I’ve been in London since Feb 2nd – almost for a month. Most of my time I spent looking for a home and looking for work.
I got half of my money back from the shady Turk but to this day haven’t received the rest. The life lesson is simple: never trust Turks. You might say that I shouldn’t put them all into one pot, but I’m not that nice. The other lesson is that you shouldn’t pay for anything in advance when dealing with cash. Trust is a beautiful thing but it’s also very fragile.
On a happier note… I’ve found a new home. I’m being cheap and sharing a room with a Spanish man. I believe about 8 people live in the house but they all keep themselves to themselves. So I don’t see them that often. Pretty much everyone here is older than me – except one toddler, who’s probably 2 years old. Most of the people here are native Spanish speakers, there’s a woman from Greece and another one from Bulgaria.
My room is quite large, nice and clean. The place isn’t too far from the city center and it’s very close to supermarkets and the tube. I’m pretty happy with it at the moment.
Work. I’ve been actively looking for work and have had 4 interviews. I’ve got a good feeling I will land a job soon. My last 2 interviews went very well. Fingers crossed.
Today I met with Caroline – a friend from Australia. I was really looking forward to meeting her. So I took the tube to her place, she opened the door with her huge smile and went for a kiss on the cheek. I don’t do that so that didn’t happen… just a quick awkward hug.
She’s French and it’s how they greet. I’m Estonian and for us anything from a nod or handshake is too much. It’s too close and quite uncomfortable for me.
I took my shoes off and 3 holes in my socks greeted Caroline. Hello! Hi! Bonjour! 😀 If you’re reading this, please send me socks.
We discussed the weather to honor the British surroundings. We talked some more. One thing led to another and somehow we got back to the kiss on the cheek greeting and cultural differences. We’re such intellectuals!!!
From what I remember she said a hug is more intimate than a kiss on the cheek. I completely disagree. To me a hug is the world’s most innocent thing imaginable (next to a nod from a far far away distance of course).
I also blush. Sometimes I get all red and awkward… the worst thing is I have absolutely no control over it. And I did. Today. That’s probably the biggest reason why I’m not OK with the kiss on the cheek thing.
So, here’s the problem – France prefers kisses to hugs, Estonia prefers hugs to kisses. The result is awkwardness.
I take great pride in the fact that I have successfully created a pseudo issue, although it was good to see you Caroline.
Ivar the Anthropologist