Saturday, July 30, 2011

Football at the Amex

Today was a milestone day for this Swapper. It was my first day actually working in the UK. I was lucky enough to land a one day job at the new FOOTBALL stadium in Brighton, the Amex. I served people (thirsty/angry/english/screaming football fans) beer, or, logger. The stadium is brand new (it was the first game!) and amazing.. it holds 22,000 people (two Bathursts) and lets the sky in. I saw a bit of the game and one great goal but Brighton lost. d'aww. Football is such a big part of the culture here and I'm so glad I got to be a part of it, and made some cash at the same time! Cheers :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Keep Calm and Carry On

Being here in the UK is amazing, everything is exciting and there's always things to do. But something I have to keep reminding myself is that I am living on my own for the first time, and day to day life is sometimes a challenge on its own.

Forrr example: Yesterday I did laundry on my complete own (yes, I am a spoiled only child). It took me almost a full day to work up the courage to carry my bags down to the launderette on St. James street and then when I finally got all my clothing into the front load machine, I could not figure out how to turn on the bloody goddamn thing. 

Instructions: "load machine, press on/off button, press start button" ...THERE WAS ONLY ONE BUTTON. 

There was no one around to ask for help so I was forced to use my brain a bit and figure it out. But now Im happy to report that all my clothes are clean and fresh and I feel a tiny bit closer to being a full on independent adult.

In other news, I am still trying to teach myself something called budgeting. 

It's really very hard to do when youre living in a city with shopping all over the place. Today I discovered topshop, so, God help me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

London Calling

Yesterday I went to London for the first time and stayed in a youth hostel (that was an experience itself). I was lucky enough to meet up with Christy from New Brunswick who has been living there for a couple of weeks already. She showed me around and we did some fun touristy things! We walked by Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Tate Britain, Trafalgar Square, had a drink in the West End and I saw loads of those huge red buses :)

Day two in London I was on my own to do some exploring. First thing, I had to figure out the insane subway system of the city.. its massive! I made my way over to the Tate Modern to look around. To my surprise, admission is free and its 7 floors of a great contemporary art. After, I went for a rainy walk through Regents Park which was actually really beautiful with all the rows of flowers glistening and wet. I really love London (especially since I mastered public transit) and can't wait to go back and see even more.

Monday, July 18, 2011

In the Lanes

Today is a Monday which I felt would be a great day to start looking for a job. I set out early this morning for the job center but got quite lost and ended up walking through what I now know are the north lanes of Brighton. Its this big mess of pedestrian streets with shopping and restaurants.

My favorite was this cute little store called Alice Dreams which of course had all things Alice in Wonderland! 

Thankfully, before I spent my entire savings on clothes (everything is 'on sale'..) it started to rain like it tends to do every single day here. So I ducked in a gelato shop which I guess is sort of like frozen yogurt but with vodka:P I enjoyed my 'cosmopolitan' while waiting for the rain to cease.

I still don't even have an idea of a job... but I found a really nice dress at urban outfitters for more than half price :D

Tomorrow I'll be going on my first out of town adventure to the big city of London!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Brighton Firsts

Yesterday I arrived to my temporary home of Brighton, England. After knocking on a few wrong doors (town houses all look alike) I found the house that I'm now living in. It's a really cute room with a (sort of) view of the ocean! The city itself is really lovely with cobblestone roads, brick houses and lots of trees and parks and of course, it's right on the beach!

A little view of my bedroom.. Im not exactly finished setting up.. but my dolphin has already made himself at home:)

Last night I went out with a fellow Canadian Swapper and had my first legal drink (legal age here is 18!). 

Friday, July 15, 2011

goodbye my lover, goodbye my friend

I am now here, in England and will fill in on my journey after I sleep for a year. For now, the tearful goodbye to my family and my best friends.

How I pried my arms away from that man, I still don't know.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bittersweet Symphony

Two more days until I officially hit the road, Jack. Im almost finished packing.. this suitcase now holds my entire wardrobe (save borrowed items which can be picked up within the next 48 hours!).
Here are also a few essential items for my travels that happen to be laying around waiting to be packed..  a guidebook of Italy, underwater camera, gravol (god help my uneasy stomach), sunglasses and a UK friendly cellphone which a was given to me by a very nice girl who just finished her own SWAP adventures!
Although I am almost physically ready to take off.. I still feel emotionally attached to this town and the people in it. Nothing will ever be the same as it is right now, these final 2 days.  But in times like these I'll look to the two words I always hold close, 'never yawn'.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Bit of Change

Today I went to the bank to pick up my British money! I was pleased to find out it's just as colorful and attractive as Canadian money :) The orange and purple bills on the right are Great British Pounds and on the left are Euros. 

9 Days until Departure! All I'm waiting for now is my final kit from SWAP that will tell me what hostel I'll be staying at in London. Cutting it close.