About Me

London, United Kingdom

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Moving on up to the east side!

Well, crap. I lost my iPhone at Ikea yesterday. Things were really looking up with the use of that thing too. I lost it somewhere between kitchens and storage. I've retraced my steps about 15 times since then. I am so sick of that place. Unfortunately, I think I am going to have to go back there pretty much everyday this week because I'm too cheap to get a taxi so that I can get everything all at once. Besides, buying furniture for an entire flat at once is quite overwhelming. Hence the lost iPhone. Anyway, I'm so glad that the guy talked me into getting insurance when I got the phone (three weeks ago, sigh). In order to make an insurance claim, I had to make a police report. Therefore, I have had my first encounter with The Met! The Met is the police department in London. They walk around with those funny hats. I was disappointed to find out the lady taking my report wasn't going to put her funny hat on in order to help me, but I didn't feel like it was my place to ask her to. I'm sure that they don't really enjoy making reports on people that have lost their phones at Ikea.

On my way home from the police station, my bus got into an accident...which was very exciting! I was just happy not to have been behind the wheel in this one. The bus driver slammed into the car in the next lane. It was very obvious that she had done it, but she just kept driving! Eventually the crazy guy we hit (he had what could only be the English version of the mullet) caught up to us and blocked the road so she couldn't go any further. There was then lots of commotion...yelling, horns, etc. All in all, after surveying the damage, I would say the guy made out pretty well. After all, a double decker, bright red bus had slammed into the side of his car. Really the extent of the damage was a broken side mirror. It sounded so much louder than that.

I have spent the majority of the weekend moving into my flat. I'm very excited about it. (I'm not excited about how much time and money I've spent at Ikea, but I'll stop dwelling on that.) My suitcases are very excited to be unpacked and in my closet. On Friday, I had a sofa bed, my bed, and a bookshelf delivered. I assumed the sofa bed would be put together. I assumed wrong. I didn't know that a sofa bed could come in 4000 pieces, in 2000 boxes. I can't believe I put it together by myself. I did have some extra screws at the end. I'm not sure what that's about. Oh well, that's not my problem. I don't plan on ever sleeping there. (Sorry guests!) I also successfully put together my bed. Putting together all the furniture has taken a toll on my back. I feel like I'm about 80 years old. Getting out of bed the last two days has been very rough. I'm so stiff! I also think that I'm allergic to all the fake wood that I now have in here. I can't stop sneezing.

I'm living in South Woodford, which is a little community in Eastern London. It's a nice, quiet little area...with lots of cute old people. I can't get enough of the old Enlgish men with their houndstooth hats. I talk to them all frequently at bus stops. My hope is that after 80 years, they have figured out London and they can give me some insight. This place is a little difficult to wrap your head around at times. It's so huge...with so much to do and see. Now that I'm almost settled, I really plan to make the most of it.

I'll post pictures of my flat when it's a little more put together. It's condition is a little embarrassing right now.

Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

I would imagine that they drive on the left side of the road in hell...

Well, I am just coming off of my first holiday weekend in England. Today (May 3) was the early May bank holiday. I'm not sure what we were supposed to be celebrating, but I did nonetheless. On Saturday, I got the haircut an color of a lifetime. I will never (ever) disclose how much I accidently spent there, but it was the most relaxing three hours I have had in a long time...and for those of you that know about my life prior to moving over here, my life has been pretty relaxing as of late. I guess I know that from now on, you should ask how much services are going to cost prior to booking them. Oh well...I did get my first paycheck in over five months this week.

Early yesterday morning, two girls and I headed up north to York, England for the weekend. We didn't decide to go until late Friday afternoon, so train tickets were pretty expensive by then and we decided to rent a car. The other two girls said that they didn't know how to drive a manual transmission and I was in no condition to chip in for the upgrade to an automatic after my hair extravaganza the day prior. I decided that I would be the driver for the weekend. How hard can it be, right? Turns out...it's really hard. The steering wheel is on the right side of the car, so you have to shift with your left hand. Instead of reverse being on to the right of fifth it's all the way to the left before first. (I hope that makes sense.) It has been the most disorienting 36 hours of my life. There is so much that goes into driving on the left side of the road. You take wide right had turns, and small left hand turns. The British also evidently love the use of roundabouts and instead of going to the right in them, you are very much supposed to go to the left.

After we made it up to York, I was feeling a bit more comfortable and confident in my driving in the UK. I had made it almost three hours without doing any major damage to this country! Then I accidently hit a cyclist. This obviously squelched my confidence. I'm not exactly how it happened. Whether or not I had my blinker on is up for debate, but he made it pretty clear to me that I hadn't. Needless to say, he wasn't a very happy Englishman at that point. He appeared to be okay though. After all, he did have enough strength to yell at me. It was quite traumatic.

The three of us wandered around York yesterday afternoon and into the evening. It's a very quaint little English town. It was pretty cold here this weekend though, so it was hard to see the sights for long. We got up this morning and left York, hoping to drive through the English countryside before coming back to London. We drove through the Peak District in The Midlands. The little villages of cottages and pubs on the hillsides here are so fun. I definitely want to spend some more time out there very soon. I really, really liked all of the sheep too!

All in all, it was a successful holiday weekend. Now, on to work for the week. Luckily, I only have to work 2 1/2 days this week because it is moving week for me! I'm so excited to be able to finally unpack after six months of living in limbo. I can't wait to be able to finally get into a routine. My flat isn't furnished so I will be making the trip of a lifetime to Ikea to furnish the place, but I have already bought a sofa bed. My plan was to figure out an alternative to giving up my bed all the time to my guests! :) You can all start booking tickets now!