A Travellerspoint blog

Dutch will be Dutch

all seasons in one day

Hello dear readers,

It's been a few days now. Too long. I apologise for that.
Why so? I don't know. After work I get home, make dinner, and then read a bit or watch tv. I just don't feel like doing much else, like using my precious mind for writing blogs. Don't blame me.
What's news? Today is my day off again, and so far it's a blast! I got a new bulb for my lamp, because the old one had broken! After a week?! Anyway, good thing I am keeping all the receipts, so I could just get a new one for free. I also talked to Martin for a bit, there were a few things missing on the contract, like THE DATE! Damn, how could Rob forget that? [Is what Martin said to himself with a grin on his face.]
He also told me that my new roommate will be moving in next Monday! Yay! About time I'd say. He's called Tom and does something with computers. Who doesn't. But yea appearantly the uni here is really into the technical stuff. I'm curious to see what kind of person that's gonna be. At least I can be sure about one thing: he speaks propper English. I went into town and got some more kitchen supplies. The past few days I have been eating chilli for dinner. Cynthia at work explained to me how to make it and it's really easy so there you go.
So sooooooooo you wouldn't believe this. I saw some people standing about in town again from the same company Will belongs to, being the guy I talked to the second day (I think) I was here. So this girl starts talking to me and I say oh allright well I haven't got a bank account here but you wouldn't happen to know if Will's here would you? And so he was. Walked up the street to find him and we talked for a while again, he's moving to Birmingham, which is just half an hour away. So hopefully I will have a friend in a bit who I can meet up with. He wrote his emailaddress all across my arm. ^^
Then at 12.15 I was meeting up with Irene at the shop, she would take me to a second hand bike sell store thing. I got a bike for 40 pounds. It will get me around. Not around town, that would be suicide, but a few people told me there were some nice cycle routes in the area, so if it's sunny on Sunday I know what I'll be doing. There's a little [tiny] shed here, too, where I can put my bike, so that's awesome. Yay, my life is coming together finally.
Now as for the rest of the day. I'm going to get some more milk. It's funny to see how much one person consumes. I drink so much milk it's ... scary. I think I went through at least 8 or 9 litres since I got here.
Anyway, oh and I also arranged that I can pay my rent in cash! Yoohooo! No reason to get all difficult with God knows what. Cash. I am saving money in a little envellope [or how do you write that..] in my nightstand. If I keep that up throughout the months I will have my rent ready by the end of the month without any troubles.
More fun stuff : I got a big Cartman teddybear sort of thing. I will be making a picture of him and post it. It's absolutely lovely. It's fab! It's bril! [Isn't the English "slang" bliss?].
I've noticed I'm starting to recognise customers in the shop, which is really nice. They seem to appreciate it if you put something away for them and they come back and you have remembered them, and what you had put away for them. Then the other day I went to get an union at this local little vegetable store and there was one of the customers behind the counter. =D It's a small world.
I'm starting to settle in here. Which is good I guess. I just have no-one to take care of me. The other day I thought I was going to be throwing up because I had been having a headache for hours and it just got worse and worse so I thought allright, maigraine! So what now? No reason to go and feel sorry for yourself because there is nobody that will comfort you or give you attention. So, lie in bed, put something next to your bed just in case and put some tissues somewhere. Luckily I fell asleep right then and there, and I slept for hours and hours.
What else what else. Went to have a cup of cappuchino again at the Soup Kitchen, which is the lovely café/restaurant I went to on one of the first days with my laptop. You could order downstairs at the counter and then a waitress came with me to wherever I wanted to sit, carrying my drink! Isn't that service. I couldn't help but grin. All of that for just 1.90 pounds. Nice to have some decent coffee because the coffee they have at the shop isn't drinkable.
And when I got back home I found my mail on the floor. Martin had just shoved the mail underneath the door. Very nice. Received two cards so far. Come on people! I want mooreeeee. [That's an order.] ^^
It's only a quarter to three. Gee. Oh I also have to swing by the shop to give Geoff 7 pounds for the lock on my bike. Yay.
And tonight I'm going to the pub. I'll be meeting up with Andy and his wife/girlfriend, and he'll probably have his Dutch/Canadian friend with him. Should be interesting. I hope Mark forgot about it. No clue if he's coming but in any case I'm going. Will be nice to have a night out. Will be nice at work tomorrow though. Had better think of what I'm cooking tomorrow because something tells me I won't be in the mood then to get food from the supermarket.

