Oh dear, how did five days go by without an update? Sorrrry. I’ve just been too tired at the end of the day to sit down and type out what's happened. I’m sure Alex Lemon is just shaking his head at my inability to actually keep up with writing each day. I know I know! I shall try and get better at this, I promise. So much has happened, where to begin? I guess this is going to have to be a two parter catch up. So brace yourself, because here comes the first three days worth!
So Saturday I did not end up looking for Regents Park as I originally planned, even though it was probably the last day left in which I could have gone to enjoy it in the sun. It seems that winter is settling in quite nicely over here in London, and I for one am a tad bummed by this news. It just doesn’t seem fair to get a tease of how wonderful a London summer can be and then have it yanked away from you so quickly, but that’s life. Instead I spent a rather boring and unproductive day shopping and trying in vain to find a suitable grocery. The frustrating thing about shopping in another country is the difference in sizes. Even if I use my handy little chart and knowledge about European sizes, I never seem to be able to figure it out quite right, and like in America, each brand and each store is different. Lovely. Plus, there’s always a ridiculously long line to try anything on and I can just tell the people standing there at the changing rooms are like this girl again? That alone is reason to love the three story H&M! Each floor has it’s own changing rooms thus, three different changing rooms before having to circle back again. Yay!
After spending three unsuccessful hours trying to find some more jeans I moved on to the grocery department. Another fail. Something I thought was a grocery store chain was in fact just a store that sold hot food for ‘take away’ (that’s what they call ‘to go’). There’s only so long you can spend walking about looking like an idiot for real food to buy and take home to cook before you have to buy something. Oh well, Eggplant Parmesan it is. (Although, here, Eggplant is not eggplant, but ‘aubergine’ which I’m still not a 100% sure how to pronounce, but do know how to recognize!). I bought some pasta at Tescos on the way home and ended up spending the night in catching up on my American TV (Modern Family, Weeds, and Mad Men) while writing postcards. Not a bad ending to a kind of bumming day.
Sunday was much more eventful! I met up with Laura to go spend the day touring around Harrods since I didn’t actually get the chance to go with everyone else. All I can say is woa-my-gosh-OVERWHELMING! I got there before Laura and ended up spending an hour walking around the first floor by myself. There was a little old door man in a green cape that I wanted to take a picture of, but I didn’t want to frighten him (he looked so fragile!) so I didn’t. The first floor seems to be made up of nothing but food, perfume, and jewelry. There’s like a little ‘room’ for everything you can think of! A chocolate room, a candy room, a tea room, a bakery, a deli, a ridiculously over priced grocery (oh the irony!), anything you think of and boom! They have a room for that, each leading to the next through a magical little doorway. And each room is incredibly ornate and done-up. If that wasn’t enough, there were restaurants tucked in around each room or so. A tea/pastry place, Asian cuisine, pizzeria, steak, sandwiches, home cooked British food, anything and everything. I did feel a bit sorry for the people who worked there and had to wear these straw hats and green aprons. Come on Harrods, you make your food people wear this? But you know, with all that decoration/expense and all those silly outfits, it kinda reminded me of a very grown up Disneyland!
I eventually met up with Laura on the kids floor (kids have their own freakin’ FLOOR. Which is 4 in case you were wondering). The ‘toy’ section of the floor is broken down to rooms (again all leading into one another) depending on age and the ‘challenge’ of the toy. If there was any toy you ever wanted, I’m sure Harrods has it. There was a room dedicated to stuffed animals alone! Looking for a stuffed pterodactyl, no worries! Harrods has one. They even had this really cool fake snow stuff! And men made entirely out of leggos! And if you were looking for something that they didn’t have, don’t worry, they have a whole other section of a room which is nothing but computers and catalogs and staffed with people to help you find and order that toy. Pshhyeah. These people are legit and want to take your money.
