Saturday, December 26, 2009

I'm hhheeeeerrreee!

So I got here first try. Flew economy class, stuffed like a sardine into a center seat (I hate not being able to see out of the plane, hate it, I need to see wing or an engine or something....and when I land ... well let's just say I was driving my fellow passenger crazy craning to see what was sitting on the ground at the airport. I'm insane.

But, to quote the guy from Air Canada who gave me my seat, it's all about getting a seat on that flight, the Paris flight was way overbooked and they were offering to move people via London, and I was worried I wouldn't get on at all, but voila, a seat was there for me!

So I arrived in the dark. It is dark late here, til almost 8 am - gets dark at about 3 pm, bit more than at home. Waited FOREVER to get thru customs (about 45 minutes), I fondly remember the days when Canada was in the line indicated "UK & Commonwealth countries" and I used to laugh at the Americans. Now, I'm in the line with them and just about anyone else that isn't from business class or the European Community. Sigh.

Get down to the Heathrow trains and find out the one I need is NOT running, apparently just about nothing is running, including tubes and busses...would have cost me £18 to Paddington and then about £50 to the flat from there, so I opted for £50 from Heathrow to the flat. Damn. And that's with no traffic.

There's no snow on the ground here, not a stitch, it had been raining a bit, I was tired, and cranky (no sleep on the flight, my knees ached the entire time and I was uncomfy), and weak...due to no breakfast (a muffin and a coffee does not breakfast make, but I fly cheap and dinner was good so let's not complain too much right?)and exhaustion from dragging my bags around for 1/2 an hour into the bus station and then back again (bus & tube are below another terminal....there are 5 at Heathrow). 6 flights of stairs, trying not to cry, I got into the flat.

The flat is very sweet, I'll take a few photos tomorrow, it's dark now (it is almost midnight), and in my opinion rather large for a west London flat (2 bedrooms and decent sized ones).

The heating situation. My friend warned me I wouldn't be able to figure it out. And I can't. I have absolutely no idea what in hell. I know how to turn it on, but I have no clue how to keep it on. It's gas, it also heats the hot water, which is upon demand. Also very bizarre for me! I'm used to just turning the damned thing on and having hot water from the 60 gallon tank downstairs in my basement!

So, I think I've gotten used to freezing. I guess it's the damp, because I'm wearing an open fall jacket outside (sweater underneath yes), but need a sweater and a blankie in here. I'll ask the Brit to take a look and explain when he gets here.

There are 2 bathrooms in this 2 bedroom flat. Well, one water closet (toilet & sink only), and one full bathroom, also with a toilet. I find that very bizarre, although I do understand the concept, and my friend says it's useful when her fiance goes for a "constitutional". Aka she doesn't have to wait forever, nor die of the residual fumes!

Grocery shopping. I had bacon for dinner Xmas day. And yogurt and papadum crisps. It's all I could get. But that's ok! The stove is in celcius...bizarre, had to Google it....

The place I wanted to shop, Iceland, was closed today, it's the cheapest joint, so I had to shop at 3 different places. I had to go back for eggs. That would be because I couldn't find any. Why? They are on the shelf beside the cereal, not in the refrigerated section. How bizarre. Had noticed that my friend had hers out on the counter here (but they are past date - each eggy stamped with a best before date), and I had to actually ask at Sainsbury where the hell they were, and the guy looked at me like I was nuts looking in the fridge section.


Electricity. I went to put the recycling downstairs, and it was past dark. You have to turn the hallways lights on. They don't stay on all the time here, only long enough for me to get from the 3rd floor down to the main floor, then I had to turn them back on to get back up. Well, or kill myself.

So, on that note, I am tucked in on the sofa, and think another cup of tea is in order. My friend has the best kettle, ready in under 5 mins. If I wouldn't have to buy it a plug for Canada, I'd bring one home!

And that is it for now!

Watching "Law & Order SVU" - cuz it's only American on the tube tonight!


Adventures In China said...

The gas and eggs situation reminds me of China. I have an electric water heater, and I'm always afraid I'm going to blow up my friend's gas heater-- so many knobbies and levers to pull! I couldn't figure it out either, I had to have help.

The things we take for granted, eh?

I miss sunnyside up eggs.

So glad you got a seat!

Surfergrrl said...

see, you worried yourself sick over nothing, although, that house sounds really confusing. I didn't realize a place could need so many directions. have fun eating bacon. have you see the brit yet?

myself said...

AIC - oh my god the things we take for granted. such as electricity, in Canada, your apartment building lights are on all the time, I get the concept here, it's just strange as hell....and the gas thing...ugh, I hate gas heating/water/cooker (or hob as they call it here), they scare the crap out of me!

Surfergrrl - actually I didn't worry about nothing, it was really close, there were a list in front of me, but apparently I was the only standby that showed up, and alot of people noshowed for the flight. Thank god. I love bacon. Nuff said.

Will see the Brit tomorrow. Between his second job obligations and his mother, he's telling one or both to shove it tomorrow so he can come see me (it's a bank holiday here). :) Those were his words LOL.