Allright, that will be all for now.
Cheers, folks.

Posted by miekj 07:46 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Sunday, bloody Sunday

Entertain me!

semi-overcast

Currently I am sitting downstairs in the lounge, writing some emails and, as you see for yourselves, a new blog entry! I have some Dutch music playing nice and loud. There isn't anybody else in here and I don't risk upsetting Chinese roommates here. Go Patriotism! All that's left is getting up on a table and singing along in Dutch really loudly. That will surely please the security camera.
Yesterday evening I had some good fun again watching the Xfactor.
It turns out I got myself a neighbor. Not next to me though, no, *above* me. I can hear him walking. I can hear him flush the toilet. Isn't that nice. It might be the same guy who was trying to enter the building together with his parents using his newly acquired key while I was about to leave the building. I left him there fooling around with his key until he'd got the door opened. You've gotta learn one way or another isn't it. That's the second new face here - both young guys who hardly look able to look after themselves. Should be interesting. I hope some of the new people make a habit out of coming into the lounge, so I get some more contacts. At the moment it's just Daniella, some other guy [40-something] and me who come in here regularly.
Yesterday at work I spent the whole day doing til work, which was very amusing. Ping ping ping whooooshhh the money thing opens. Oh, little things can make a person happy. Contact with the customers was very nice. Whenever I'd make a mistake I'd just say ah well it's just my first day on the til, and then they'd say I was doing a good job after all ^^.
When I got home I cooked a big plate of spaghetti, which was the best dinner I've had since I arrived here. I was so hungry.
Today I was supposed to be going to Birmingham with D, but it turned out her train ticket had been nicked by her husband and she didn't know if he'd be back today. It was a really strange story and I didn't completely get yet [as shows], but end of the plans anyway. I figured out though that a train ticket to Birmingham doesn't have to cost more than 9 pounds, which is not so bad I guess. I tried to figure out what the bus services are on a Sunday, but I didn't have any luck there. Lichfield is the place I was recommended to go to, which is directly reachable by bus but I also don't know what bus tickets cost. Will find that out though, eventually.
I guess I'll go have some lunch and go out for a bit of a walk.
Talk to you later. Might get some nice pictures made! A fool be he that claimed I wouldn't use my camera much :P

Posted by miekj 05:31 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

My day off!

