Live like a local.
I am no different and yet very different than David. How American’s entertain themselves. It upsets me that he can’t watch TV or Theatre with content involving social awkwardness, or infidelity. That wipes out a good 50% of the shows. Then again, I have a hard time watching, without pitifully wet, swollen eyes, stories about loss and hardships. My brain can’t turn off the story and how hard life is for people that I automatically extend it to outside of the story and then I’m a mess ... Hardships include even the war movies that David loves to watch. So basically, that leaves about 20%, of what is out there, to view as entertainment. Oh wait, now let’s get picky - and of that 20%, the story needs to be clever, and a story told in a new way, oh and it can’t be too violent or be too predictable – yup, now we’ve wiped out another 12%. Leaving us 8%, of the total shows out there, suitable for David and me to watch. I think we’ve watched a good number of them and we are frustrated trying to find more. Please help and send ideas.
Now we’re reading. David rereads what he’s read before. He knows he liked it, why try a new book? I try reading something that’s heartfelt and start crying and have to stop because of the blurr of the pages.
That leads me to tell you about our new toy. We knew it was just a matter of time before all the coffee shops would close. That day was Friday. We had the premonition on Thursday and bought a full on espresso machine. David is interested in learning to make latte art, while I just wanted to easily pull a good cuppa espresso. Not so fast. I’ve read the manual. I’ve watched many a talented barista. I’ve been glued to the many YouTube video’s out there, and still my espresso shot is a tad bitter. Adjust the grind, do it again. Now it’s a too sour. Adjust the grind. I fill the basket more. Again it’s not right. Again, this validates the differences between David and me. David is so excited by this toy that we now seem to have endless mornings by which to practice. I, on the other hand, just want a tasty cup of coffee to start my day. I foresee, we will get to be quite good at making espresso drinks. There is nothing else to do. Well, David will get really good and I’ll benefit from his ability to persevere through the banality of pulling a shot of espresso.
A thought to leave you with. You know when you see a characteristic in someone, for example, being beyond frugal: getting a spatula and wiping out the mayo jar etc.…. you justify it by saying they survived the depression era. Or when someone is a naive slacker who lacks ambition and might have disregard for promptness is wrongly generalized as a “Millennial”. Well, I’m here to introduce you to our newest generation = Generation T.P. “Transitory Pestilence” TODAY, all of us, WE THE PEOPLE, who have felt trapped inside, socially isolated – I mean socially distancing ourselves for the greater good, we will adopt new behaviors. What will all of us end up learning? Will we pick up hobbies we can do independently? Will we learn how to volunteer using our skills on-line? Will we build storage closets filled with Toilet Paper that the next generation will never understand? Or when this is all over, will we seek to have richer, deeper, more meaningful relationships? Will we see that we are more the same then we are different? This is how these odd behaviors and therefore stereotypes develop. A group of people experience something so unusual, so profound, often so uprooting, that one’s behaviors are forever changed. What I find most interesting, is that we are experiencing this together as a global community. It has no connection with cultural differences: color of skin, languages spoken, religion, economic or educational advantages, etc. I know some are trying to twist it into an Us vs. Them type thing, but this is an universal experience and we should be feeling solidarity not segregation. What will we each choose to do with our time in confinement? How can we become part of the solution instead of part of the problem? With billions of people, we need the diversity of thoughts and ideas to make a movement happen, and regardless what we do, the momentum is there. I’m trying to find a way to sand down my rough edges so I can roll with the flow. Maybe I should buy more TP? or learn to pull a drinkable espresso? Until then, I think I’ll sign up as a local Red Cross Reserve Volunteer. I’ve always had the desire to appreciate the people in my life, now I think I’ve learned to appreciate all people. Let’s unite and make our world a better place! Oh, and a huge shout out to those involved with the medical world. Those on the front line as well as those in the supply chains. Thank you, we do appreciate you.
Really looking forward to being able to eventually travel and write about that!! Until then, be safe!
