pain and productivity (2004-03-13 - 7:50 p.m.)
I think I've had enough of London for the time being. Or, to be more exact, hostel living in London. I checked and there's no more room at ISH for tomorrow night, and rather than moving to a different hostel once again, I think I'll just leave the city. I'm going to Belfast for a bit, then down to Dublin with John and crew for St. Patrick's Day. Should be interesting, to say the least.
Making the decision to go this afternoon presented a bit of a problem. Unfortunately EasyJet is only dirt cheap if you book weeks in advance. On one day's notice, the cheapest fare I could get was nearly £60. That left the bus, which is cheaper (especially if you add in airport fees and the cost to get to the airport) but will take a rear-numbing 13 hours. I'm thinking that this time tomorrow I'll be thinking this was a bad decision. Ah well. I suppose it'll be an experience at least. I leave at 9 am.
I've spend the last few days being extremely productive, and extremely stressed out. I've had a tension headache for three days running. Very unpleasant. I finally asked the nice lady at Boots to recommend something. She looked a little horrified at my description of the pain (which was intense at the time) and recommended I see a doctor. I won't, of course, unless it becomes life-threatening - too expensive. But I did take her recommendation for a painkiller, which helped a lot, and also bought a muscle rub for my neck which seems to be making a difference.
Anyway, enough whining (especially as I think the painkillers have worked). On the productive side of things, I have: a). Set up a new bank account, b). bought a mobile, and c). applied for some jobs.
The bank account thing was among the most important. They're very sticky about that sort of thing in this country - foreigners can't just walk in and open one up. In fact, I heard a horror story from Marcelle the Brazilian. They wouldn't let her open an account, so she was using the account of a friend to hold the money till she needed it. This worked fine for a few months - then suddenly the friend disappeared off the face of the earth with £500 belonging to Marcelle! So I was pleased that BUNAC had set up a deal that allowed us to get bank accounts with very little hassle. The bank guy was intimidating, but now it's all done. I only have to come back next week and pick up my bank card.
The mobile shopping was also interesting. I got the most basic no-frills phone you can get, and am experimenting with this new toy called "text messaging". I remember the first time I heard about that - it was when I met Michael the Kiwi in London last October. When he said the words it sounded like "tixt misseging" and it took me a second to realise what he meant. (realiSe - that's me practiSing spelling things the British way!)
The jobs I have applied for are one with BUNAC in London, paid for by the Canadian gov't, oddly enough. They're looking for a Canuck to fill the position, so at least I won't be in competition with every BUNAC student out there. I wouldn't be too upset if I didn't get it, though, since I'd rather get out of London. The other is a research position in Manchester, and a long shot. I also have a line on a few more and will be doing more work on these this weekend.
Ooh, they have the news on right now with coverage of the Madrid bombing. Scary.
Today I did some walking around, as I had to go to Victoria to see about a coach ticket and decided to walk back. Went through Green Park, beside Buckingham Palace, and saw the Canadian Memorial that I didn't even know was there. It's a fountain and very nice. The guard at Buckinham Palace was nodding his big black hat at some kids and making them laugh their heads off. I guess you have to break the standing/stomping around monotony somehow!
Anyway, suppose I should pack or something. I'm in a room with three spring-break Americans right now, but these ones are actually pretty cool. Much less vapid than the last ones, anyway.
Here's what Peter has to say about this weblog:
"Reading the broadcast account of your movements makes me feel not only younger, but twenty-first century younger at that!"
Here's my grandma's view:
"Tim came over and put your diary on my computer so that I can keep track of you!!!! He said he didn't think that maybe I should read it as it seemed like it was mostly about "pubs!" I guess he thinks that I have led a very sheltered 81 years!!!"
"We went to Scotland- where they barely speak English also. You've heard the story of us asking directions for the Hostel outside the train station in Glasgow and not understanding a word of the reply- we just walked off hoping we were going in the right direction."
Ah, travel - hasn't changed much in 25 years.
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