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Day Two: Mir Win & Mir Fail

I got kind of a late start today sleeping in to about 10:30 and not leaving the room for about an hour after that. Today was about exploring and acquiring some things I needed. After coffee and a bit to eat I checked out the student second hand sale with hopes of finding crockery and hangers but the sale in the student union was pathetic. There were just some cups out and somebody put out boxes of their crockery with a sign on it saying that it was all dirty and you have to wash yourself. There was still food on some pieces. Call me finicky but I have a hard time laying down cash for cookware that has encrusted food on it from some faceless student. I passed and moved on.

I remembered seeing a Carphone Warehouse on New Cross road on our ride in and went to go find it, not until after I checked out what I would call their Best Buy equivalent by the Sainsburry’s first. I looked around at the cell plan selection but the customer service woman saw me and seemed to purposefully duck away and continuously avoid me despite my obviously confused look. (Customer service cultural difference or did she just not want to deal with another bloody student?) Anyway I decided to move on and go explore to try to find that Carphone Warehouse (besides based on the Brits/Americans LJ group conversation I’ve been trolling on that seemed to be the place people recommended.) It took longer than I thought it would to get there but I was persistent and found it. Glad I did too, because the teller was super friendly and helpful. He got me a phone with a deal and an international pay as you go plan once I tap out my minutes on the SIM card that was required to buy to get the deal (which saved me 30 quid). I tried to call my rents on the phone with my international phone card but it STILL wouldn’t work. I might have to just keep trying until I burn out the local minutes on that first SIM card. Though I might have to accept that I might have been swindled five pound with that stupid card. Who needs it. I just found out Google lets you call anyone in the US for free so I’ll try that.

My next order of business was to take a wandering walk. I pooled at Google maps first and wrote a bit of a little map to get my bearings case I got lost. I decided to check out Deptford to the slight north east of here and I’m so glad I did. When I turned up the Deptford High Street I discovered that they we having their Saturday Market. I wish I hadn’t spent that 12 quid on a second pillow at the fancy bed store earlier that day as I found tons of bedding and such at the market. Ah well. I did, however, find everything else on my immediate list for the room: hangers, crockery and push pins at a couple of 99p stores. WIN! (Cultural difference note: in looking for push pins I had problems when asking for them. I tried Push Pins, Tacks, Thumb Tacks, and Thumb Pins to no avail and ran out of nouns for the stupid things. Eventually I saw them at a store for a pound and I pounced on that shit!) After I had everything on my list I continued up the street to Creek Rd then turned back on Deptford Church St and back home to drop off my stuff and finally get my room together. I was able to put my clothes away and put up my calendar and my photos of my peeps.

After getting my room in order I took a shower and got ready for the mixers. Now I don’t want to complain, I knew what I was getting into with a dorm situation and I’m pleased that the grad (post-grad they say here) student housing has bathrooms with showers in the room. However I envisioned a walk in stand up shower with one of those slidey door, ya know? Not so much. It’s really just a showerhead in the corner of an already small room with a half shower curtain and there is a quarter inch of a difference in the tiling between the “shower area” and the rest of the bathroom. Yeah, In trying to wash, rinse, condition and rinse I managed to flood my bathroom. This is never mind the leg and under arm shaving I needed to do. I’ve decided that my hair length is impractical under these circumstances so as soon as I get my loan money a hair cut will be my first order of business. There’s just no way this is going to work out. I feel bad as Andy has suggested how cut I would look with short hair and I have protested because I like that I can put it up easily at this length and have the best of both worlds. Well, short hair it is. No wonder why there’s so many damn hair salons in the neighborhood. Seiously Goold New Cross raod and look for nearby hair dressers it’s ridiculous!

Okay so there were two mixers going on tonight. One was the Hall Residence mixer and there was the International Student Buffet Dinner. I went to the meeting place for the Halls of Residence Mixer where the cute fella who showed me to my building when I arrived was but when more international students showed up he showed us to that and I had figured I was going to go there anyway as there was free dinner involved. I’ve reverted back to my old SU days where I would attend any even I was even modestly interested in if I had nothing on and there was free food. I even pretended to be in clubs I wasn’t if I knew I could get away with it. So the call to free food sounded more important to me especially once I found out the Hall mixer was general and not about meeting your specific flat mates.

So I went to the International mixer but I didn’t like the table of people I happened to end up with. There were three girls from the East Coast. Two of them, I would describe as nice but ultimately nondescript but if I had to use a word, say if I were a “Fresher” in collage, I would say they were privileged and preppy. There was one girl who was post grad but she had BITCH written all over her. I think you know the type. The type of girl who carries herself like she’s constantly annoyed. The bleach blond, constantly exasperated type with a fake tan. The girl without a sense of humor. Then there was the girl from Boston who was the Technical Theatre major! “OMG OMG OMG!” Yeah, You’d think that we’d have something to talk about as I grew up in theatre and all but I couldn’t get a word in with her. She reminded me of Miranda Pratt to an extent but Miranda Pratt is likable. This chick just got on my nerves for dominating the conversation and being generally too talkative.

Now I must take a moment to stop and take into consideration that I’m judging people based on an hour of forced conversation. (JUDGED—hahahahhaa!) Still though, I think I’m pretty good at reading people. I wish more conversation came out of the guy from SF or especially the girl from Sweeden who looked exactly like my (or rather Shannon’s old friend) Loren. There are only so many faces that genetics will allow, I’ve decided. All the same, I ate my sandwiches, fruit and crisps and eventually made my leave.

