Tuesday, August 04, 2009

London, in a nose-hole

During my first four months in London, I only had work for five weeks. And since London ranks among the most expensive cities on the planet, if you do the math, whatever else you do, don't share your findings with me. If that burning turmoil in my torso is agitated any further I might just auction a few organs before they're ruined.

Anyway after a month-long respite in Canada – where I did things other than stress about money, my career, and finding reasons to get out of my (borrowed) bed in the morning – I'm back in London, recharged and ready for Round 2.

And I'm hopeful, because this time I have an advantage. Now I usually remember that pedestrians do not have the right of way and it's in my best interest to look left before crossing the street. And I know how to count quid and pence and queue for groceries without making people think I'm stealing their PIN.

This time around, I won't work for a super-achieving life coach and compare my accomplishments with his. Nor will I work for someone with a Jesus complex. I won't bother trying to get a bank account without specifying whether I am a Miss or Mrs. I'll accept the fact that authority figures and strangers will address me with diminutives, like 'sweetheart' and 'honey'. I'll ignore the ubiquitous tabloids objectifying young women and the celebrity-obsessed culture.

And dammit, I will find a job I love.

People told me London wouldn't be easy, but that it's the sort of city that gets inside you, and once it does, it's always got a place in your heart. Maybe I'm ready to admit that I feel like I'm finally getting closer to that day.

I just hope that when it comes, The Big Smoke will stop trying to 'get inside me' via my nose.

This is both what I find in my nostrils every day that I ride the London Underground, and the reason I'd never raise kids here.

7 comments:

Chloe said...

good luck on round 2! i've been following your adventures for a little while, and i really appreciate and admire your point of view.

keep up the good work! and i will continue to live vicariously from the trenches of oppressive temporary office work. cheers!

Nic said...

Ewwwwww @ the pic!!!

I'm English and practically from London (well, Essex). I just wrote a blog post about the time I went to Canada and got into a bit of trouble! So if you'd like to read a post about an English girl in Canada, check out my blog!

I enjoy reading your blog btw :)

Kate Savage said...

Chloe - Hey thanks! A lot. And stuph. Hopefully I won't disappoint, and will manage to eke out a happy ending here. Or at least make my blunders entertaining enough that you're still cheering for me! Round 2, here I come!

Nic - Ohh, that sounds like a fun read! I know it's always fun bringing my English boyfriend over there and exposing him to the wilderness. Always good for a laugh that is!

Besides, it's only fair. He gets to take the piss out of me alllll the time here in London.

Zab said...

Found similar things in my nostrils in New York when I was there for a week-end. Oh, and my hair was greasy after just a day in Manhattan. In London: can't remember if I found similar matter accumulating in my facial orifices. Probably. In all, being a Montreal girl myself, can't say I mind going home with hair and nostrils in about the same condition as when I left the house.

Good luck on finding a job you love. I'm sure that you will. Hey, I know: there's a new-agey sort of person on youtube who lost a job in London and liked it (name of her book sorta (Lilou Mace I lost my job and I liked it-- if you're into that sort of thing)...

bonne chance !

Kate Savage said...

I lived in NYC for a summer, and I'll admit the same thing happened to me there, but only once. And that was during the 2001 heat wave. The sort which also had me taking 2-3 cold showers in the middle of the night, just to cope.

Montreal, though? Well, no city can compete. It's basically utopia, save for a few language issues here and there...

noelle said...

I agree that life is impossible if you don't find a job you can really throw yourself into. I am learning this lesson the hard way - thankfully we are both still young and it's not too late for us...

Kate Savage said...

Hey! Who gave you all the hope??? Hand some over Missy!