One third of the way through September now.
Got a washer/dryer delivered this morning. Grabbed the Beko 1200 Spin Washer Dryer. Been literally months since we’ve done laundry. Luckily I did bring enough clothes with us to get us over that hump (not that it really would’ve been an issue to wash at Sue’s, but preferred not to if we didn’t have to). Now I’ve got a slew of laundry to do, but luckily, this thing washes and dries like a dream so it won’t be an issue. Needless to say, we’re quite happy with it.
On the topic of the cross-continental move; been really happy so far. Not a single regret about leaving Canada. Really been digging the UK, or Bournemouth rather, since I haven’t seen much else of the UK yet. And while I felt there would probably be plenty I didn’t like about the country (I’m a realist/pessimist at heart – I do feel like it’s only appropriate to assume there will be plenty wrong with everything!), nothing very big has popped up in the “I’m not a fan” department.
What I really do love about the British (besides what I mentioned in my first impressions post);
- Everybody minds their own business. It’s really given my social anxiety a break; not completely as I’m always at least a little worried I’m going to make a fool out of myself, but now I’m not as worried that I’ll be stared/glared at over it.
- People will not engage if that’s what you prefer, but if you do try to engage them in conversation, they immediately become hyper-friendly. Again – huge relief for someone with social anxiety like me. Especially when I realized the grumpy lookin’ middle aged men just look that way, and are more like quirky teddy bears who are perfectly willing to chat if that’s what you’d like to do.
- The slew of different accents here; meaning, while I still do feel a bit like the odd one out because of my Canadian/American accent, I don’t feel too out of place, because you can’t go through an entire day without hearing around 10 different accents around you.
What I love about living in the UK that I didn’t realize I would love;
- The value of grocery store food. I was never worried I wouldn’t like the food here, but I was quite a bit worried that good quality food would be expensive. It’s not. It’s dang cheap – especially if you take your Canadian save-a-buck-with-sales mentality along with you. No one here seems to pay much attention to the sales/discounts (besides students of course), but they can make a huge difference when taken advantage of here, which I was worried might not be the case.
- The quality of the ready meals. You can be a lazy slacker about never cooking a single thing in your life in this country and you’d never have to worry about being unhealthy or making your taste buds unhappy – the ready made food in this country is amazing. I’m not even exaggerating – I’ve had better ready made Indian from Waitrose than a really good chunk of the Indian take out places I’ve tried out in Toronto. And sandwiches sold ready made – absolutely wonderful in both the taste and the ingredients used from a healthiness perspective. Don’t get me started on the pastries, though. They’re also great, but I cannot stop myself when I pick up a pack of sausage rolls from Co-Op. Seriously. Cannot get those again.
A few odd things I don’t like about living in the UK/Bournemouth;
- How expensive tissue paper is here? I’m not going to spend money on that s#*&! No really. We’ve just been using toilet paper instead. It’s just too stinkin’ expensive (unless I’ve not discovered a goldmine source of affordable tissue paper… will continue to hope!).
- Eating out here in Bournemouth just ain’t the same. But I’m sure things are different in London and I was hella spoiled with regards to this having been living in Toronto. Though the sting of this is really taken away by the fact that ready meals are so great here. Honestly, there isn’t much point in going out to eat when the quality of the ready meals is so high. Especially if you consider the price difference.
- I still do not understand the weather. I don’t know when it’s going to be hot or cold outside, even if I’m just about to leave the house and have a window open. I should know, but I don’t. Weather seems to be a fickle thing here, as it changes quite a bit throughout the day. Hoping I’ll get the hang of it, but regardless, I can dress in layers to make this a lot easier on myself.
- Crossing the street can feel like I’m risking my life. Okay well it is basically risking my life – especially since I’m klutzy to begin with. I go when Thomas goes, but if I didn’t have him, I’d probably have been nearly run over at least 3-4 times already. Cars just do not give pedestrians priority. At all. Which I find so phenomenally odd…
- How slow everything is. From buying a home, to opening a bank account, to pretty much any sort of paperwork-related event. It’s hella frustrating, but hey, at least once it’s done it’s done. Not the kind of place you can rush things, though.
- Cucumbers in sandwiches. Why?? Please stop. All it does is make the bread soggy.
Annndd that’s it for now. Will probably do another one of these posts at the 1 year mark, and some others when I’ve traveled around the UK at least a bit. Until then, enjoying my time here, and excited about not finding all that much to be fussed over.