sunny

Dear readers,

It is yet again a sunny day in Stafford, UK. Today is my day off. Whereas tomorrow I have to work. I don't mind, I like my job, especially since I now know how to use the til!
Thursday was a fun day at work. My newly-favorite colleague was there and there was a Chinese woman who I had a good laugh with, she taught me how to use the til and she instantly noticed I am a fast learner. I like people like that. Not to brag though, I will mess up soon enough, as you know. Days pass really fast like this.
On working days you get up, go to work, get home, make dinner (even though it's only 17.00), eat, and then watch tv until you pass out on the couch. My day off was very welcome. I tried to sleep late, which of course failed.
Somebody knocked on my door. It was Martin! I have a parcel for you! Yay, my bankers lamp arrived, which is now proudly standing next to me. It's not entirely what I had thought it would be, but it certainly does the trick.
Then at 12.00 I had agreet to meet D outside of the shop, to go for some shopping. We went to Wilkinson and I bought a bulb, a fitted sheet and a single duvet cover. I love it. It's black one one side and red on the other. Walked around with D a bit. She's nice but I think half the time we don't understand eachother, which tends to get irritating. We ended up sitting in the park staring at the ducks in the stream whilst eating an icecream.
When I got back home I noticed there was a new guy moving into the building. Not the one to be occupying the 4th room in my block, though. He had all his things located in the hallway for him, his dad and friends of his dad to carry up. The first thing I noticed was a huge fluffy purple dinosaur. =D
Just put a load of washing into the washing machine. This time I'll see if I have the money for the dryer, because the way I had arranged it last time wasn't very successful. Hanging things all across the room. That looked rather silly, too. I did some grocery shopping as well. I got some spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, turkey, milk (a few packets of the milk you can keep for a long time, just so I never run out). I ALSO got Ben&Jerry's icecream! For the first time in my life, people, I've tried B&J. It was on sale. Half a litre for two pounds, priced down from four pounds and it was not out of date. I figured I just had to try it. Cookie Dough!
Last night was interesting..
I had arranged to meet up with Mark. I'd called him a day before to ask if he wanted to go to the pub last night, 8ish. His reply: sure, call me then. So, I leave my place and call him [5 to 8] and then he says oh whut are you walking there already? But hey yea I'm kind of short of cash so I went to Tesco's and bought some bottles of booze [....] so you can come over to my place? So I say no, lad, you come on over the the pub, no need to be expensive is there? He could be there in an hour. After half an hour of sitting there I called the home front and they told me to just take off and blow it of. I was ever so happy to do so. I figured I'd go knock on Martins door to see if he wanted to go somewhere, but he was just about to take shower, so a rain check on that.
Went to bed at around midnight and I woke up at 7.45. I think I was awake before that, but I had forgotten to turn my alarm off so that's the registered time.
I like the building is finally starting to fill up. That might mean there will be more people in the common room downstairs. More contacts! Propper ones.
After posting this I'll post a picture of my new lamp. =D

Posted by miekj 08:57 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

First days at work

sunny

I find myself sitting here, eating a wonderful dinner : a [partially burned] hamburger and half a cucumber. I just got home from my second day at work and I'm utterly and completely exhausted. The rest of today, similar to yesterday, I will be spending watching tv with Daniella. Having to walk to the supermarket to get bread, milk and some meat was almost to much to ask. I think the guy behind the til also noticed. He was weird. He had a really old-fashioned hairdo which was painted purple. My colleagues told me there was a Lidl in town, except here they say Lidl instead of Liedel, the way I'm used to pronounce it. Nice to have a known area around you in the midst of all the weirdness around you.
I seem to be unable to find just a regular bit of meat to cook. It's all funky stuff, like the hamburger I'm eating now, with added spices and God knows what.
I find that houdbaarheidsdata are growing to be my biggest enemy. In my lunch break I went home to find my bread had gone all fungussy and I was out of milk, so cornflakes were not an option. So when I got back to work and somebody asked me what I had for lunch I had to reply with : grapes and cookies. I figured I had to eat something if I wanted to survive until the end of the day.
As far as my work goes: it is absolutely exhausting, but fun. I spent most of the time so far steaming clothes, labelling them, putting the priced ones in the shop and taking care of the "take offs". Things that have been in the shop before date x have to be taken off, de-labelled and put inside a bag. They will then be transferred to a different shops. This ensures there's always new stock! Isn't that genius. We have a book section as well, but unfortunately it isn't that big.
The shop manager, Tracy, said I was BRILLIANT! But this is a word that's used fairly often amongst English people.
I met a lot of new people. A lot of the volunteers only work a few hours a day, this way I get to meet everybody in this week and the following. They have a funny way of arranging the weekend [hence, two days off]. As a consequence of the lack of staff, I am allowed to pick one day off during the week and can only have one Saturday off per month. I have already made plans for Saturday the 4th of December, I'll be going to London to meet up with two people from the bookshop back home. Looking forward to that a lot.
Spending my days like this makes me realise the five months will indeed just fly by. I've been working from 9 to 16.30/16.45 with a break of 30 minutes. Since I live so very close to the shop, I can easily go home for lunch. My poor legs. I'm anything but used to standing up that long.
I might be going to Birmingham this Sunday. One of the girls at work was going there and said I could come along if I wanted to. Just have to book a train ticket now. If that's not going to happen, I'll probably go to some place nearby, I found a busstop where the bus to a certain place goes [forgot the name for a sec]. Anyway, that place would be really nice for tourists, and has nice secondhand bookshops and a nice cathedral. This is what an owner of a little antiqueshop told me anyway. I'll take his word for it. I have to be careful though, with the amount of books I purchase here. It's somehow comforting to have books all around you. I can't help it. Ah well, one hath shoes, I haveth books. Or something along those lines.
I will now get myself to posting a few photo's. Tomorrow I'll see if I can make some pictures of the shop. It turns out they had a break-in last week. Appearantly some gang has been raiding all kinds of shops around town. I'm glad I didn't have to start a week earlier. It didn't happen whilst people were there, but still.

