31 March 2010

At the British Library

Today has so far involved getting up, running for 7 km, going to the optometrist, coming to London, and having a salad at a McDonalds. Now, I will write about metaphor for five or six hours and then go to a party with the other teachers from Middlesex to get slightly 'knackered' on their 'dime' and try to then walk up Tottenham Court Road back to Euston so I can sleep in my own bed.

My trip to the optometrist was supposed to involve me getting two pairs of glass for just under £90 (including the eye exam), but ended up costing me £156 and some change, after I got talked into getting better lenses.  I'm feeling slightly guilty about this, but I'm not sure why as glasses are something I need anyway and getting the better lenses doesn't really qualify for a reckless waste of money on non-essentials. Still, I thought about it for far too long as I dozed off on the train.

I talked to the doctor who checked my eyes about whether or not people struggle making choices (is one better than two? Is two better than three?) and whether or not the way the test was set up could affect how you make your choice. I imagine it could be very stressful for people who have trouble making choices. Me, not so much: Two, two, two, one, one, two, and I'm done.

I was looking at my glasses with the woman who was helping me choose and two of the other employees came up and they said, 'Sorry to bother you, but we wanted to know if you were American.' Yes, I said, how did you know? 'Well, we saw your boots and we suspected that you were.' I explained that I had got them in Oxford, but this did not work — they were quite proud of themselves for spotting me and they pointed at the belt buckle, too. One of them, it turned out, was from the States and the other was from Africa, so we had a good discussion about life in the UK, and they upsold me on the lenses: 'They'll look much better; you'll be much happier with them,' they assured me.  Anyway, at the end of getting all the paperwork done, the woman who had some authority in the store — Joy from South Africa — gave me about £13 off on my eye test. This coupled with the two litre bottle of Coke that I got from the Kebab guy last week after an interesting conversation about Turkey and Japa), I feel like I have uncovered a new kind of soft negotiating, something my sister would certainly be proud of.

Now, at the British Library, I really need to get some work done.  I had a very good meeting with my supervisors yesterday, and they pointed me in the right metaphorical direction. Now, all I need to do is write like the wind. And get back to revising my Language@Internet article, also like the wind. As I said before, the people here are my people. I think I just saw the glasses I bought walk by.