Friday, 29 August 2014

Watch Humpty At the Wall

Have you ever sat on a wall? Paused as you were over the hump? Located one nearby from which you could view your conquest, without being utterly noisy and self-possessed by it. Have you ever sat there and saw the next stage of your journey and grimaced with fear and the pain of a thorn bush in your backside you hadn't noticed when first sitting down?

Even on top of the wall, the troubles don't end. I am not sure why most of the world deludes itself into thinking striving to get over the walls in their way will make life taste like whatever your most favorite food happens to be. Mine as you know, is 100% pure crunchy peanut butter. British peanut butter is just as good any any, by the way.

I got turned about trying to find the first place I have a lead on, in terms of flat/room-hunting but now I have two hours to wander about before I am good to show up at the door. All out of worry, for the very reason of getting lost. And yet, here I am drumming up worries about whether I will be likeable enough, whether I can trust the person I will rent from, and most of all, how in the flip do I pay for this when all I have is cash and handing out even a hundred pound deposit does not keep me comfortable in the guise that said rent will be honoured and I will be able to move in.

But then again, that is me seeing beyond the moat of societies happiness to have just hit the top of the wall before they do see the mudslide beneath and other walls which might build up in place.

I didn't get that place in the end. I asked for a couple days to think and it went to some nurse instead. The landlord was too quiet though, and something, something about the place twigged me wrong. Maybe it was the shabbiness. Maybe it was the single bathroom in the whole place. Maybe I was not meant to be in such a central location. Either way, my worries haven't ended. I am still up in the air about a potential place. I've seen about five now. Two were in the estate areas which Julie, the lady I am temporarily staying with, warned me off of and for a good reason, I see now.

These estates are a bit like mass-developed housing areas in Canada, where some realtor buys up all the land and then builds all these look-alike, cookie-cutter houses. So in the end you have perfect square grass yards with the quintessenial red-brick and white panelled windows.

Pleasantville. Definitely. Both places I walked into where all brand new, wood floors, huge flatscreen t.v's, furniture, bedding and more that looked fresh out of a store. But then, they go on and on and on. See, these places are massive. Well, the two I saw were. They have been converted into literaly boarding houses really, as there were between four to six bedrooms, three to four bathrooms and not one, but two small kitchens in one. Plus, one house had a maid and most of the people rooming in these houses were apparently rarely there as they worked down in London or in Cambridge or whatever and basically used the beds and that was that. Iffy. All around. Especially as the one place wanted me to give a photocopy of my passport, drivers license and when I got it, my National Insurance Number. I wonder what sort of tax breaks these people get off all these "renters" then?

Otherwise, most places I have called, I have emailed and I have heard nothing back so I turned to Airbnb which is the wonderful sight I found Julie's place on. I'll do a post on her and my stay here at a later point because staying with someone who actually lives in the place you are visiting, or moving to, has been the most positive thing of this whole wall jamb of stuff.

Anyway, I am going to chat with a lady who has a room in a townhouse she had on Airbnb who could set me up for the months I am here (so long as I just shift my things to other rooms on the couple weeks where she has already had people book in many months prior). Not the most ideal situation, but at least it is a prospect. Perhaps I'll stumble into something even better when I begin to meet teachers when I start teaching next week. Either way, what this, and all the other hassles of moving to a new country has taught me is that you just have to be patient, you have to trust your gut and don't jump into things but don't wait too long either.

Really, it's that pesky balancing act thing again. Can you traverse the wall, like a tight-rope walker? Can you make it from the beginning to the end without shivering with fear in between and falling to a worse end of living a life black and blue with worry?

No. Of course not. All you can do is breath. Make yourself a cup of tea. And cherish the people you have found along your path who are so supportive and understanding. You might find your voice sick of the words "thank you" by the end of it, but really, when you've gone and done what I have, just because I could and I have always wanted to, well, "thank you" is all you need.

Just be grateful. Those walls are just made of brick. They can break as much as an egg could. Therefore, they are no more in your way than a feather on the wind.

What are you grateful for?

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