Monday, March 28, 2011

Not a Tourist

It's Monday (March 28, 2011), and I move from Seattle to London on Wednesday.

Over time, I hope this blog can chronicle some of the funny customs and things that I experience as an expat and go through the whole culture shock thing of moving nearly 5000 miles to a city where I don't know anyone. But I'm not there yet, so I'll talk a bit about the last month and moving.

For starters, Alice and I will be moving from a 5 bedroom, 2600 square foot house into a 1 bedroom, 525 square foot apartment. So we are giving up over 2000 square feet of living space. I guess I should point out that, technically, our apartment is a 2 bedroom, except that is purely a technicality. Because it has a dining room, the real estate people are allowed to count the living room as a bed room. Still, it is very nice place in Putney on a pedestraian-only street. Not a problem since we will not own a car.

In fact, Alice just sold the first of our two cars today. Just now, in fact. We are staying at the Fairmont Olympic hotel in downtown seattle (part of the relocation, so we don't have to pay for it) and we told the valet, "We aren't checking out, but the car won't be returning. We're selling it today." I don't think the valet hears that one very often.

The past month has been a whirlwind of packing and purging. I think we personally kept Goodwill in business for several days with all the stuff we donated there. Stuff that, if we had more time or the inclination, we could have sold for a substantial sum of money on Ebay or Craig's List. But time became more important and we just dumped it.

I guess I should write some background. About why we are moving, how, what for, how our dog is coming with us, and all that. And I probably will soon. But I'm also getting over a cold - which isn't surprising, given the past month of stress, work, change, and lack of sleep. So, I'll add more later. Talk to you soon.

PART 2 (March 31, 2011):
It's Thursday now and we're here! The flight was bumpier than usual, but fine. I took some Tylenol PM and they hit just right, so I slept for at least 6 of the 9 hour flight. I truly couldn't belive it when I woke up and the little flight clock said there was only an hour left--I was expecting it to say 3 or 4.

Cool things for today:
A guy asked me directions and while I automatically queued up the "I'm a tourist and don't know" response, he asked me where the underground station was and I had just walked past it, so I knew the answer. Pretty cool.

Alice was amused by:
  • The egg isle in the grocery store at room temperature.
  • The taxi driver calling me "Guv'ner."
  • "Dirty Harry Waste Management Company."
Jet lag!!!

Oh, I have an excellent system for crossing the street in London--it's the "Kill the other guy first" method. Basically, you stand 'downstream' from someone else, watch them, and cross the street at the same time they do. That way if a car or bus comes blazing through, at least it will kill the other guy first. Hence the name.

More to come. Cheerio old chaps!

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