting to traverse the somewhat-misnamed O bridge. The only thing I can compare the tourists to is a blood clot in a vein: stopping the flow of traffic. And the result is just as terrible.
Many visitors also seem to have little respect for the fact that colleges are first and foremost where we live and work. As occurred on the weekend, tourists shouldn’t be allowed to bring in picnics to eat in Magdalene, or use our gyp to charge their phone. I’d love to see their reaction if the situation was reversed.
I understand that tourism is an essential part of supporting the local economy, and that British people behave in a less-than-exemplary manner on holiday, but the situation has got so ridiculous that that the centre of town is almost inhospitable. Last July, The Cambridge News reported that 140,000 people visited the city on one day, and as more and more tourists add Cambridge to their itinerary, it’ll only get worse.
Suddenly being far away from town in Girton doesn’t seem so bad.