Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Day I Got Frustrated

I am somewhere between here..................

AND here.....................

Successes today include waking up, getting up, eating breakfast (free), and crossing off a couple of really minor things from my list (buy glue stick, umbrella, shampoo, mouthwash, dental floss, and sim cards.) All that took me to four different stores and six hours. Oh, lunch was in the middle. And afternoon coffee where I had my first breakdown of "what-in-the-world-am-I-doing-here-someone-buy-me-a-ticket-home-!"

< Why the glue stick? Travel tip alert: if you're still old-school and like to journal, keep receipts, ticket stubs, and random Dove chocolate wrappers that say "Feel Good about Yourself", then a glue stick is the journaler's best friend. >

The good news about today is that Sheffield people are just super, super helpful and friendly. Liam, at the Phones4You store, set up my phone and iPad like a professional. Oh, wait. He is. I also learned that Sheffield, Newcastle, and Glasgow are homes to the nicest people in the U.K.

The bad news about today is that I'm going through my first wave of culture shock. Total helplessness. (And this is where growth happens, I know, yada, yada, yada. I don't wanna hear it.)

Cultural difference: When one is already down and out a little, and the store clerk asks "you okay?" it's probably not wise to fall into her arms and whimper, "NO. No I'm not okay, can you find me a place to live?! Hug me!" Instead, you say, "can you show me where the mouthwash is?" because what she's really asking is "can I help you, in this store, at this moment?" and when you ask for mouthwash in return, she will definitely respond with "Oh yes Love, follow me. We've got several brands on sale at the moment.What else can I do you for?"

Sniff. sniff.

Here's a little pictorial of my day, because I'm too mentally drained to write coherently anymore.

Breakfast of champions. Pork and beans. This automatically prompted corn-on-the-cob for lunch. The toast was sure tasty though, and I sneaked a few Nutella packs to my room. Cheese packs = awesome.

My view at breakfast. Anybody want to visit?

The first of six leasing agencies that must have this recording: "Sorry, we just can't help you at the moment. Have you tried any websites or private lenders?" Yes. I'm one of those people who try everything over and over and over again before asking for help. So now I'm asking. Help me.
Lunch at Nando's. Super good. Super friendly service. The place was so packed I had to wait for a lunch! I ate the portobello wrap with pineapple and medium piri piri hot sauce. I asked the wonderfully kind servers if they could also help me find a place to rent since they were so good at helping me choose my lunch. "Unfortunately, not good with that one." (When said with a British accent, the word unfortunately never actually makes me feel unfortunate.) :)
I ended up trying all of these sauces. Next time I will go for the extra hot. Most of the meals here are based around rotisserie  chicken. The hot sauce isn't Mexican spicy, but more Indian spicy.
Fail: did not ride public transportation today. Too much of a mental challenge at this point of my day.
Success: opted for a mocha pick-me up at Cafe Nero. This is like a two-for-one: chocolate and coffee.

Accidentally took a picture of myself. Look at all those chins!
When I meant to take a picture of this. All of a sudden, this place feels sooooo big.

Tomorrow will be a better day.

Good news, I'm going to bed before 2:00 a.m.

Also, in other news, I love the staff at this hotel. Good conversationalists. Two nights in a row at the bar ending my night just chatting. Ben, the evening Duty Manager, has schooled me on everything from great pubs in town to why walking is better than driving, to lime and soda (a disgusting looking phosphorous neon drink that many people order) and why sometimes bachelor degrees just aren't worth it. The guy next to me tonight at the bar schooled me on all things California. He's been. A lot. He's got one word for me: tumbleweeds.

I drank water and ate french fries, which are actually called "skinny fries" on the menu. Misleading. Probably responsible for all those chins.


Anonymous said...

More wins than losses, more good news than bad ... I'd say you're off to a great start! This was a most enjoyable read, and I loved the pictorial additions (ESPECIALLY the chins one!). Here's hoping that tomorrow is a much better day and that living arrangements are right around the corner!

Cindy said...

You WILL find a place to live.
FIND a yoga studio to help you get a clear perspective.
Double chin?? Just hold your head up higher and they will disappear.
After all, "It is what it is!"
Love you :-)

Janet Morrison said...

I soooo wish I were there with you to help you get started!! I'd sit in the chair and eat breakfast with you and chat. I'd walk around the town with you while you ask over and over if someone could please give you an apartment for a few months. And I'd gladly assist you in snagging Nutella to take back to the room! :) Tomorrow you can pretend I'm there with you ...and you can FaceTime me or Skype me so that I can be! :)

Kory Mitchell & Caron Daugherty said...

I'm working on my "Bewitched" nose magic ... must get there sooner than later... Must get there sooner than later...

This post melted my heart!

Rebecca Leech said...

OK, first off, getting a SIM card on your first full day is not a minor accomplishment. The kids and I still do not have working phones after 6 days here, so I'm wondering how you pulled that off so effortlessly! I am totally with you on the frustration of begging for help and having people offer the most obvious first step, though. Does desperation not show in a person's eyes? I have begun to preface every query with the list of all the things I have already tried.
We do have a house, though, and found it through the student support officer at the University. Do you think you can find your equivalent in Sheffield? Good luck!

Casey Daugherty said...

Thanks for reading!!

Yoga studio has been on my list now for two days. No luck yet. They seem to be further out of the city center, so that might be something I have to find after settling in.

An example of finding an apartment...just now I was e-mailing back and forth (3 times each) with a private landlord, and when I finally e-mailed a good time for me from the choices she gave, she e-mailed back and said "Sorry, I just let this. Good luck." This was all in a matter of 9 minutes that SHE started our e-mail conversation. Geez!!!

Rebecca, that's another issue. I already asked two assistants in our department for guidance in this area, and both said we cannot/do not have any advice. Several months ago I contacted the international student services but they only will lease for the full year. The phone was easy! I just made sure my iPhone was unlocked in the US, and the guy at Phone4You totally took care of everything for me. I paid 25 pounds total (for data, 400 min, and unlimited texting) for both devices. He said it was cheaper once I get my bank account set up, so for the next three months after this, he told me to come back for a better deal. 10 for the phone, 15 for the iPad.

Tom Foster said...

I like Cindy's advice, find a yoga studio. I bet everything else will fall into place! It sounds like you are doing great with the pubs. I would love to be there with you! wjj

Tom Foster said...

Sorry, I didn't see what you said about the yoga studio, until after I commented. Are there any nice parks to walk in? Love you, wjj

Tom Foster said...

I like your bangers and beans breakfast, but where is the black pudding? Tom

Rachel said...

Child, please. YOUR perfect apartment is not yet ready. When it is, it will certainly show itself to you. Destiny did not take you there to be homeless or stuck in the HI Express. BAN frustration! A fruitless emotion! Your mantra for today..."Thank you for this perfect apartment coming my way. I'm so happy I have patience." Hasn't everything always turned out perfectly? xoxo miss you

Rachel said...
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