Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Quest for Hangars

I found out that my ipod has a clock on it! And it updated automatically without me having to do anything, so go technology! I was able to use that to help me through the night. At 2am the light was still on in the room. Without that eyemask I would've been a very unhappy camper. Somehow with multiple roll-overs (and unstickings) I made it through the night. I woke up about 8am and couldn't go back to sleep. I didn't have to check out until 11, so I covered up my backpack with my bedding, grabbed some £ and went to find eats. I found a number of small shops serving breakfast. I marveled at how cheap food is here. I was able to get 2 rolls stuffed with bacon for only £4. I sat in the shop and ate breakfast. It was drizzling outside.

When I got back to the Lodge I still had some time to kill, so I dozed some more and then did some reading, just waiting for it to be 11. I unlocked my stuff, lugged it up stairs and then waited for the cab. When it arrived I set my backpack as the doorstop. It got knocked out by one of the bags and fell over. I didn't think anything of it.

We loaded up the cab (my 4th) and went back to my soon-to-be-new place of residence. Once there, the check-in process went fairly quickly. I was assigned to a flat across from the reception area and I couldn't see that I had any flat-mates yet (at least 2 moved in later on today). One last flight of stairs. I could do this. How did I lug these around so much yesterday? It hurt to even drag them across the street. I got to my room and dumped my bags and just wanted to take a shower so of course my bathroom was missing a shower curtain. Sigh. I checked the inventory list and it was definitely supposed to come with one. No dice. So back to reception again. They would get one installed. Well, thanks.

Next item on the priority list: adapters. My battery was all but dead, and I had no way to plug it in, so that needed to be immediate. I got instructions on where to buy them (was told during the convo to go there and then across the street, because they had them cheaper). I went back and unpacked the essentials (suit, ties, coats, vests - basically things that shouldn't be in bags any longer than they already had. Because wrinklage. Every one of the dress shirts I brought are wrecked and will need to spend significant quality time with iron in the near future.

Once all that was out though I realized I couldn't hang any of it up. I would try and find hangars while I was out for adapters. It was drizzling slightly so I found my water-proof orange jacket (that I've had since before 2001!) and set off. The streets here collect rain like white on rice so there are puddles everywhere. I realized very quickly that my mesh tennies were not a solid choice for this weather. My socks were soaked in just a few blocks. I went past the local fire station and on into town. I found the shop without difficulty, and then started across the street. I tried 5 shops on that side of the street, all of which didn't carry adapters, except one. His wasn't even in a box and it looked super cheap. Well, it was. Only £4. I went back across the street to the store I'd been told to buy them at. They had plenty, but none seemed to fit the requirements I needed. According to signs posted everywhere in the FAQ, e-introduction, in my kitchen, and on the outside of the building as well: all adapters must be labeled British Standard (BS) or Central European (CE) certified. I went next door to staples. Yup, they have staples in the UK. They only had one adapter, but it was a usb converter not a power converter. And they didn't have any hangars. Dang.

I went back to the other store and just grabbed one off the shelf. £15. Sigh. My money is evaporating. But this is an essential. I went back to reception with it and asked them if the one I had would fly and not get confiscated (the last thing I need). They advised me to keep the packaging in case it does get taken (not very reassuring).

I then inquired about hangers and was directed to Byres Road (when I was talking to him, I thought he said buyers - that's what I had in my head, which I thought was a weird, but interesting (clever?) name for a road. After dropping the adapter, plugging in my computer, and changing my shoes and socks for something that was better in the rain, I was off again. Along the way, I figured out half how I'm going to get to Uni everyday (it's a start). When I found Byres Road I start going into shops and asking if they had hangars. The first two didn't, and couldn't tell me where I could get them either. The third at least managed that. She said I had to take the subway into the city centre because that's where all the real shops were. Apparently I live right by what they call the "West End" which is its own district, but not the main part of Glasgow. Not downtown.

