24 January, 2008

Settling in, Day the Second

Even though I set my alarm (for 0800), I slept in. After a day and a half of travelling, and a red-eye with no sleep, I needed it. I woke up around 1100, got my head sorted out, double-checked my shopping list, and headed over to King's Manor (my academic building). The first-year PhDs were having lunch together, so it was perfect. It was nice to meet my year-mates. We're going to be here for 3 years together, so we better get to know each other.

Then C. showed me the computer room and I got myself enrolled. I looked some stuff up, checked my email, and let people know I was still alive. Pondered the different banks. I wrote initially that I'd take care of that first thing, but I'm only going to get to it tomorrow. Ah well.

I went over to the Centre for Medieval Studies building (at King's Manor but separate from the main building) and introduced myself to the secretary, God, who was very nice and helpful. She called the residence people and asked about my linens, showed me around the building, and found me a city map. She also helped me locate a bike shop and a sundries shop. There's a study room and while I don't get an office I do get a bookshelf. A bookshelf of my very own!

I then set out to get my shopping done. I was armed with a map and thus full of win. I went past Yorkminster and stopped in. Gorgeous! I'll have to stop by for evensong one night. I saw where Constantine was proclaimed emperor in 306 - which explains my residence's name, I guess. I enjoyed tromping through the streets, and I found a Boyes (sort of like a Saan or Giant Tiger). I got nearly everything I needed (including a new sink plug!), but it took a while. They had every sort of cord but ethernet cords. I wish I knew where I could find something like Radio Shack or Best Buy here.

I got a mug - a mug that is mine and only mine. Can't be home without a mug.

I stopped in at the local Indian/spice shop on my way to the bike shop, and I like it there. They sell chilis and rice and spices, ghee, noodles, etc. They carry Laziza brand spice mixes, so I asked if they could get me the Bombay Biryani. I also asked about taro, and the shop guy said he'd see if they could get it in from Leeds. But the really cool thing about the shop is that they will custom-mix various curry pastes for you. Being in a biryani sort of mood, I got that. It was fun watching him snip up the chilis and plop in the paste and add the spices on top. No dried plums in the mix, Ramona, so maybe I'll toss in a couple snipped apricots and see how it goes. I forgot to check for saffron. Darn. And a chai mix, or at least some darjeeling. Where's a Bulk Barn when you need one?

The bike shop can't reassemble my bike until Friday morning, and they want 60 quid. I need to double-check that, because that's a heck of a lot. Someone in the house might be willing to help me reassemble it instead.

I finally found a computer shop for a cord, but they were closed! I grabbed a couple other small items to make dinner when I got back. I started cooking, but screwed up the couscous. It came out less than ideal, as a result. But I ate it, and some leftover curry, because everyone had been cooking strong-smelling food and it made me want something savoury.

My sheets had arrived, and they are crap. Rubbish. I know I'm a bit of a fabric snob, but really! At least I have them for now, and I'll bring myself back a set in May. Top sheets are an oddity here, but it feels wrong not having one. Thank heavens I brought a proper quilt and my nice pillow.

And then I read far too late into the night and slept again.

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