We are living in strange times right now. While the world is trying to contain a bug that has no borders, some families are being separated by hard borders and can’t get back to those they love. Others are concerned for the lifeline and possible demise of businesses that define our communities. And still, in spite of lockdown mode, critical supply chain workers are trying to find daycare (because schools have been closed) and they are required to go to work to provide sustenance so the rest of us can distance ourselves. While so many are working tirelessly, others are feeling fortunate to still have a job from home and possibly managing to not kill their housemates! We all have a mixed bag of emotional reactions to this social distancing requirement, and I’m sure, we all hope by doing what we need to do, continuing to distance ourselves, this period of time will be a short chapter in history and that it will not have been in vain. Somehow, I am only convinced of one thing and that is mankind’s resilience. We are a compassionate species. I am excited to be experiencing “this blip” from a different point of reference. Gives me a perspective I might not have had in the comforts of my usual support system.
As you may know, we are in temporary housing. And I’m sure you are all wondering if we have an abundance of toilet paper? All the stores seem to be sold out, and like in the states, it’s what everyone is talking about. Oddly, the best thing about temporary housing, is we DO have sufficient toilet paper. But that isn't what I'm here to talk about. Like the best laid plans, they don’t come off without a hitch. In the States, we shipped our furniture early, with the knowledge that it’ll take 6-8 weeks to receive in the UK. We timed it to the day and it should have worked out perfectly, except that it didn’t. I won’t bemoan how frustrating it all is because in times like this, frankly, who gives a damn? So, moving into an empty flat for a few days is certainly doable. We’ll sleep on the floor or we’ll get an air mattress, we’ll eat out or at FB. All within in our “YES, we’re demonstrating our ability to be flexible!” master plan. We can handle this! I’ll be out adventuring, and David will be at work, and neither of us will be spending very much time at the empty flat anyways. Roll it a few days forward… the apocalypse happens. It no longer was about being flexible for a couple days. It might be weeks and there is an uncertainty looming. Not having kitchen supplies to cook with was no longer acceptable since we couldn’t eat out or go to FB for a meal. David was supposed to work from home, but with no table/chair for a MAKE SHIFT office that becomes an obstacle too. I was starting to panic. With all the unpredictability, Facebook agreed to keep us in temporary housing till mid-April. By removing the scary unknowns, I was ready to handle serendipitous encounters.
I’ve been observing ugly behaviors from people that must be scared, fear at its worst? I shared a very temporary feeling of uncertainty. It is unnerving and I am sad for them. But let’s not focus on the negativity. Instead, I am enlightened and empowered by the people that still spark joy in others, and I’m here to tell you they are out in force!
I met one woman while washing my hands in the grocery store loo. We turned simultaneously to look at one another and counted out loud to 20 while we laughed discussing how society’s hygiene will never be better. After some insignificant back ‘n forth chatter she took some interest in why I was in the UK etc, she offered her phone number and said that nobody should go through such unnerving times without a friend to call if one needed help. She offered food if one day we really couldn’t find any, she offered a ride in case transportation ceased, but more importantly, she offered compassion.
Another day, I was fretting in a different empty grocery store when an older (yes, my age) clerk addressed me “Madam, may I help you?” And when I told him I was just trying to find something, anything, to bring back to cook, he said “I’m afraid it’s all been bought up”. He gave me a regretful look and told me to try again tomorrow, I thanked him and continued moseying through the store in shock at the vacant shelves. Suddenly, he came from behind me, “Madam, Madam, I searched in the back and found these.” He handed me some rice, asparagus, yogurt and granola. It was honestly SO sweet. Hard to believe that moments before I was surrounded by elbowing and pushing. I left knowing that mankind is ultimately good and compassionate.
