Saturday, May 10, 2008

Week in Review: real estate can kiss it

So, one week down… countless more to go.

I can't believe I've been here a week! So far I've survived four days at work, fucked up my commute once, seen three apartments that freak me out, and drank at least ten pints (not all at once, but last night sure saw at least half of the total).

Everyone here has been super welcoming and warm. I have to give a huge shoutout to my new boss Rachel who is so cool that she Facebooked me (woot!) and might even be reading this. We all know a boss can make or break your life, basically, and from the get go Rachel has been pretty much everything you can ask for in a manager - from tulips on my desk to celebrate my arrival and our Dutch client to enlightening me on the intricate web of gossip in our office - and it's a breath of fresh air.

People have been asking me how the first week has been, what's easy, what's hard, etc. What is easiest is work - going there each day and doing my job. Thank god I transferred within my company; it really is just like it was in New York and all of the things I'm responsible for here I was responsible for there. Work is actually a bit easier here, partially because of Rachel (see above) and also because for once I'm actually doing my job description - nothing above or below - and it feels right. Le sigh, actually knowing what the fuck your role is! How civilized!

So if work is easiest, what is hardest? This is a tough one to answer. I had this question posed to me last night at the pub, and it took me a while to answer it (no, not because of the WIFEBEATER in my hand). Clearly, a lot of things are different here. I do a lot of "okay, how does this faucet/door handle/pedestrian traffic pattern/bus system work" mental gymnastics. The accent is actually kind of annoying, especially when you can't understand a goddamned thing someone says to you. But I think probably the hardest thing is the simplest - living out of suitcases, not knowing where I'm going to live. My host people are very nice, extremely welcoming, and genuinely interested in helping me out and getting me settled. But I had such a freaking hard time getting everything INTO my three suitcases that I'm not unpacking them until it's for good. So for now I'm living in a house in London's equivalent of Weehawken with an hour-long commute to work, and desperately trying to find a place of my own. As Kat said to me, my adventure won't start until I'm moved into a place and all settled; for now, I'm in a holding pattern like the planes stacked up over Heathrow (how fitting for me, now that I'm working on an aviation brand!).

In order to expedite this apartment/life settling, I made the right decision and called up a friend and former college roommate, Ashley, who arrived in London a few weeks before me for graduate school at the London Film School. She and I are going to join forces in the apartment search, and already it's looking up. 2 is better than 1 in real estate, and we are seeing better places for less money in much better locations than we both saw on our respective own. I have a really good feeling about an apartment in the heart of Angel/Islington's Upper Street, which is pretty much like living in the middle of Park Slope, on Monday morning. I don't want to jinx it, but we will be the first people to see it and barring severe structural damage, human waste, and or pest infestations, I think we'll love it. SO! Fingers crossed and hopefully you'll read something very positive in this place next week.

Until then, x's and o's and all that jazz to each and every one of you. I miss everyone a lot; this adventure is crazy and great, but it would be exponentially better the more of you were here. So! Get your asses on planes, people!

Also, PS - thank you SO much to all of who are commenting! It means a lot to know that you're reading what I'm writing (picking up what I'm putting down, in fact). And, Laura, who knows - never say never!

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