2018 Spring Rebecca Roman Temple Exchange UEA

Finding the Remarkable in the Repetitive

It’s a Sunday afternoon. I’m heading into town to spend a few hours at the local library, then get my food shopping for the week done. The 25 and 26 buses are waiting at the university stop, as always. UEA is the last stop on their routes. I’m early, so I get my favorite seat on the entire bus: the top deck, front row. It’s a little hot since the sun shines right on my seat, but it will soon be worth it. We pass Eaton Park, one of several public parks established in Norwich nearly a century ago in the city’s effort to be on par with other major cities in the U.K.. All year round it’s busy, but there’s something about seeing the spring crowd that especially lifts my spirit.

Even spring looks much different here than it does in Philly.

I like to think it’s the fact that the earth has come to life again, because as soon as the bus turns onto Unthank Road, I’ve been transported to an avenue enchanted by the pink, purple, and green clouds of the blooming trees. I watch directly below as a bicyclist in front of the bus cruises along to the city centre with us. Slowly the tower of the Roman Catholic cathedral comes into view, a sign that we’re almost to the city. There are sunbathers lying in the grass at Chapelfield Gardens, and children waving to the bus driver as they cross the street with their families.

One of many beautifully-bloomed front gardens on Earlham Road

This has been my daily routine on the bus since I arrived to Norwich, but there’s something about springtime that seems to have drastically changed my perception of the “fine city.” The changing of seasons seems to have forced my eyes to take a second look at everything, which has led me down roads I’d never seen before. Chester Cul-De-Sac and the Plantation Gardens are just two examples of new stops I’ve made this spring on my walk back towards the university. So many residents sport beautiful front gardens, and the same can be said in any other neighborhood in England, too.

It’s small details too, like the blooming of flowers, that make spring abroad so exciting.

The Plantation Gardens are hidden behind a narrow driveway at the end of Earlham Road, with only small brown sign indicating its existence. It is, in fact, over a century old and is home to dozens of interesting plant species!

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