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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Humps, 500 yds. [20041213|16:04]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
As of last Thursday, I have lived in London for exactly two months.

When I arrived, the street in front of our building was dug up. A pneumatic drill began operation at about 8:00 am every morning for two weeks. At first, I was grateful for it, because it kept me from staying in bed and hiding under the covers from fear. Also, it revealed various strata of filthy old London, which was pretty interesting. By the time the fear was subsiding, the street had been resurfaced with a brand spanking new layer of asphalt.

This morning, a large truck appeared outside the window, proclaiming, in innocuous blue letters, "Sims Milling Company." I stared at it with dawning horror.

The street has been dug up again.

I feel like I should do some kind of round-up of the lessons I've learned during my first two months as an expatriate, to commemorate the occasion.

I've learned that I don't need a lot of space or stuff. We went from a three-bedroom house to a one-bedroom flat. I miss exactly none of the things we left behind, sold, or gave away. I have bought very little that wasn't food, alcohol, or admission to some form of entertainment since arriving. I walked around Camden Market last week with some visitors from the US and I purchased a toy from a vending machine (Seymour from FFX. The one bad guy available, and I got him. Figures.) and a pair of much-needed fingerless gloves. Total number of purchases for the week: two.

I've learned that I'm a decent cook. I've had time to spend in the kitchen and the incentive to save money by not eating out. I found that I can trust my instincts when it comes to proportions and flavors.

I've learned that my boyfriend and I have a fantastic and durable relationship. We've survived a forced months-long separation, a six thousand mile move and simultaneous career changes. And I still think he's teh hottness.

I've learned not to hate myself for taking the time off to relax.

I've learned that even though everything in a foreign country is unfamiliar, from the controls on the electrical appliances to the vocabulary to the urban landscape, it can still feel like home.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: andytsai
2004-12-13 16:54 (UTC)
I have a 'Yuna' from Forbidden Planet :). you seem to be doing very well here, by the way.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-12-14 15:47 (UTC)
Ooh! Did you buy her from a vending machine? I was hoping for Rikku, but no luck. I'm not sure I want to go on feeding pound coins into a machine until I get one. ;-)
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[User Picture]From: nationofsheep
2004-12-13 17:02 (UTC)

funny

Two weeks before the WC arrived with the baby in Hong Kong, they started building 4 skyscrapers right outside our window. Eventually we were able to trade apartments with a co-worker who is here alone and isn't in the apartment during the day, but seriously, that was rude.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-12-14 15:49 (UTC)
Whoa. A little road-work is hardly competition for four skyscrapers. Also, this time they only dug up a small section of the road, so hopefully they'll be done by the end of the week. Since they presently have about six hours of daylight to work with, though, maybe not. :-P
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[User Picture]From: elleclectic
2004-12-13 19:07 (UTC)
Urban landscape feeling like home = the shit. You rock, congrats on your 2-month anniversary!
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From: joegotamuffin
2004-12-14 15:16 (UTC)
Play that funky music white boy
Play that funky music right
Play that funky music white boy
Lay down that boogie and play that funky music till you die…
(hey,hey) till you die…yeah, yeah
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-12-14 15:53 (UTC)
What have you been putting in that pumpkin bread of yours?!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-12-16 13:05 (UTC)
Thank you. And you would know better than most on the intarnet, from our chats. :-)
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[User Picture]From: limenal
2004-12-15 16:34 (UTC)
I'm glad you're thriving in London - I've been reading your post-move updates but have been quite delinquent on the commenting front lately. When you mentioned the strata of filthy old London, it made me think of Neverwhere, which if you haven't read, you should now that you're living in London!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-12-16 12:47 (UTC)
I've read Neverwhere. It's one of my favorite comfort-books. I can't ride the underground without thinking of it, and I have yet to get off the train at the Angel station.
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[User Picture]From: studebakerhawk
2004-12-16 04:26 (UTC)
This is why i have my apartment floating seventy-odd feet above street level, tethered to a mailbox. Last halloween my friends decided to fuck with me by cutting me loose, and my apartment ended up coasting over to Osaka, where authorities rallied and used a crane to shunt me back over the ocean and mountains, and back home. There is something comforting about sleeping in a house sailing though the heart of a storm. Furthermore, nobody tells you to put the toilet seat down.

God, how random of me. :D
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-12-20 19:33 (UTC)
Hah! I finally caught up on my LJ comments and saw this one. It is random, sure, but it's also delightful, thank you. I made a post a while back about what my futuristic dream house would be like, and having it be mobile/airborne was a definite want. I also want housebots to do my bidding. :-D
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[User Picture]From: studebakerhawk
2004-12-20 21:34 (UTC)
Glad you liked it! I was afraid posting randomly on your LJ might just annoy you but i'm glad you dug it. Personally i want a big, clanking, steam-driven floating house, you know, multi-layered with a crew of friends and such. Then again i haven't slept much of late. :D
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