Even though the photos I’ve included in this post are grim, and they are nothing but an honest representation of 3 days of food searching, I do not fear that we will starve, I guarantee, I haven’t even lost a pound! ;(
Wishing you all patience and remember to be kind and compassionate to one another … after all, the world is in this together. Just imagine, wouldn’t it be great if governments wanted to work together instead of the newly adopted us vs. them mentality? OK, I’ll continue to dream… after all, my nights are your days.
You can see a nimbus that illuminates from a prideful parent a mile away. I was walking through Hyde Park, minding my own business, really I was, when I saw a group of uniformed men on horseback. Oh I love me a man in uniform and then put him on horseback!! I naively snapped a picture or two assuming what I was seeing was an everyday occurrence. There was nobody around to tell me otherwise. I kept walking. I look far to my right and see a line-up of maybe 10-15 people. You bet I’m looking to see if they’re tourists, I don’t want to “BE” one of them gawking at men in uniform on horses! But something unusual is going on. You can tell by the way the onlookers were grouped and that there seemed to be a uniformed person with each cluster! I decided to, as nonchalantly as I could (Yes, of course, I stood out like a sore thumb!) briskly walk over to try to hear what was being said. I was watching a graduation ceremony of the latest graduates of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment – Corps of two regiments: the Queen’s Life Guards and the Blues and Royals. (Fun Fact: both Prince William and the NOT Prince Harry were part of the Blues and Royals) So I quickly cozied up to a prideful grandpa to get my latest information. It was obvious, he was bursting to share with someone. I was actually doing him a favor to be so interested.
Pete, his grandson second from the first row, had never ridden a horse before enlisting! It surprised them all he wanted to join. He had to go through your typical military boot camp and training as well as how to care for a horse etc. He thinks they even had to learn to shoe their horse. Only officers get their own horse, his grandson will ride a different horse almost every time he shows up for work. I was curious if a woman could be in the HCMR? And the answer is, drum roll please… after 359 years, May 2019 the first woman joined the guard! I asked him what his grandson would most likely be doing on a day to day basis. He said that they are trained to operate both as an armored reconnaissance unit and carry out mounted ceremonial duties. Then he smiled and said, “Basically he’ll be on horseback guarding outside buildings like Buckingham Palace, an hour on and an hour off " He tells me later that Pete's trained to do a lot more than just ride, he's protecting the Crown. He was glowing.
Notice there are men riding in either Red or Blue uniforms. Pete is wearing red, and is part of the Queens Life Guard. The Life Guards are wearing red tunics and white plumed helmets and the Blues and Royals are wearing blue tunics and red plumed helmets. I must mention the horses. They are powerfully large and graceful and grandpa tells me they are bred in Ireland and are a mix between Irish Draft and Thoroughbred.
So if you are ever in town, you can’t plan to find a graduation ceremony, but you can watch a scheduled changing of the mounted cavalry. It’s so very British, you don’t want to miss it. They’ve been based in Hyde Park Barracks, Knightsbridge since 1795! The Brits have down tradition!
to Bring it on! I’m so excited. Someone reading my blog has asked me a question and I’m going to do my very best to answer it.
Question: “The last time I was in the UK they didn’t have outlet plugs in the bathrooms, making it impossible to dry your hair in front of a bathroom mirror! Why?”
First let me just say, Oh my god! It’s another mirror thing! It really is annoying, you will not find an outlet plug in any of the bathrooms! And yet there is a specially sized razor outlet for men’s electric razors!?#*!?
As you probably already know, if you wanted a scientific answer you would have asked David. Instead, you have asked me and I found it much more entertaining to ask random people on the street why they think it is so. I didn’t have to do this long before I realized, the US doesn't have the only clueless people. Our world is full of life's everyday happenings we just don't understand.
Here are some of their answers...
So after these amazingly unhelpful and unscientific answers I went off to do my homework. I don’t want this to drag on, because we all know my answer will be equally brief and the subject deserves much more specificity. But here goes it…
“…How much power you can get from an outlet is limited by two things. How much current the wires can carry before they start to overheat and how much voltage is supplied to the outlet. A bigger wire would allow more power, but copper wire is expensive, so instead, when you need more power than a standard outlet can handle, engineers opted to supply the home with a higher voltage. This allows you to get twice the amount of power out of the same size wires without the extra cost of larger wires.”
