Wednesday, 24 September 2008

My first days

A new beginning as a postgraduate student in Birmingham, coming from Iceland to the United Kingdom (There you got the title as I havn´t reached the continent yet): a privat diary I hope I will be able to keep up to date. Intended for my family and friends, but be welcome to read it anyhow. So, lets just start and you get my first three days all at once:

Arrival day. As usual the plane at home leaves before you wake up so we had to get up at five o´clock and my husband, of course, drove me to the airport. And that was that, the plane, a long route drive and in the end, at 19 hours a taxi which dropped me and my impressive bags at dusk somewhere as it seemed .. a beautiful road and many trees. “This is fine, love, the road is closed, no I don´t know love and good night.” No, the road wasn´t closed...(?) Half an hour later, after a smoke, some asking and dragging of luggage I arrived where the taxi should have let me out in the first place.
So, there I got a key and a (big and heavy) bedpack. At that point I gave up and asked for help which a friendly man my age (“young lady” he called me) provided and got me and my things to my future home, walking, of course as cars are frowned upon. A nice enough block, VERY new and as my friend guessed rightly, the surroundings are still under construction, but a walkway is there and I got a beautiful view of treetops and, craning my neck in the other direction, The Lake. There is central heating and nice warm water.
The forth floor, which will train my legs and lungs and keeps me a bit away from the hublums of all the kids around me. Since then I found out: There are shared appartments beneeth me, as in all buildings in this cluster and on top of each building are two apartments with a shared door to the staircase. The appartment opposite mine still is empty. The smoking facility is nice: on the open staircase and maybe sometime I will arrange for a little seat there.
Outside there is The Big Party.

Finally I got toilet paper. plus 20 swing bin liners (lila and smelling strongly of lavender), whashing up liquid and one bred. I didn´t get a knife, I did hope for a plastic knife and dishes and a toilet cleaning brush: How important things get when you don´t have them. But toilet paper goes a long way to happiness.
Just now I did cut my smoked salmon with a pair of sissors which I took with me – always use for sissors I thaught – I´ve got a cup my grandchildren painted for me and nescafe, so with help of a microwave ad a crochet needle to stir I get my coffee.
And here the computer went dead, like black and no green or orange dots blinking.

Yesterdays strongest impression was the young man at the information desk who asked if I wanted the information for my daughter. He had the decency to blush. And the walking, hours after hours. Today then, not only walking but standing in queue after queue. But, I got my registration and my student card. What I havn´t yet got is a net connection which I did walk far and worked hard for.
Yes, my computer went dead yesterday afternoon. As my phone didn´t load either I blamed the connectioncable and today I walked down to the next shop to get me another one, yes, about 45 minutes. Being there I got me a printer too and paper and some food and somehow and with the help of my little travelbag on wheels and a bus I got it all up to my 4th floor flat. On the way I rested by the lake and fed bred to a very white and friendly swan. So, back home, no, not really home yet, but anyhow, my flat, I hurry to connect all these cables and find the adapter wanting. Searching, no, no adapter. So I suspect that I had forgotten it in the shop as I took my cables with me to check. To start with I had to walk in the other direction to get my signed inventory paper to the office and got the direction to a bus. I waited at the wrong busstation and looked after it, driving away. The weather was nice, so I decided to wait for anothe 30 minutes and have a rest in the grass. And the next time I was at the right place but not going to the right direction. “No, love, I go the other ring now, I come back after half an hour to pick you up.” So, that was that and in the end I got offered a shared taxi by a mom and her daughter who wouldn´t let me pay, God bless her. But, we are still looking for my adapter. Back to the shop, “no sorry, nothing found here. No, we don´t sell those, they must be ordered, will take some days”. I retraced my (many) steps from the morning until I got again to before mentioned bus, still the same driver. I went with him now, in the other direction. I was frustated, tired, hungry, all my lower limbs hurting. Young people jogged past me. And what did I see near “home”, in the gras by The Lake? Yes. My adapter. Flirting with the swan. It was a happy reunion. So, up again, all 8 stairs and connecting. No connection, no little green lights nowhere. So, to the reception, only 400, 500 meters uphill and the electrician really did come soon and turned a little key only he could turn: there had been no electricity in the wall sockets in the living/bedroom and so..the blinking lights could do their jobs: My computer is connected to it´s food and can work again. Now, I would love to try the newly installed skype, not having talked to anybody all day long but asking for directions. To use skype, I have to have an internet connection. So, I go uphill to above mentioned office and, after a bought, rather nice dinner which I felt I had earned, I got a broadband disc, gratis I hope, but do not yet know. So, happily I climb my 8 stairs and start feeding the computer: I would need a 8 bits PC cable that I haven´t got. “Please, contact the reception”. Up the hill again. “No, love, you’ve got to buy them”. First time this day I rushed out without my purse. So, back, up 8 stairs, get the money, climb the hill, buy the right cable, up 8 stairs... I think I´ve got the right cable now. It looks right, it fits into the right sockets but it won´t connect me. Probably I will need Window Vista or XP but got Word 2000 so tomorrow will see me walking 40 minutes back to the computershop – or information. My, my, hopefully I will become slim!
There is not yet any water in my shower and I havn´t found a toilet brush. BUT I got a set of cutlery from my neighbours, so tomorrow I will not have to eat noodle soup with my fingers- the crochet needles goes only so far...
Outside, The Party is still in full swing. The animals gone wild. At least it´s an experience to listen to it.
OK: ten to ten there was silence. (and started again around 2 o´clock)
I DID get my internet working. With my own feet, hands and brain. I am proud of myself! And that´s a nice end of a day.

24th of september

finds me trying to install my new printer. It doesn´t print yet. But some nice men turned on the water in my shower. So, things are developing. And, as you see, I just opened my blog, all by my own. Clever young Lady!


Doug said...

I look forward to hearing about homework. I'm a lot better at reading about homework than I am at reading homework.

Minka said...

what do you know, Pascover is already here :) Before your own daughter!

hope the men did not install the water while you were IN the shower :)