20 September 2008

Anarchy in the UK, Extended Tour: Day 3

Well, we have a flat. I'm not sure I made the right choice, but it was within our price range and the best thing I saw out of four. Not as much looking as I would have liked, but given the time crunch (we must leave the B&B by next Friday), I'm happy taking the hit and just getting it done straight away, rather than having to move to another hotel. It is cheaper than I expected, about a ten minute walk from the OU, and about a 15 minute walk from a huge shopping center that has a large Tesco (the UK Jusco or Wal*mart). So we won't need a car. It about a three minute walk from a bus stop that can also take us to the hospital and city centre. I am happy enough with it and it's only a one year lease. After that, we can find something bigger when my grant payment goes up.

It is smaller than I would have liked and am a bit concerned about that. I was thinking about everyone who is intending on visiting us here, and whether it will support two kids (once our second child is born) and four adults. But, at the end of the day, I think it is the best choice for us, and we gotta do what's right for the day-to-day life, I think.

Everyone here asks, 'You alright?' as a kind of greeting. I always feel like saying, Uh, yeah, I am--do I look like I'm not alright? Japanese has this same nuance--asking someone 'How are you?' sort of implies that they might not look well. I remember this because Dan and I used to ask the pastor of the church in Fukuoka how he was every morning and he always looked a bit confused. Someone finally explained to us that we should probably lay off that.

I have a problem greeting people with 'Howdy' (something I picked up when the famed older brother went to Texas A&M and I was terribly jealous).  This is not a good greeting in the UK, though, as today I said, Howdy to someone and they responded, Fine, thanks.

We also went to Ikea, which I had never been to and was amazed by. It's like Disneyland for furniture. I made me immediately aware that our apartment is too small.
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