So the U.S. actually wires up only certain outlets for specific appliances that need 220V (ie oven refrigerator etc.) and all the other standard outlets are 110 volts for all the appliances that don’t require the need for as much power. While the UK has chosen to wire it all the same and all outlets are juiced with 220v. But don't think their safety measures end with bathroom outlets. Standard wall-mounted light switches are a possible danger because of dampness and wet hands. They mount bathroom switches OUTSIDE the bathroom. (I hadn't really noticed until a handyman mentioned it during my non-scientific interview.)
In short, the reason why you will not find outlets in a UK bathroom is because supplying 220v in a space with water nearby is ludicrous. Besides, women can’t be trusted to understand the danger of using a hair dryer so close to water, so fortunately, they've eliminated the need. Even the most modern, fanciest of bathrooms in the UK will not have an outlet for you to fry your hair (or yourself) in front of the mirror or anywhere else in that bathroom. And don't forget to turn off the light as you leave.
I took photos (above) of what I found interesting, or merely, different. Because 220v is a lot of voltage supplied to each of these outlets, they each have an on/off toggle switch, which is associated with each outlet. If the outlet is not in use, you are supposed to turn off that outlet. Not having something plugged in, isn’t enough.
In my photo, you can see the “red” part of the on/off switch – the red means it is on and live.
Please feel to send any other questions or even of specific places you’d like me to explore. Of course, I can’t promise, exactly, when normal exploring will happen again. At the moment, I think people are all stocking up to hunker down for a few weeks. If only it could have coincided with a winter storm or really nasty freezing rain? Sunshine, Sunshine stay away a few more weeks, I don’t want to be too tempted to go outside. Stay healthy and wash your hands like you just handled hot peppers and you want to itch your eyes!
Would you read my blog if YOU had to pay to receive it? NO!! Don’t worry, I take no offense, I wouldn’t pay to read either! Before 1840’s if someone sent you a letter, the recipient had to PAY to accept it, and the cost was determined by the distance it came and the number of pages (that’s why the style Cross-Wrote came about - bad handwriting takes on a whole new meaning!). Rowland Hill had the brilliant idea to reform the postal service. If they could guarantee a uniform payment collected at the origin then the process of sending and receiving letters would became something many more people could do, and did. We’ve all heard of the name Penny Post, and now we know where and why it came to be. Within a certain area it cost 1 Penny to post a letter and the stamp was evidence that it had been paid. Stamps were an engraved picture of the head of Queen Victoria because it was the hardest thing to forge.
Since then, the cost of postage has been creeping up and up. Increasing our frustration in figuring out, in today's world of internet, if it's even feasible to keep the postal services going. From what I understand they've privatized the postal services in the UK. I won’t lead you down a rabbit hole… but did want to state that the USA conveniently uses “forever” stamps, the UK still does not. I am transported back in time living with the frustration of finding a post office to appease my epistolary habit. An average letter costs $2.00+ to mail to the USA. I suggest, you keep reading my blog for free until they figure out a way to collect!
We decided to go to a little hole in the wall this morning. Beppe’s Café, Smithfield,
The place itself resembles a small old U.S. diner in the Midwest with less space. We were immediately greeted and asked if we were staying or taking away. We looked on to see if there was even space for us to sit, we did find a spot in the back = Staying.
I was surprised to find an interesting hulloumi sandwich with avocado so I ordered it – “please add an egg”. He laughed and replied, “American’s are quite particular about your eggs, and how exactly do you want it?” He followed up with the fact that Brits have “runny or hard” – period. Of course, we ordered “over medium”.
