03 October 2013

Starting a New Life

I wanted to title this "Adjusting to Life in the UK" but I don't think I'm quite there yet. I don't have to adjust to anything just yet. I'm still staying at a friend's house in a nice part of London and have my days open and free to what I feel like doing. School officially starts on Monday and I do have a workshop I'm participating in on Saturday, but until then, I'm a bit footloose and fancy free.

My UK phone is officially set up, though I can't say I've mastered what's going on with my pay-as-you-go plan. My official Helper On All Things Britain is currently very, very sick and even though explaining things and helping organize are some of her favorite things to do, she has zero energy. This is my friend Laura, who I lived with when I studied abroad here the first time. She's absolutely lovely and can translate anything for me. (Yes, sometimes I need things described in an American way, she had an American step-dad so she's good in the translation arena.)

I'm getting quite excited about signing the paperwork for my flat. I'm heading to the estate agent (in US=Realtor) with my new flatmate tonight, yes we're meeting for the first time ever when we get there. Just jumping right in to a 12-month contract with a stranger (with two strangers, as there's a third room a guy is taking). There's no way this is risky at all. Feeling completely comfortable. Well, actually I am, cause I skyped with her and she is just lovely. I'll get to actually see the flat afterwards and I move in next week.

I've been researching gym's, local pools and yoga classes as well. Not sure if I can do yoga classes, depends on my class schedule, but I am really pumped to get back into exercising. I feel like once I start working out again, I'll really feel like I live here. Is that weird? On vacation I never work out...so it feels a bit like that.

Yesterday I didn't get up to much other than muck about on the internet in the morning, then visited sick Laura (if I get deathly ill in the next week, we'll know who to blame), and had an absolutely lovely home cooked meal with my hosts. Hilda made me butternut squash soup (with crème fraîche, never say no to crème fraîche), lamb chops with potatoes and ratatouille, and Merlot to sip on. I always get a spark of happiness through me whenever someone cooks for me. It's just the best thing. Absolutely love it.

That was quite a bit healthier than other choices I've made this week.

Shake Shack for the win.
 I just had to go to Shake Shack for lunch on Tuesday and honestly, I've been thinking about it ever since. So, so good. Can't help it. It's the American in me. My sister will be happy to see that ("you're AMERICAN damnit, act like it.")

When I was checking out a fancy coffee shop (still the American-me) called Notes, I found they served it in a glass carafe. I almost turned the barista away when she brought it over because....embarrassed to admit this, I couldn't quite understand her accent (if you've never been to the UK, you'd be surprised to learn that accents can make things hard to understand sometimes, despite speaking English....also, I swear I'm partially deaf) and I thought she was bringing me some kind of weird iced tea. But I did try it and the coffee itself was delicious. I swear, I will always love drip filter coffee (coffee grounds in a cone, water poured slowly over it and it takes a minute or two for it to filter down). Speaks to my soul, this stuff does. And don't you dare come near me with cream or sugar. Just about sacrilegious in my book.

Another fun thing I tried: muesli. I think we have it in America too, but it's just not very common. It was never anything I had heard of till living in London. It's really just like granola ingredients, though it doesn't seem to be oily at all or baked in something like that. My hosts explained that I just add milk and eat like cereal. It was lovely. I think it might be quite sugary which would make sense since I liked it. It just can't be that healthy. Yum!

Today I'll be off to get some coffee in town at my favorite take-away spot, New Row, and wander around a bit. I'm heading to Greenwich early to read some of my text for school at the local bookshop in the cafe before I meet up with my flatmate.

Lindsay xx

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