20 September 2008

Anarchy in the UK, Extended Tour: Day 3

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's 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, so we won't need a car. It's about a three minute walk from a bus stop that can also take us to the hospital and city centre. I'm 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.

The flat is smaller than I'd 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 and four adults, but at the end of the day, we have to do what's right for our day-to-day life.

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?' implies that the person you're greeting might not look well. I remember this because Dan and I used to ask the pastor of the church in Fukuoka where I taught English how he was every morning and he always looked a bit confused. Someone finally explained to us that we should probably stop that.

I have a problem greeting people with 'Howdy' something I picked up when my 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.