The meal came and it was flavorful, fresh, and delicious! Everything was home cooked and clearly family owned, charmingly old school… and then to top it off… we looked around and saw some seriously private unique and personal memorabilia… we struck up a conversation and the rest is history, so they say.
We were served by the founder’s grandson, he was conscientious and delightful. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that the owner and his daughter were also there. Suddenly, the FAMILY run place came alive. The owner, no other than Giuseppe's son, began to talk about the history of the restaurant. (Restaurant opened in 1932). Who knew it would soon turn into the best audio to which one could listen. I sat memorized hearing his memories of WWII. The stories were vivid, then the emotions ran deep, tears came, and we his audience, were on the edge of our seats. He spoke about his father getting sent away to The Isle of Man because Mussolini entered the war. After that Churchill ordered all Germans, Austrians and Italians to be rounded up and placed in camps. We don’t understand exactly why his mother and sister were allowed to stay in London and run the restaurant but this wasn’t the time to interrupt. He and his brother were sent away to families, in the countryside, willing to house and feed them. They lined them up and families would pick whom they wanted. They were the last to be picked and he was separated from his brother until he made such a fuss they relented and sent him to live with his brother’s family. Not sure that was a good choice since the mother of the house was an alcoholic. As he tells his story you could feel the emotions rising, as if they happened yesterday, the memories were so clear. It wasn’t in a book I read for book club, now it seemed so personal. He told of how the “doodlebug’s” descended down around them… how he and his brother would hear the spitting of the flying bombs as they ran and hid – then the extended silence until the delayed… BOOM – and they were so grateful it hadn’t exploded on THEM. They were safe, this time.
I wish I could have anticipated what we were about to witness because I would have done a better job of capturing the story on video… how is one to know, preemptively, when a special moment would occur? More importantly, how is one to video without disrupting the moment, and how long can you video from a phone? We felt quite honored to be privy of being at the right place at the right time. If you are interested in listening for a few minutes, I’ve included snippets of my history lesson, unfortunately, you won’t get the full experience unless you come yourself and introduce yourself to him. He’s the kind of man who would love to meet you.
I have chosen to put this, restaurant, in the section of what I recommend. You can reference it there, if you are ever in London yourself and want to go.
talking about the evacuation of the Italians...
Video describing how the children would play in the bombed out areas and his memory of them filling them with water so they could better fight fires but children would drown, so they had to stop doing that.
This is a longer video .... various topics: The flying bombs, the Smithfield market, the rooftop playgrounds, Old Ballie, etc....
The telling of the family that took he and his brother, and it brought back emotional memories.
Homeless no more. So we continue with the flat hunting saga. It’s our last day to find a place (with our relocation specialist), and we’re feeling a real sense of urgency. Our first flat tour of the day was nestled into a charming street of white Georgian period homes. Right down the street are very fun restaurants and shops! Close enough to the tube… a 10 min walk to Hyde Park. We viewed the basement unit. The window’s opened= HUGE WIN. Loads of character in the dark wooden floors and it was CLEAN (helps when piles of people’s things aren’t polluting your imagination). Continuing our tour with a bit of optimism, we walked into the kitchen. At this point we were used to micro kitchens, so the fact that it had a freezer AND a refrigerator was a bonus! It had been remodeled and they kept an exposed stone wall…very eclectic! Then we went into the bedrooms – there were 2 and one definitely fits a queen and the other one probably will. That’s great! And they had also remodeled both bathrooms so they have some cubbies to put a toothbrush and a razor! Could this be real? The real kicker was a 7’x7’ cement private patio where David could store his bike (there are strict rules against locking your bike just anywhere!) AND there was a BBQ! (Fun fact: you can’t BBQ on a deck in London in case your neighbors might not like the smell of what you are cooking!? But I digress.)