We eventually wondered through about half of the store. They even have a whole room (called Christmas World) completely dedicated to selling Christmas goods all year round! I was trying to find some Londonesque Christmas cards, but alas, I didn’t find anything I particularly liked. Although they do say Happy Christmas here! Hahaha! Two hours later I was a bit Harroded out. I was also beginning to develop a cold and walking was more exhausting than normal. Laura was kind enough to show me a grocery that her, Jeni, and Matt found and I was way too excited to buy groceries! It’s so hard to find something other than a little ‘express market’ over here so when I walked into a place that aisles, carts and lines to check out, I was practically giddy! I have noticed that Londoners do not go for the whole frozen food thing too much. So sadly, none of my American meatless frozen brands could be found in the tiny tiny frozen section. They do have Soy (or Soya, as they call it here) milk though! After I buy all this food and am wondering how exactly am I going to get home with this, I notice that it’s raining outside. Ohhh fun! Welcome to London, eh? So a short walk, a bus ride and two tubes later (all in the rain o’course!), I got home, with all my groceries and my new basil plant (Fred).
That night I finally got in touch with my parents (although Monica was MIA, naturally) and the lovely Adriana. It was so nice to have a little dose of home again! But it did make me miss the heat, and normal grocery stores filled with food and brands I know and like, and clothes where sizes are properly labeled and I know what the numbers mean. Ahh well, we can’t have it all, can we?
I woke up Monday feeling proper sick. Hello full on cold, I was hoping you were just a figment of my imagination! No such luck, hmm? Damn. Did I mention it’s the first day of work and school? So after waking up extra early to take a shower, and go to the bank, and go to Boot's to get some meds, I finally make it to the tube. So I get on my line to go to work, eating possibly the most delicious cough drop in the world (raspberry and peach, oh mylanta, did I actually manage to find a cough drop that I like??! I didn’t know such a thing existed! These are amazing and coming home with me stat!), and trying to keep it together when I notice that I don’t know where the hell my tube pass went. Ok, don’t panic, I had to have it to get on the tube. There’s no way I could have gotten this far with it. And I swear I put it in my backpack. Apparently it didn’t make it there. And I didn’t put it in my pocket. And it’s not on the seat. Or on the floor. Or in my compartment at all. Fanfreakingtastic. That means that either A.) I left it on the platform waiting for the tube B.) I dropped it somewhere between scanning to get on and getting on the tube or C.) it’s been stolen. YAY! So when I get off the tube, and have to go the little Security guard and convince him to let me out and explain to him about my Oyster Card. He puts it in his little walkie. No one found anything on the tube (which conveniently terminated at this station) or at Baker Street. Thankfully, I was too tired and concerned about getting to work on time to panic Devon style. I knew I could get a replacement, and that I would be able to get home okay, it was just more annoying and inconvenient than anything else. Personally, I blame the effects of Boot’s medication, but oh well. I just had to call the number that I wrote down (thankfully for this reason) when I got out of school that day. No sense in worrying about something I can’t change now, and that's such an easy fix, so off to work I went.
I walk in to find overly enthusiastic Ben making toast. ‘DEVOON, you’re here! First day, yeah? How was your weekend?’ I was about to respond with ‘I got sick’ when I noticed what he was putting on his toast.
ME: Are you putting Marmite on your toast? That stuff is disgusting! (For those of you who don’t know what Marmite is, see my post entitled What Are You Speaking In A British Accent)
BEN:What?! I love this stuff! It’s fantastic!
Oi, no it’s not Ben, no it’s not. Matt, the other Head of Development and my other boss, who I didn’t get a chance to meet on Friday because he was in Liverpool, is back along with what seems to be the whole office. I met two other interns, Sarah and Georgie (which made me want to giggle and immediately reminded me of the 1966 movie, Georgy Girl with Alan Bates and Charlotte Rampling. I wonder if she was named after that film?), who are both incredibly pretty and knew what wad going on. Meanwhile here’s little lost me who for some reason or another can’t keep it together to save her life today, looks a right mess, and has absolutely no clue what everyone is doing. Brilliant. Apparently Ben, Matt and production guy Josh, are on a deadline for some script about something or other and spent the whole morning putting out fires dealing with that.
