Happy Birthday to me!
It’s been a crazy couple of weeks – I am fully integrating/adapting into the English subculture and trying to learn to live successfully in the big city! I have officially moved in with my flatmates, Tori and Mike, and they are very nice! I cannot wait till my Scottish friend, Lucy, is back in town so we can hang out again as well! She should be back sometime later this month for us to stir up some trouble.
The Big 3-0
I am in a particularly good mood today since it is my birthday. I am 30 years old. I have officially been on this earth for 30 years and now suddenly am thrown into the mix of being a successful, mature business woman AND settling down to be a wife/mother. I don’t feel pressured by friends or family to make huge life decisions at this point but I am wondering when this will happen for me.
ADAPTING not as well…
I officially had a complete meltdown this past weekend as everything suddenly came to a stressful point for me. Thankfully, my Dad was there to make me feel a bit better. Couple of things: 1. Customer Service is not so amazing here. Specifically, my leasing agency is ridiculously heinous. If you are having the best day of your life and called or communicated in any way with the Black Katz leasing agency you will suddenly find yourself thrown into frustration/sadness/madness. The fact that I have a place that will not allow for me to bring over my cat has been a point of issue.
Also, #2 the fact that my bank is taking FOREVER to get my acct opened has been problematic as well. You need a bank acct to do anything – “let” a flat (rent = let), “top up” your “oyster card,” (add $$ to your bus/tube card), pay for items. In Europe they have different cards than the US. The cards here in the UK include a chip which requires a pin entry whenever you purchase an item – like a debit card. “Swipe Cards” are US credit cards and are not accepted anywhere. You can get chip cards outside of the bank and upload cash onto them but a bank replenishment is easier. Also, banks in the UK do not have money orders – so if you need to get $$ to someone the one way that you can do this is via wiring the $$ from your acct. Namely, your bank acct. Which I am still waiting on. So the other option is to take out a bunch of cash and walk with your flatmate to a joint bank acct and input it into that acct for wiring over. The fear and stress in my body walking down the street with lots of pounds in my pocket was quite extreme but all went well. Money is in the bank.
Taking time AWAY!
Moving was an interesting situation – moving with one bag and plastic bags attached to it since I didn’t want to pay for yet, another expensive cab (cabs are very expensive here vs the states) did not set me up for a successful day. I was a bit tired and emotional when I met my Dad at Paddington Station for our trip outside of London. I have had great moments travelling outside of the city of London. One to Hampton Court for work – haven’t had a chance to see the palace but did see some of the surrounding areas.
Also, my Dad took me to Swindon, StoneHedge, Avebury (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avebury), Bath and Glastonbury. All very lovely places – and quite impressive in person. Bath is quite beautiful and Glastonbury is amazing as well. The long mountain up to the tower – Glastonbury Tor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glastonbury_Tor) displayed such an amazing scene. I felt like I was suddenly swept up into an Austen story. Some pictures of our experience!
I put a pound in this rock for luck. We shall see if it’s effective…
Fish and Chips & Strongbow cider were on the menu in Swindon!!