I slept really well that first night after all, and I was gratified to wake up to bird calls at about 9am. Woke up a couple of times during the night because friends at home were beeping me from the other end of the world but I fell right back asleep anyways.
Things went downhill from there. Homesick hit and I was mope all day.
I was still ok during breakfast but then I felt that I should fulfil my daughterly duties of skyping home because Mother had told me too and I had promised her. It’s funny because the thought of skyping home made me homesick instead of assuaging it and it threw me into a wreck the rest of the day. I skyped them at about 12 noon which translated to a comfortable after dinnertime at 8pm for them. Was pretty much in tears but hoping they couldn’t see it. It would have been awkward if they mentioned it but I think they could tell.
Afterwards, my friend and I went to the city centre to shop some. I was in a brittle state of mind so I don’t think I was a very good companion. Lunch was a big, fat awkward silence. I couldn’t make any effort even if I tried. Just trying to control myself from breaking down every once in a while. My friend’s nice and all but because we only just became friends due to the trip, we still needed more time to fully break ice. She’s funny, though. She shops everywhere for the cheapest bargains to furnish her room. I couldn’t really share her joy in that because I couldn’t yet unpack and was stuck in this uncomfortable limbo in my teeny tiny room. But I tried to be helpful and helped her pick out some pots and pans for cooking. Then I left her to try to settle my banking stuff.
Banking wasn’t suppose to be complicated. Just open a bank account so that I can draw money when I need it. Pretty straightforward. BUT NO. It was going all fine and dandy and I was pretty much on the verge of successfully opening the account when I spotted, in the small prints, that to be eligible for the account, I had to be studying for at least a year in the UK. I asked the banker who serviced me and she went to ask her boss about it and she came back and apologised because I couldn’t open the account after all. So that ruled Bank A out and I had to find alternative banks.
I was actually proud of myself for reading the small prints and asking the banker about it which overall contributed to an important outcome, albeit not a very positive one. Talking to the banker also made me feel better. I dunno. Maybe it’s just communicating to someone about a legit business that distracts me from mopeyness. I need to start interacting more here, get my head here and be here, methinks. Anyway, I took a two-hour nap and felt completely non-teary afterward so yay. Nothing like a little nap to handle the problems of the world.
Oh, I also jumped the gun and bought a kettle, despite it being a bulky electrical appliance which I would have to move from my current place to my new hall. I felt like the need for hot water justified the trouble I would face packing and moving it later on. I would deal. It made me a little happier. Having access to hot water gives me a sense of power. Like I have some control over my life and happiness. Because hot water= hot chocolate= happy tummy = happy me. It’s a lovely red thing which boils really quickly and bubbles very dramatically. So yay. But then I had no cup (well, I have one but it’s embedded in my luggage which at this point, is not going to surface) so I poured hot water into my new purple Nalgene bottle with my Cadbury hot chocolate powder in and just shook. Please do not ever pour hot water in purple Nalgene bottles and Cadbury hot chocolate powder and shake. It left a sickly Cadbury plastic smell in the bottle afterwards even though I rinsed it out and stuff. And since I had no dish detergent, I decided that the next best thing would be toothpaste so. Toothpaste, water, shaken and stirred in the purple bottle. I wish I could say it worked but it gave off an even sicker, plastic smell with a mean minty twist. Sighs. Airing it now, hoping that drying it would do the trick. Anyway.
I tried to check out if I were eligible for opening a bank account with Bank B, this time through an online web chat with a banker to avoid making another wasted trip down to the bank itself. It was not the most pleasant experiences. It ended with the banker ending our chat because I hadn’t responded for a while (a short while, mind you) and he assumed the chat had been disconnected. I was thinking of whether I wanted to book an appointment with you, you poop. But noo. So no decision/course of action was taken. Honestly.
Then I had a lovely chat with my friend who is also studying in the UK. She gave me some heads up of how school was like and advised me on the banking stuff. I felt so much better. She wanted to come settle me in but she has several deadlines coming up so she couldn’t get away but she’s coming to visit once the deadlines are over and I can’t wait. I’ve become super sensitive to listening out for that Singlish twang everywhere I am, just because… I dunno. Community. Familiarity. Possible friends. Haha. And how they’re settling into life here. It’s like a secret code of identity that’s not so secret.
Went to sleep much stressed about moving smoothly over to my new home, about banking, having to learn to do my own laundry and getting books for school. Prayed for so much grace and favour and blessing on everything.
Moved into my new home this morning and it went really well. Hauled everything over in two trips. First trip with my rice cooker and kettle and other bulky, not so light items. Second trip with my slightly lightened suitcase. I was mostly worried about getting the suitcase down this flight of steps. I was wondering how to get it down. Prayed so much just for that little stretch. Made it in the end and moved in.
I was so happy after that.
My new room is great. Great in the sense that it’s a place where I can see myself living in and writing essays in. I couldn’t imagine doing that in the previous place. It’s more modern, or rather, the other one was old, and the bed is huge. Also, I have my own toilet. I took the most needed shower in my lovely new toilet.
Spent the rest of the day calling up more banks and then moseying about town with my friend who wanted to check out the market which boasts of having the cheapest things. So tired. Walked a lot. I liked the buildings and everything. It all looks so lovely and romantic, it’s like a giant theme park that keeps going. We met the other two students from our school on the exchange programme as well. They were really nice and welcoming and full of advice. They were friends living together in an apartment and it made me wish that I had a friend living in an apartment with me too. I don’t do too well in shared places. I mean, now that I have my own bathroom, it’s much better but then I have to share the kitchen which is reeking of everybody’s old food everywhere.
Anyways, I came back with armfuls of homey essentials tonight. In the swing of domesticating my room. Made some not-so-wise purchases (cough 10 hangers for 4 pounds) and some better ones. Got a toilet cleaner thingy and loo rolls. And also a Magiclean imitation of a dry mop.
I have never felt so adult in my life.