unexpected (2004-07-08 - 11:47 a.m.)

Hmmm, well things aren't quite as I've expected here. For one thing, the living arrangement. Five Polish people plus me, Bee, and Ben the Mooch. The Polish people won't speak English among themselves, even if other (non-Polish-speakers) are in the room, which we find incredibly rude. Not to mention that it's a bit difficult to get to know someone if they won't speak to you. Aga is great, and will translate the gist, but the rest of them don't bother and it's off-putting. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt - maybe it'll get better later - but for the moment it's a little hard to live with.

Then there's the Ben problem. He used to live next door and is more or less friends with Bee. He just showed up one day and begged her to let him stay in her room - for a month!! - without paying rent. I have no idea why she agreed to this (his pushiness, I would think) but she's heartily regretting it. (So am I, as this means that there's seven people in a five-bed, one bath house).

So Bee startled me yesterday by announcing that she's looking for another place and is planning to move out. This sucks. I mostly moved in because of Bee and Aga, but if Bee leaves that means it's me and the Polish contingent. So I said I'd go with her, if I can recover my damage deposit (can't afford to lose it). Guess we'll see...

But other than that, it's good being in Belfast. Went to a BBQ at Paulina's yesterday. She's Polish as well but speaks in English when we're around so everyone can understand. She's really cool and I had a great time at the BBQ. The cool thing about living here is it's more of a community - when you know one person they'll introduce you to everyone else they know. I feel much less isolated than in London.

The other thing that's different here is that there are actually old people! I didn't notice it at the time, but London is amazingly short on retired people. They must all just escape into the country or something as soon as they can. But here there are lots of people who've been around all their lives. One of them smiles at me every day as I walk past his house (he likes to sit there in the sun). It's nice and friendly. It's weird, I didn't realise how much I'd missed seeing pensioners about!

I haven't found a job yet but am going today to apply at a coffeeshop. I asked at a placement agency and they told me that right now is the worst possible time to look for work. Next week is July 12 and the Orange parades, and most businesses are closed for a week. Here's hoping that the restaurants and coffee shops will still be open and hiring...

So yeah, lots of unexpected things have been thrown at me this week, but hopefully it will all work out in the end.

backwards ~ onwards

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Missed anything?
moved! - 2008-05-12
Sunday = time to ramble on - 2008-05-11
apparently I'm doing monthly updates these days. Sorry. - 2008-05-04
watershed - 2008-04-06
end of trip - 2008-03-31

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