Tuesday, February 24, 2009

line up

It seems I've underestimated what the police clerk was telling me the other day: "you should get there early in the morning, since it's usually a bit crowded."
I had plenty of time reminiscing those words, as I was, as I AM more correctly, standing in line, literally that is, for the past 3 hours in front of the police registration office for foreigners - or Aliens, as they call us here.
humpph! Aliens, I was thinking to myself. I had nothing better to do but to think to myself. The line was miserably long. The old chap that helped me with directions inside of the 'Brandon Building' told me to take a left at the corner of the building and I won't be able to miss it. Indeed I didn't miss it. As soon as I turned left, I bumped into a lovely little Russian girl, who was last in line... at least until I showed up.

Don't bother searching for the end of the line.

The first hour and a half passed while I was outside the building. All of us in the line were huddled close to the building bricks, in a useless attempt to cover our heads from the droplets of rain that were pouring here and there. The sky were, of course, gray, and next to us was the usual procession of central London. Red double deckers with various commercials came and went, people walked by, some with obvious puzzled looks at what it perhaps seemed to them a bunch of people standing in line with no apparent destination... maybe a new store is opening...

Like I said, I had plenty of time to think. Me and Raquel were thinking about moving into a new place, closer to her hospital and my school. It offered a chance for me to notice how much people are paying in London for housing rental. Usually it goes by weekly payments, I've seen houses offered for more than 500 pounds a week. 500! that could amount to 15000 shekels a month easily! What are people doing here for a living to earn enough money to sustain this kind of luxurious lifestyle, not adding the fancy car and fancy food.

More important, What do I have to do to earn like them?!

Of course, getting a job would be a good start. Little did I know, that by the time I got back home after finishing with the registration process, I would have been rejected for my first job possibility.

Like I said, hour and a half later, I was privileged enough to get into the "inside" part of the standing in line. Instead of a nice straight waiting line, as soon as the people went inside the building, they formed some sort of a self made snake game coming straight out of the holocaust. You wouldn't have guessed in a million years where is the tail and where is the head.

It was pure fun.

two hours later, I went outside, with a piece of paper in my hand. And that has concluded my day, basically.

FYI - There's suppose to be some sort of a "Pancake day" today in Britain. Don't ask me why.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Welcoming comittee

I'll spare you the monumental struggle I've been having lately with my own self to reach this moment where I'm actually trying to write something, like in the ol'e days. So let's move on.
Ah, the great kingdom of Britain! And its lovely grayish city of London! The capital! the centre of it all!
First thing I did upon arrival, besides putting on a sweater, kissing Raquel passionately and driving on the wrong side of the road, was to put a picture of the sun hanging on the wall next to the loo (British for bathroom). Flat chance I'll ever get to see it again.
I arrived on a Wednesday. I had plenty of time to prepare myself mentally for my upcoming first day of school (self chuckle). So did Raquel. We dedicated the next 4 days for catching up on lost time. We even had a late valentine's day on Saturday, dining in a fancy restaurant and actually paying for the food in the end. We even went out for a picnic in a nice big park, when it was relatively nice outside (-100 degrees).
But, all in all, we both knew that the whole point of me settling down in London had nothing to do with me being the eternal Bum. On the contrary, dear watsons... I was more than obliged to prove, both to myself and to Raquel, that I do remember how people make a living these days -

I have to get a job.

I have to get some friends.

I have to open facebook.
... oh dear.
oh, and a footnote. I was walking for a couple of hours around the area of the hospital where Raquel works, when I had to go to the... loo... forget the fact that I had to pay 20 "pee" to get in, I encountered a very nice welcoming note on the door. You can figure it out for yourself.