We woke up late on the day of our orientation and ran up the hill in a mad rush. So much for those first impressions.
Then our recruiter was impressed with the rate we walked (he thought we’d be ages longer) and praised us for our London pace. “Wingfoot, I name you.” said he. Oh wait, that was Eomer.
After orientation, Jack and I spent some time mucking about in Romford trying to find a real estate agent who could offer something within our budget, but to no avail. To top everything off, we weren’t sure which bus to take back home so we walked an hour back to our temporary housing. Needless to say we were pretty knackered by the time we arrived back at the taut mattress-covered room. Getting out again was a small miracle in itself, and finding our place was an even greater blessing afterwards.
Yep, you read that right. Not only did we somehow manage to stumble into a real estate front that had a place with everything we were looking for (within close walking distance of the school, grocery stores, the doctor’s, several churches, pharmacies, takeaway places) at the price we had decided, we were able to see the place right away and meet the landlord. Talk about God’s care.
The very next day Jack and I signed the necessary papers and took measurements so we could plan out what furniture we wanted to get.
We stopped at the Griller for some peri-peri chicken (for some reason the spice is much more popular over here), chips and a box of Ribena. Chicken and chips is a common fast food dish here and this dish was decent at best. Couldn’t find the place on Urbanspoon so I shan’t be doing a full on review, but here you go: our first (of many to come) meal of chicken and chips and Ribena.
Two bus rides, two hours and several dozen Swedish product names later, we decided we’d had enough and headed off to get some snacks. You thought we were going to buy furniture, weren’t you?
I think we got all this for less than £3. A cuppa meatballs, a hot dog (with English mustard!) and a soft-serve ice cream. The soft-serve was the neatest part: that token you see beside the cone goes into the nifty machine you see on your right (once you get past all the kids, that is) and you can choose what flavour you want to blend your ice cream with. Yum ^^.
Riding home was also an adventure – in fact, the whole month transit was an adventure because every route was new. The English neighbourhoods here don’t look like what I thought English neighbourhoods would look like, but then again… I don’t know what I had in mind originally.
That night we bought food to make sandwiches for the week and, since we weren’t interested in buying our own cookware, we decided to splurge and buy takeaway from not one, but two, fast food places. I bought a shawarma (turns out shawarmas are boxes of meat, optional salad and pita bread) and Jack bought more chicken and chips. Then we sat down to watch an episode of Tentai Senshi Sunred.