David and I have now become experts at blowing through a property in less than 10 mins… We take a few quick pictures to remember the property when we talk about it later… To this point, there hadn’t been any that both of us agreed upon – and we knew it almost instantly. So, when we both had that “This might be it” look on our faces, you can believe our moods picked up. Maybe it wasn’t hopeless after all? Maybe today we’ll only see fantastic properties and we’ll have a bunch to decide between? OK, that was a little too much wishful thinking.
The day turned out to be long and exhausting. After seeing 8 more properties, we knew we had our hearts set on the “Charming Basement” one. (We had a name for them all: “Cat Lady”, “Dog Piss”, “High Rise”, “Mold”, “Crap everywhere”, “windows don’t open” “next to the projects” “Hole Toilet” – you get the picture.)
So now the process of bidding. Bidding? Such a bizarre concept. Whatever happened to good old:
• Landlord: I’m asking $$$ per month and you need to meet my criteria as a renter (job, good credit, etc.)
• Me: OK, I will fill out an application and I’ll pay $$$ Great … deal…. Sign papers.
NOPE! Not in the UK!
You see, in Part 1 of my story I mentioned how you had to meet with the agents that were representing each property. Well, as it turns out, landlords can list it with multiple agents at the same time so you have no idea if the property is being negotiated simultaneously with other people when you are talking with your agent (because she isn’t the only agent representing the property). Secondly, even if we agreed to their rental price, someone else can come in with a higher rent and a longer term lease and bump us out (even though we agreed to pay what they asked for). Also, there is no putting your bid out there, then having the landlord come back with a counter. There are no counters. Either it’s accepted or it isn’t. Done. Move on. So, you have to bid your best and final offer FIRST. In this case, it was a bummer because we didn’t want to start paying rent till we had to, but we had to say we’d take it March 23rd because that is when the paperwork will be ready and keys can be turned over.
But what are you going to do? It was the best place we had found that met the most of our “must haves.” We weren’t going to risk losing it.
So that is the story of how we found a place to call home. Now to learn to love life as a minimalist!
So again, my pictures are NOT to show the flat off, they were hastily taken so David and I could come back and trigger our memory on the property… so forgive the poor pictures. I’ll post better ones once we’ve moved in!
Jody Steere | I welcome any comments or suggestions you have
Here we are in London, given two days with a relocation specialist to help us find a 2 bedroom, preferably 2 bathroom, flat. We gave her a list of our “must haves” - things that made perfect sense to us and, silly me, I didn’t think we were being terribly demanding:
Fun Fact: There isn’t an equivalent to the MLS in the UK, so when someone lists their house with XYZ Real Estate Brokerage, you will only see that property from an XYZ agent. So how does a regular joe navigate who is legit and not a scammer (wow what goes on!)? It’s also very time consuming because you have to go through so many different agents to see any real amount of properties. Fortunately for us, we were part of a relocation package and they pay for another tier up the chain, our own middle-man agent…someone who doesn’t get a commission on the rental. Instead, her job is to coordinate all the real estate agents (they don’t have the best reputation here) and properties and negotiate the contract on our behalf etc. There’s another post on that I’ll write later…stay tuned.
So, the rush was on. We saw so many places. So many shapes and sizes. Well, to be truthful, they were all pretty small by US standards. There were some places that had some perfectly large bedrooms, but those had horrible bathrooms, or ancient kitchens (and I mean a dorm fridge and no freezer). On the other end of the spectrum, they sunk a load of pounds into redecorating the bathrooms, but the bedrooms wouldn’t fit a BED IN IT… let alone a dresser or a closet. I know I downsized my stuff, but I really need a place to put the few clothes I DID bring. As we saw more and more houses, we realized this was just the way it was going to be. London people have no room to put anything away. Everything is just out in the open in a heaping mess. I found it very hard to look beyond that.
