Monday, September 8, 2014

Friends To Call My Own (Part II)

City Centre. Because PEOPLE.

The City Centre is seriously bustling. And there are like 5 H&Ms. We counted. All within like 4 blocks of each other. Some places you can literally see 2 of the same store at the same time. Because shopping. We bummed around a bit and looked at a bunch of stores and then found a department store I hadn't seen on my last visit. He was looking for a laundry basket. I was looking for cooking stuff. I found a peeler but it was like £7, so I wasn't sure. And pots were like £22-25 each. I told him to just ask someone about the basket. She put us on to this crazy store next door, that's not even really a store at all.

But wow this would take off in the US. Basically you go down to this area that has like 10 kiosks with a computer for the tech-savvy and a regular old school Sears & Roebuck thick, thick catalog. You flip through, find what you want, then you write down on a scrap your code numbers. You go and pay, and then they have on the other side of the counter just a MASSIVE MASSIVE warehouse with all these thousands of things. It doesn't have to be pretty, it doesn't have to be displayed, it doesn't require any cleaning/upkeep, etc. And then while you wait, they go find all the stuff you just ordered and then they bring it up to you and off you go. Brilliant. Anyway, this place was massively cheaper than the other place we'd been. I got a whole set of spatulas and spoons and a peeler for £7. I also got a set of 3 pots for under £20. Loads cheaper. So NaK bought his basket for £6 and I got a whole armload of stuff for my kitchen. (Also got a 2015 planner for £1.5 and more hangars (sturdier) 10 for £2). I had planned poorly and came up short on £ at the checkout, so I did my first foray into foreign credit card transactions. He gave me some sort of tax-free receipt that I probably have to report on my taxes or something. Yipe. Not looking forward to April. At that point we had to go home because now my arms were full. So we took the Underground home.

Since he had a day pass and I have the month, I said, well. We're hungry and you wanted to go out. Instead of eating over here, let's go back to the Centre and eat there. So we rode back and he wanted to try UK McDonald's to see what that was about. I was game and went along. He got a Big Mac meal, I got some sort of BBQ Chicken. To drink I ordered something called Irn Cru that is huge here. It's in all the stores, and people drink it like Coke or Pepsi. My sandwich was actually really high quality. I was impressed. The drink though. Eghh. It seriously tasted like liquid bubble-gum. NaK and I had a long conversation about what we would compare McD's here to in the states. Because this place was like 3 stories. Like nice. Sit-down. The closest we could come was Sizzler or Olive Garden but without wait staff. It was really hard to find anything to compare. Even like Chik-fil-A or In 'N Out were lower on the fast food scale than this was. McD's here is not ghetto. So that was a nice surprise. But I don't think I'll be drinking liquid bubblegum anytime again soon. After we wait, we hit the streets again for more shopping/window shopping.

POLICE BOX!!! Doctor Who fans everywhere are drooling right now. I could literally reach out and TOUCH this box. So be jealous.

We stopped in at the American Candy store so I could restock on candy coke bottles >.> I'm not addicted. What?!

And then we got really touristy and took pictures of things like random arches and guys on horses who are like, famous.

Because architecture.

Because Monarchs and ruling and ... stuff.

Also, I'd like to make it public here that I got YELLED AT for trying to take pictures inside a store. Now look what you started, D2. Srsly. Lastly, on our way back to the Underground we stopped to behold (and subsequently photograph) this EXTREMELY strongly worded opinion by someone who very clearly has a thing AGAINST the BBC.

NOTE: I didn't actually read the entire thing, so sorry if there's anything offensive/swears. <.<

Basically we spent almost the entire afternoon kicking it in the city centre. Then when we got back I was ready to just kick back and enjoy my night. I took my shoes and socks, and sat down to skype and FB and blog.

And then like an hour later remembered... oh yeah, you signed up for the Social tonight! It started at 6! It was definitely 7:50. Wah wah. I wasn't even sure it was still going to be taking place. But I sloughed my grubbies and put on a nice shirt, accessorized with a scarf, vest and sweater, put on my grey shoes and off I went anyway. Time to play the game how fast can we get to Uni? Answer: 10 minutes, without actually running. Not shabby. Also, I had to go around to the back of the main building because all of the South gates were closed. The party was indeed still going on. I got a free soda and asked if there was any sort of assigned seating or anything and they said no just jump in. So I eyed a table with an empty seat and just went for it.

Asked if the seat was taken, it wasn't so I plopped down. And then pretty much took control of the night. I apologized for being terrible (aka late) and then made them re-do introductions (names, studying, fun facts) so that I wasn't at a total loss. 2 of the others at the table were American from Denver and DC. A girl from Germany, a girl from Canada, and a girl from Bulgaria. The other 3 were all Asian. Everyone was studying something different which was fun. The evening was actually a céilidh, so there was gaelic folk dancing and music. I managed to skip the first dance, and the kid from DC and I (hereafter Si) played the game - hottest person in the room. We had to choose both a guy and girl. Which was fun and interesting. Diversionary, anyway. Then they made me go for the last dance and I made the Colorado dance with me. This rather than being a line dance like the others, was more waltzy and she was impressed with my clear knowledge of already knowing some waltz steps (BAM).

After that they made us stand in a circle while they bid us adieu with Auld Lang Syne which was quite fun. A bunch of them exchanged information and then we started walking home. We split rather quickly because most of them lived North of Byres Road. I live south of the Uni and so did the girl from Bulgaria (hereafter Iliy). She was pretty shy, partly I think because she wasn't confident about her english (she spoke it fine), and I told her I'd walk her home. It came out after that that apparently most of the kids at that table were undergrads (wah wah) and were only here for a semester. So I felt a little hoodwinked at that as I'd been under the impression I was going to a strictly postgrad social, though I guess thinking back it was all international, not necessarily just postgrad international. Shoulda seen that coming.

Si wasn't ready to go home yet and wanted to know if anyone wanted to go out for drinks. I agreed to be social and go out with him, but said we had to walk her home first. So he went with. And we chatted about her program and why she chose here, and then she asked us the same. After we dropped her off, I told Si I wanted to go see if NaK was home and wanted to come out with us too. We went over to my place and NaK was on his way out for a walk about the block as we came in. So it worked perfectly. We snagged him and headed to the pub that NaK had been eyeing (and is super close to our house). So the three of us stayed out joking and bantering and carrying on for a few more hours. All in all, not a bad night. As M told me on skype today - "so far the jealousy is high. Because your vacation sounds awesome." That's what it is I guess since classes don't start for a while still.

Anyway, I'm rapidly building a friend circle (soon I will have enough for an evening of inappropriate, raucous fun with Cards Against Humanity. Soon), and having a grand ol' time. And I think I now have almost everything I need, so hopefully the shopping will abate (or at least decrease for a minute).

Here's to tomorrow! And not being a silly loner. :P


  1. It's so fun to read about your adventures! A little jealous!

  2. a little jealous? A lot jealous! I hope you love every minute.