After Elena and I filled out all this paperwork (oh my gosh, they have a paper that the government makes you sign saying that you have a proper computer space to work in! One of the boxes, I swear to God was ‘is the air suitable around the computer?’ hahaha ridiculous!) I was told to join Georgie and Sarah in research on some celebrity for a show they're currently in the midst of (that's about all I can say due to the confidentiality agreement they made me sign!). Let me just say this did not go so well as I didn’t really know just what exactly I was supposed to be looking for, but I did it anyways. At lunch, the girls were quite keen in learning about how exactly it was that I came all the way from Texas to be here. ‘Where do you live in the states? Does everyone go abroad? Do you live at home still? Is this some part of Uni (that's what they call colleges/universities down here) program? How did you find to get work here?’ It went on and on; it was pretty amusing as I had never been a commodity anywhere before.
At 2, I said my peace to Eyeworks for the day and got back on the tube in search for the Harrow Campus (which I had yet to visit) to find my first class. As I’m sitting on the tube, I realize that I left my schedule with the room number of my class, on my desk at home. What is happening to me today? I had a somewhat longish ride to get to Harrow as well (like 45 min) so by the time I get to the Campus, I have like 10 minutes to find my class that starts at 3. Gah! Time to pull out my saving grace of a memory for some hint of the room number. Kodak Lecture Theatre? I think that’s right because I remember wondering if we were going to hand out Oscars or watch movies. Worth a shot. So I ask some guy at a desk and head over there with like a minute to spare, only to find out that the professor has decided that instead of this class starting at 3, she decided to push it to 4. Couldn’t bother dropping your students a line there, huh? But who do I meet outside the door but this British girl named Vicki and two other Americans who suggested that we grab a quick bite to eat and chat before class starts.
Vicki is in complete thrills by this, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m sitting here talking to three Americans! God I love your accents! Do you watch Friends?’ Hahaha. As it turns out, Vicki is also a film major and wants to end up in L.A. too. Small world, no? The other two Americans (Katie from Wisconsin [don’t worry Caroline, she can never replace you! You’re my Wisconsinite] and Chloe from California) and I just kinda sat there and got bombarded with questions about Ahu-merica and what type of guy were we interested in? Are boys in America quite fit? (‘Fit’ is like British slang for attractive or hot and not so much to describe your fitness level as in America.) Vicki just went on and on about ‘fitties’ as she called them and her obsession with Friends (oh gosh, does everyone just have a group like that?) for the whole hour. By the time four o’clock came around I was ready for class, which sadly ended up being quite boring. An hour of lecture and then a movie. A movie from the late seventies, too. Oi, the lighting in those movies kills me. Too dark, too dark! The class was over at 7 pm and I was really just looking forward to going home, cooking some asparagus, doing some laundry and sleeeep (always something you need so much more of when you’re sick), however, none of those things ended up happening.
Instead, we ended up going to the Student Bar downstairs to celebrate the first day of class being over, whooo. Vicki was very keen on spending more time with her new ‘American Mates’ and let’s face it, Boot’s medication (the rumors are true!) is kind of like the closest things to miracle pills for the common cold I’ve ever encountered. So I was feeling up for being social. Chloe, the Californian, is like the ultimate stereotype of what people imagine cheeky American girls to be; fake tan, way too much make-up, fashion forward, hair extensions, loud and giggly, the whole bit. And every guy in there noticed. It was a tad uncomfortable when one of them just walked by, paused, and then continued on starring the whole time. Cheers, Chloe. I left around 8:30 to the pleas of Vicki trying to persuade me to stay out later. (The tubes don’t close till 12, come now!) But I still had to take a twenty five minute ride back home and blog and watch some Inbetweeners (my new show to watch as ‘homework’ from Ben) and call the Oyster card people.
So what do I do first when I get home at nine? Attempt to call the Oyster people, but guess what? It’s just my kind of luck on a day like today! My phone is almost out of money and needs to be ‘topped up’. And I can’t do that over the phone due to my American credit card and you need some sort of password thing/special keyword to use it online. That means I’m going to have to go in person tomorrow morning. Great. At that point I just wanted a good laugh and some bed. So after my nightly chat with Tom, (which I’ve really gotten to look forward to at the end of a long day!) I just climbed in bed with some Inbetweeners.