Friday, November 18, 2011

Auto Pilot

Sorry about last week. I plumb forgot.

But I think it had something to do with the fact that Kenz and I are starting to get used to life here in London. We don't spend our days talking about cultural differences. We don't treat each trip to the grocery store as a new adventure and we haven't been out exploring in over two weeks.

Last night I realized that I was crossing over the river without paying attention to the scenery. I was playing on my phone like everyone else. I was halfway over the river when I realized this and promptly stopped playing on the phone. I was on the bridge closer to the bottom of this picture:

I mean, c'mon. Get off the phone, Dave - this is your view.

Yet life has slowed down a bit. Dare I say it's beginning to get normal. We haven't had a run-in with the landlord lately. We haven't gotten lost. We are used to the crowds, the commutes, the public transport. We've surrendered to the fact that we won't find good tortilla chips here. Life's beginning to level out.

I was so focused on not looking like a tourist when I got here that I made sure to develop the habit of looking right when I got to a street crossing as fast as possible. I would tell myself "look right, look right, lookright, lookrightlookright," as I was approaching street crossings that I got used to it pretty quickly.

Well, now I'm so used to it that I get nervous when I get to street crossings and think I'm supposed to look left. I have conditioned myself to doubt my instincts so much that now it's failing me.

These days, the sun begins to set at about 3:45pm. It's dusk by 4:00 and dark by 4:30. Think about that for a second. It's dark. At 4:30.

Kenz and I have had our internal clocks rocked by this change. We're eating dinner at 5:30 and in bed by 10. I feel like we could qualify for the senior discount at Denny's. At least the early bird special.

This picture was taken yesterday at 3:30pm:

You can see the colors beginning to change from the sunset over the back of the couch. 
You'll notice in the picture that the house is kind of a wreck. The toilet paper on the table is serving as kleenex, because each of us has had something like a chest and head cold for the past week. The stack of books in the corner by the glass doors are informing Kenz on a research project she is currently working on (both today and in the picture). The trash on the right side of the picture is from a package that had just arrived: Kenz ordered some more cooking dishes for us.


Because Thanksgiving is next week and we're cooking for about 12 people.


Because these Brits need to learn a lil something about good American cooking.

We're mixing recipes from both households. Stuffing from mine, mashed potatoes from hers, so on and so forth. In fact, I'm running late - I have to go down to the neighborhood butcher today and order Tom Turkey. How awesome is that? Going to the neighborhood butcher. Every time I see the butcher, I think of Tevye.

It's gonna be a cast of characters and a comedy of errors this Thanksgiving. I'm sure next week's post will be focused entirely on the event. I can't wait.


This is our bathroom:
Pretty normal bathroom
You'll notice the mirror has a sill on it. Take a look at the white mug on the sink top. That mug used to be on the mirror sill. The sill was its home - and the toothbrushes took refuge in it.

Two weeks ago, Kenz accidentally knocked the mug off the sill. It fell into the sink. It broke the sink:

She saved the pieces with every intention of gluing it back together. I bit my tongue. Both of us were flabbergasted at the fact that a mug fell one foot and lopped off a corner of our sink. How does that happen? Freak accident, we thought. One in a million chance.

As a result, the mug went back up to the mirror still. Neither of us thought much about it.

Until two days ago. I was in bed ready to sleep, Kenz was in the bathroom.


No, I think to myself, that didn't just happen again. Kenz comes out of the bathroom looking like she just spilled wine on a white tablecloth. She'd done it again:


World's first see-through sink?
Yesterday, Kenz went to work trying to glue it all back together. Luckily she had some art school glue around the house already:

"Notice what?" - Mikey Pesant
You couldn't walk into the bathroom without catching a buzz/headache from the fumes for about two hours. We're still not sure whether or not it's waterproof. The box says it's waterproof, but who trusts the box?


Editor's Note: Pictures from the butcher shop below. That means pictures of dead animals. Continue at your own risk.

I wound up going to the butcher before I finished this post. I was scared they'd close early. Fridays are unreliable in this city. Some businesses close around 2pm just because it's Friday.

Whaddap, Butcher?
This place is pretty crazy. And I don't mean that this place is crazy because I'm in London - I just mean a butcher's place is crazy. I'm not used to seeing so much meat sitting around.

Dude's holding up some birds for a customer. 

That's a lot of pig parts.

Never in my life did I imagine that I'd someday be leaning over a pigs head to discuss ordering a Thanksgiving turkey.

Turns out, we may not be able to get a turkey for the holiday. We may find one in a supermarket, but it's not really a popular bird to eat over here. The butcher says he fills his store with them the week before Christmas, but that he probably can't just order one for next week. How ('scuse me) shitty is that? I'll not stop at him, though. We're going to Columbia Street Market with Owen and Celia on Sunday. I'll do some more poking around for a bird while I'm there. We've still got some options - not giving up hope yet.

We hope everyone travels safe this coming week! Enjoy the people you are seeing! And when the requisite uncomfortable political discussion happens, remember that it's better to be happy than right!

Sending good vibes to y'all for this holiday!