So I went to the subway. Glasgow's subway is so simple I could laugh. There are two tracks and they both go in a circle. So really if you get on any train, you'll get wherever you want to go if you ride long enough. I figured the subway would be a regular thing so I signed up for a month pass. £53 more down the drain. I rode the subway 4 stations into the city centre and found myself basically at a mall. H&M, Forever 21... you know, all the important American stores. Ugh. I did find a store called "American Candy and Soda" that let me know for sure I wasn't in Kansas anymore. I eventually found a store called "Poundland" which I guess is the UK equivalent of the Dollar Store. I got a pack of 10 hangars, and that was the last one they had. I asked if they had more, but no dice. The other options were little kid hangars or metal with velvet, but they were only 3 packs for £1. So I left with the 10, and that was that. I decided to pop back into the American candy store and see the selection. They had things like Lucky Charms and Fanta, and other imports. But they also had Chupa Chips (which made me miss playing Zool2!!!) and they had other candy as well. I spotted cherry cola bottles (the best! I blame CF for getting me hooked on them and Turtle for perpetuating that love) and bought 3 bags. Because there must be some indulgence. ALL my money can't go to stupid taxis and trains.

I contined walking around window shopping, even popped into a dept. store to check out their cleats (nothing I wanted) and just tried to enjoy being outdoors exploring. At one point I almost ran into... A POLICE BOX!!! Like a legit blue, old-school, straight-out-of-Doctor-Who Police Box!!! I didn't have my camera, so I will have to go back (sorry!). I kept walking, wanting to explore, even though it was still raining. I came across another store called "Poundworld." Hmmm. I don't know what the difference between Poundland and Poundworld are... but they looked like the exact same store to me. No dice on the plastic hangars again so I settled on the velvet ones this time. I got 6. Also found cheap ziploc bags and tin foil, so bought those. 1 less thing for later. £4. This was the 3rd time today where I calculated the total cost with tax... which apparently isn't a thing here. The adapter was straight up £15, this purchase exactly £4. So that's nice.

I kept walking and found Central Station where I got off the train yesterday and realized that the subway system must be much smaller than I thought. Maybe I shouldn't have bought a month pass in hindsight :/ The rain was letting up (but still going) and I was in the mood to explore so I decided to walk home (just to see). I consulted a city map twice, but found my way pretty easily by just following Argyle Street (which I remembered as the street I took this morning to find the adapter). Turns out that street is one and the same, but it splits at the expressway and moves north 3 blocks (go figure). When I got to the split, I abandoned following Argyle and just went west. Now that I've oriented myself to my complex, I've pretty much got my directions figured out, so not too shabby. I never really got lost, just left one "found" place and wandered until I found another "found" place. Actually something that really helped me was identifying the Sikh temple that has been under construction for 3 years. It's taller than alot of buildings and I remembered it from my taxi ride this morning. The driver pointed it out and commented he didn't get why it was taking so long to build (probably foundation problems) but that he hoped it would be beautiful.

After that I was set and got back with no further incident. I opened the hangars and started hanging my important items. And immediately regretted buying the plastic ones. They were definitely dollar store material. I broke 2 in the first 30 seconds of trying to hang coats. So I ended up using the velvets for the heavier stuff (and will need more :/) and only using the plastic to hang shirts and thin jackets. Mission (mostly) Accomplished.

After that it was time for the much-needed shower (with soap this time), then I turned to tackling how to connect to the wifi in my room. Which proved wildly successful as you can tell. :) My computer screen though did not survive the trip unscathed. It has two small nicks in it that I don't know how they got there. Just chips out of the screen really. This laptop isn't even a week old. :( Maybe when my backpack fell earlier in the morning? Who knows at this point. All my stuff has been through hell and back. My CAH is wrecked on one side and one of my plates shattered in my suitcase. All my pictures survived without any broken glass, and Ittle Bitty and my A&W mug are fine also, so that was good to know.

I skyped my parents (thanks J!) then settled in to check email, the FB, and did various other tasks requiring me to be online. A nap later and I set to blogging. Later I'd be off to the grocer's to see what that held, then planned to spend the rest of the night relaxing (and maybe unpacking).

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you're well on your way. The BLERG posted a link to Vagaries so all of my friends can follow your antics. Hugs. -M