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Wednesday, 17 December 2008

I Am Writing This From My New Flat In My New City

I am writing this post from my new flat in my new city of Dundee. I have no furniture in my flat, however I find that it is quite cozy and the living room - being quite spacious makes a fantastic Yoga Studio. I'm tempted to leave it that way and tell people - it's my Yoga Studio. I'm sooooooo happy I got internet hooked up today because you wouldn't believe how dependent one becomes on it until it's gone. Phone calls for instance. Calls from my mobile (must use the proper lingo now) cost a tonne more than calls on skype. I love skype - can't get enough of it. I just decided to sign up for the unlimited world feature. It will probably save me loads in the end. Plus, my Mummy might die if she can't talk to me every second day or so. Also, I just KNOW that Marsha has been eagerly awaiting this first post from overseas. ;-) You know I love you mbfm. So, here it is, a brief summary of things that have happened so far. I got on the plane - with my enormous box which has my bike in it - the bike as I expected - was a huge pain from beginning to end. However, I really feel it will be worth it in the end. Buses are a bit expensive here, (and I'm being extremely conservative) but really - nothing is that far away, and walking here and there is easy - biking will be even easier. I'm already getting used to the flow of traffic, so as soon as I am totally used to the flow of traffic, I will take the blue beast to the bike shop and have her put back together again. The flight was ok. In the end, I upgraded to Club Class because it was cheaper than paying for my excess baggage. I didn't really notice much difference in the service mind you. (Zoom was so much better - sigh) Mum, Dad, and Debbie Dropped me off at the Airport, and there were many tears. Before that, Rich, Kiima, James and the kids were over at the house, and there were also tears. Here's a few shots of those farewells (minus tears)...



My brother Rich - never can keep a normal face where picture taking is involved, but how I shall miss that...



James and I - final farewell...




Final farewell with my parents at the Jugo Juice... :-(



My Sister - Deb - dropping me off - at the Jugo Juice - haha...

So - yes - there were many tears and farewells said. I got on the plane - and even though it was dark outside, and I couldn't see anything, I cried as I flew away from the only home city I have ever known. Yes, I shall miss it, and all the memories I created there. New memories to make now. Then, I read my book - the whole book - on the plane. It was the book version of the movie "Passchendale" - which - honestly wasn't that good - I was hoping it would have some history, and guts and drama in it, but it just turned out to be a romance novel. The reason I bought it really was because the main character was a Calgarian, and when he returned from war - he was in the military hospital - which hospital? The Colonel Belcher of course. We all know how I feel about the Colonel. So, I had to pick it up and read it. However, highly disappointing - don't bother. So, yeah - read the whole thing. Slept maybe 2 hours. Then, I arrived, and dragged my giant box through the entire airport at Gatwick in order to find a flipping pay phone. Finally found one, made the necessary calls, then went back up 2 floors to get a taxi. So, I was expecting my hotel to be - not too too far away. However, it turns out that Gatwick, while being the preferred airport to the metropolis of Heathrow - is far far away - from everything in London. The guy quoted me a price to my hotel of 101.50 (don't have the pound key - really need it too) So, that's about $200ish, a little less at the moment. My jaw dropped, but it really - turned out to be totally worth it. It really was a very far distance, and there is absolutely no way I could have taken that bike on the underground all the way to my hotel. Plus, the taxi driver was really really knowledgeable, and gave me the royal tour of London - in the dark. It's an amazing city London - however, I don't think I'd like to be there for very long - it's insane. My hotel was walking distance from King's Cross Station, so I walked over to check things out, pick up my ticket, and whatnot. Also, while I was there, I found this (here's your bit - Angelique)...



That's right - just call me Hermione Granger - I do have the hair to match.



This one is for you Angelique - just pretend you're standing there beside me.

So, yeah - a bit of Harry Potter manic behavior there. Anyway, slept like a stone at my hotel, though got up around 3am without the ability to go back to sleep, so I was the first down for Breakfast - a breakfast which consisted of mass quantities of fat, however, it was good. Incidentally, the MacDonald Hotel on Argyle Square, right in walking distance of King's Cross is a fantastic place to stay and reasonably cheap/clean for London. I highly recommend it. Then, I figured out how to get the massive box down the street with my cunning plan of walking down, getting a cart, walking it back down the street to my hotel without anyone seeing - in broad daylight, then putting the massive box with luggage onto it, and walking it all back down the street to King's Cross Station...



On top of this, I was carrying my backpack, my laptop bag, and my purse. Yes, that's right, arriving finally at my destination was such sweet bliss.





King's Cross Station Pictures.

So, yeah - after more hassle with the giant box, I got on the train - finally - and I sat beside the sweetest old hippy fellow who kept me entertained and informed the entire way up into Scotland. He also had witty conversation about world events that kept me on my toes the whole way. I got really excited about the Yorkshire Dales, and also Durham. This is the part of the country where I have the most roots, so it felt kind of special to go through there. And then finally - I arrived in Dundee. I got excited as I crossed over the Tay Rail Bridge. (oh, and on the way, I did cross the famous Firth of Forth Rail Bridge in Edinburgh as well) So, yeah, pulled up into Dundee station, rushed off to get my giant box and bags, got a cart, and sought out Steve. However, the lovely gent on the platform saw my giant box, and decided to let me up on the service elevator, so then I was at the back entrance of the station, and had to push the cart all the way over to the front of the station and find Steve, who was looking for me at the bottom of the stairs and there I was calling down at him (not able to leave the giant box). Eventually we figured it all out. So - yeah, that was the trip. I hope I'm not boring you with my detailed account of travel. People have been asking about it, so I must give as much detail as possible.

So, Dundee is fabulous - people here would laugh at me for saying that, but it really is. Dundonians think it's the armpit of the world, but it really is lovely. AND, may I add, that whilst my poor family are suffering in -39 degrees Celsius weather (without wind), I am enjoying a balmy 9 degrees Celsius. Life is pretty good here in Dundee. I now am a Card carrying Library goer, and have applied for my National Insurance number, have set up Utilities, Internet (as you can see), and Council Tax in my name. I'm almost entirely Dundonian now. I will retain my accent though, because people seem to like it. Yes, things are looking up. Furniture, I have none, but a roof, and an air mattress on the borrow, and plates and utensils I now have, and all is looking up. I may be going out to Airdrie for Christmas to spend time with June and Rob - my Scottish parents. They are so great, and I'm looking forward to spending time with them. Got to look into the price of the Mega Bus to Glasgow, and figure all that out. I am sorry to say my friends, that I haven't been taking pictures of my life so far in Dundee, because I have been so busy with setting things up, and really it's not all that exciting - setting up house. However, I will carry my camera everywhere, and try to be more diligent in my picture taking. The only one I've taken thus far is of Desperate Dan - in the centre of town...



And, that's about the most detailed account I can give you of things so far.

4 comments:

atlas too said...

Love it! thanks for the 'update' I knew that 'big box' would be a pain ...but hey it made it and so did you...

Angelique said...

Thank you so much for the Kings Cross pictures!! We'll have to get an actual picture of me and you at platform 9 3/4 when I come.

Looking forward to the pictures of setting up house and your new surroundings. Wonderful to chat with you on skype today, love how the internet makes this world a smaller place!

Love ya Becks xoxox

Little miss crazy said...

I am glad you arrived safely in your new country! I laughed at your big box! I can imagine the pain of trying to lug it through the airport. Looking forward to pictures of your new flat and life in Scotland.

B said...

Wow, it sounds like you are doing great. Glad to hear you are there, safe and sound, and that things are going smoothly.