On my way out I saw a picture of Matt Berry (comedian here in both the IT Crowd, Snuff Box and Mighty Boosh and I totally like his work…kinda like him too in his own way). It was a flyer for a show he was doing tonight at 8pm. It was seven when I got out of that mixer. I noted what was written on the flyer and decided to try it. It said it was on the Lewisham High Street. I was on Lewisham Way which I hadn’t followed past the college. I just decided to go on my gut and follow the street figuring I could find it, rather than going back to my flat to look up the venue. I really regret that because I ended up walking my ass off, I seriously got the the cross street where I should have tured right and walked five blocks and I would have been there, but no, I didn’t want to waste time looking it up. I was totally confidant in my abailites. Yeah. I didn’t get to see Matt Berry, which saddens me in general but also pisses me off because the whole time that I thought I COULD get there I envisioned showing off to Brendan. That bums me out especially that Brendan gets to gloat about seeing Gary Neuman at Neumos on Halloween BOO!

Okay so after that adventure proved futile I went back to New Cross and I stopped off at the Hobgobblin. I figured that there might be students there I could mix with and after all that is where I broke the barrier when I came to visit last year. So I went there got a pint of Stongbow and went back to the smoking area and …sat alone. I was thrown back into the alienation of last year, I even pulled out my notebook but put it away shortly after. I just drank my drink super fast then took off.

I went to the Student Union bar, as I figured that would be the place to meet people. However I have a hard time just walking up an introducing myself. I happened to find one cute girl who was alone and packing her own shag cigarette and I asked if there was a smoking section, she showed me the smoking section was but asked for a cigarette and I gave her one. I essentaily traded a cigarette for conversation. We exchanged origins and majors and that was about the conversation, She asked if this was my first time in London to which I told her that I came for the Open Day last fall. Conversation kind of ended there. Her frind she was waiting for came out and that was pretty much that. Though I’m glad her fried pointed out the view behind me. You can see the London Eye from the smoking spot at Students Union at Goldsmiths. I was in awe of the view for a while as they both left.

I went back in when my cigarette was done and stood like a wallflower. I have failed this whole mixing thing. I feel like I’ve reverted back to Freshman year at SU Miranda where it took me two years to get to know anybody. I don’t have that kind of time. However, I still find few things more fearsome than just walking up to a stanger and introducing myself unless I’m VERY intoxicated. So I stood by the wall while I finished my cider and then took off.

I felt such a failure, that all I wanted to do was to go back to the internet and tell my stores and connect with the friends that I have already earned and love me. I bought some cornershop piss on the way to drink and hid in my room.

On the way I finally ran into a flatmate! She’s from Agregntia. I can’t remember her name but she’s quite nice. We talked for a bit then I went to my room am she knocked a little later. She was as confused about the internet situation as I was yesterday (no wireless, you have to get a plug in) and I gave her the low down. Then I let her use my internet to contact her family to let them know that she got here okay and all was well. I know how panicked I was when I found I couldn’t contact anyone at first so it was my pleasure.

Anyway since then it’s been about writing this. I know I failed in sociability. I couldn’t do it, then I ran away. I hope I get over that. Or actually I’m excited to meet the people in my program. They should be somewhere about my age (slightly younger to considerably older). We will all have at least one thing in common. At least when I tell them my major they wont look confused or show how obviously silly they think it is. (Seriously the bitch at the international buffet was there for an ‘art as psychotherapy’ major and that was treated with more interst and merit than my ‘Creative and Life Writing’ program which was written off.)

So that was my first full day. I have another lazy day to try to mix with people or to just take a walk and explore. Monday I have lots to stuff to deal with.

It’s becoming real. I went out for a smoke and heard the sirens and saw the double decker busses. I even slipped in my first vomit. (Something I did regularly on Capitol Hill) The more real it is the more I remember how much I wanted to be here. How hard I worked for it. How much of a dream it is come true.

When I was on the Student Union deck smoking a cigarette, I turned my back and saw the London Eye in the distance. That really moved me tonight.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 26th, 2010 12:30 am (UTC)
Give it time, sweetie. You may not realize it, but just from reading your blog, I can tell you took a lot of steps toward interaction. That's great and I'm so proud of you. I don't think you've failed in the slightest. Like you even said, once you find people in your program or your flatmates, you'll settle into a social groove.

Love you and I miss you terribly.
Sep. 26th, 2010 01:50 pm (UTC)
I'll make the first steps toward effort, showing up at the mixers and such but once there I'm at a loss. At least I can take comfort in the fact that I have amazing people in my life to come home to.
Sep. 27th, 2010 03:30 am (UTC)
Just run naked down the hallway of your flat. You'll make lots of friends. That's what usually worked for me back in the day. (Note: I'm mostly kidding about doing that -- 90 percent kidding/10 percent DO IT!)

But on a more serious note: Just think back to how you met and made friends that you have today. How did you and Sam start talking? How did you wind up with most of the friends you have today? And remember, even if you have to be introduced to someone like most of us are in life, the people that are around you frequently are usually there because they like you after meeting you. I've even had people I thought hated me at first come up to me later and be like, "Hey man, wanna hang out?"

Yes, it does take some time. But by your second or third week there, I can see you totally going out for drinks with one of your flat mates. Hell, maybe go introduce yourself to your loud flat mate AND potentially solve a problem by knocking on his/her door and cracking wise ... something like, "Have you seen my hearing aid?" or "Is this where I sign up for the student band (or primal scream therapy or whatever works in the situation).

Remember, you have tons of friends for a reason ... I fell in love with you at first sight for a reason. That reason is, well, you're kind of a big deal. Borders of a country don't change that ;)

Love you!
Sep. 27th, 2010 09:15 am (UTC)
Sam & I had a class together but we truly met at one of Oni's parties. Cathy and I had class together. Maybe I just need for my program to start. Well I might go to that pub quiz tonight. THat might be easier as there's like a goal in mind and a constant topic of discussion. Just so long as I don't get all stubborn on an answer and start a fight.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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