Here come the pictures. This time for real. Except when I fall asleep first. And it's only 18.02. Isn't that sad. You practically lack a life when you work 9-5. No offense.

And oh yea, just to make you lot jealous. It's been sunny for days now =D

Posted by miekj 11:03 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

The battle for Internet

I won!

Well so yesterday was an interesting day.
It was a bank holiday yesterday, so I figured everything would be closed. I went into town and what do I see? Practically everything is open! I can do my shopping here no matter which day it is.
As far as Internet's concerned, I took my laptop to Starbucks [yes, small as this town is, we have a Starbucks] with the idea that they always have wifi - long live watching a lot of American tv shows. So I ordered a cup of coffee [just 1,50 for a really big mug of coffee] and went to sit down, but I was unable to access any connection hanging about in the air there. So I put my laptop down, started playing a tv show and decided to enjoy my coffee. The coffee was strong! When I wasn't even half way I felt some sort of caffeine rush, you could actually feel it in your head. Damn. Not even the coffee I used to make myself could make that happen. It was good to have come coffee again though, this house doesn't have a coffee making machine in the kitchen.
In Starbucks I heard some people talking about a book club they were going to start, and they'd start by reading Twilight. This got me into one of my oh-my-god-I-have-to-talk-to-them moods, but eventually I didn't, which I regret. But at the library I think I remember seeing a sign with something about a book club on it. I'll go ask about that, that will give me a chance to get to know some new people.
And there seems to be a huge wasp problem here. When I asked to go sit on the roof terrace in the first café I tried a few days ago, she said I could, but there were a lot of wasps, and I found the same even sitting *inside* Starbucks. Seeing they had the door open :P
One woman smacked a wasp to death for me, which I was grateful for. Outside you could also see people having problems with them. It's like all the wasps that were missing in the Netherlands moved to the UK for some reason.
I had also discovered that one of the shops had wireless internet, unprotected, so I sat down next to that shop, but was unable to gain access to that, too. Then I went to some store where they had some things standing outside about Internet, and I took a few folders. The next step was asking Martin [I'll get to that bit later] if VirginMedia really was the only option, or if I could get other companies to hook me up. VirginMedia only. Nice.
Then I went up to my room and said something about it to my roommates. First thing one of them says to me..

Well we have a connection, you can share it with us if you want.

And I went through all that trouble for such an easy solution?
Anyhow I'm grateful. No contract and 10 pounds per month. From November it will be 15 pounds per month, as one of them is then leaving and therefore the connection will be shared with two people.

Martin is the warden of this building. He actually lives here, too, which is a reassuring idea. Help available 24/7. When I was watching a movie with Danielle the other night, she went out to smoke a cigarette and when she came back, she mentionned that Martin had returned from his holiday. I went to say hi for a sec - he was different than I had thought. He gave me a quilt though, so now I don't have to fear getting cold in the winter. Yay!

And today is my first day at work. I hardly slept, supposedly for that reason. So I figured I'd get up early to write a little something here. I had made some more pictures which I'll place tonight I think.

My alarm went off! Time to take a shower and have some breakfast.

See ya!

Posted by miekj 00:56 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

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