On a positive note, we loved seeing all the different buildings’ architecture. We saw a brand new high rise that came with a doorman, heated floors and a pool! But where is the London charm in that? In another, there was bathroom that had a plank over a bowl and oddly it had a flush, so we knew it was a toilet, but it was enclosed with glass doors?!? We saw a property with a bathtub in the middle of the bedroom, so they can now say it has an extra bath, and indeed it did, just in the wrong room! We saw properties that were absolutely perfect – oh wait, except for the mold. There were properties where the windows didn’t open so you’d be trapped inside with no ventilation. Some properties I fell in love with, but there was always some BIG reason why we couldn’t agree to rent them.
At the end of the day, my favorite was the “Loft.” It was in an old schoolhouse with beautiful grounds. It was completely refurbished inside with tons of LIGHT! It had 2.5 bathrooms(!). It advertised two modern bedrooms…oh, wait, by “modern” they mean teeny-tiny. Whomever rents this place will have ZERO CLOTHES. There was literally no room for a dresser or a queen bed. But, it even had a parking space for David’s bike (yes, we found this to be an issue). So, we went back and forth and tried hard to convince ourselves it would work… but it just wouldn’t. After the first day, both David and I were so deflated. We went back through all these pictures and try to lower our “must have” standards and determine whether we could live with “X” --whatever the X was--but in the end, we knew we couldn’t. And so I went to bed and had vivid, restless dreams of property after property after property…. Only to wake to another day with no place to live…yet.
Please enjoy these bad pictures… I took them quickly as we were rushed off to see yet another unacceptable property. Oh, and note: they were taken with a wide angle – so the rooms are considerably smaller than they appear!
Jody Steere | If there's somewhere you want me to check out or you have a question why something is done a certain way .... bring it on!!
I knew I’d have the hardest times with the bathrooms in the UK. And so I start my first overseas blog with a very princess like post. Don’t get me wrong, our temporary flat’s bathroom is perfectly clean and functional, after all, if you need to GO to the bathroom it is ideal to have a functional bathroom, is it not? But, somewhere in-between the need to eliminate and the need to bathe and primp, Americans have gotten spoiled having room to spread out! Everything from a place to put down a hair brush, face cleansers and/or a place to put on make-up. Do you know the one thing all of these primping rituals have in common? The need for a mirror! Since our bathroom lacks space, we've resorted to a make-shift bathroom using the kitchen sink and cupboard as a spot to collect toiletries. Storage yes, but mirror no. So, the first two days we went on a mission to find a mirror that we could use near the kitchen sink.
Fun fact: You don’t realize that when you move to a new place, you don’t have clue where to buy everyday things. Since we were nowhere near desperate, we just decided we’d learn a ton just by going in and out of different shops. David hated this part of the search. At first, we targeted drug stores, and home décor shops. No luck...until we hit the best sign (of course I forgot to take a photo). The sign read, “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it!” We were so taken by it we both excitedly jumped through the door. I ask you to imagine a store crammed with every possible thing. It was beyond crazy. But even with all the merchandise, having gone through the entire store, we couldn’t find one single mirror. We were just about to leave when I thought it was worth a try to ask the salesperson, “You don’t happen to have a mirror about 6”x6”?” As I use my hands to mime the shape. He asks more identifying questions, as if it would matter because he has so many?!%$!? But, then he climbs a ladder, digs back, moves stuff around and, lo and behold, pulls out the perfect mirror! I had no plan as to how I was going to attach it to our kitchen sink area, until I saw this mirror - it had hooks and everything! (We ended our shopping spree feeling very smug. Earlier that morning, David found a roll of doggie poop bags!) Now it’s as if we have a two bathroom flat, both equipped with mirrors! I bet you’re really excited about visiting now.
It’s true, if they don’t have it, you don’t need it!
Don't take life so seriously.
I'm Jody. I love to travel. I love to take pictures. I love to meet people and find interesting places. I also love to write about and post pix of what I've found. But, I've been told that I write like I talk - in streams of consciousness. So, if proper grammar and well composed sentences are a must for you - my posts will make you crazy. If you want to follow my journey as I learn about really cool places and offer some great tips about living abroad, read on!