Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My first 3 weeks

Hello all.

Ok, so I am still waiting for wireless to get installed in the flat. Which is a pain in the ass because it means that I have to trek all the way to the Starbucks down the road just to get access to the internet. Not that I technically mind taking the trek, Its only 5 minutes and I get an amazing view of Manhattan across the Hudson, especially at night. But the downfall is that I am required to buy something in order to sit in here. And that means that an awful lot of their marshmallow cake bars are being purchased by me. And these are slabs of rice krispie cakes with mini marshmallows in it. Mmmmmmmm. Not healthy. Although the sugar high is nice.Anyway. The point of that is to apologise for the lack of communication on my part. Hopefully something should be done about the internet this weekend, and then I can sit on my couch and surf the net to my hearts content. But for now it will be a bit sporadic. My work had blocked access to all sites that actually might be fun. Although a link to Facebook has been doing the rounds, which is handy, but since it most likely will be blocked soon, it still instigates the trek to Starbucks. So when I get fat from all the marshmallow cakes, then i blame you lot.

I can't believe its been a month that I have been here already. It feels totally unreal. It's so hard to describe how normal I feel here. At first it felt a little unusual, but for some reason it doesn't feel like I am in a different country somehow. Apart from maybe the sunshine at the weekend. Thats when I knew I wasn't in Scotland!It was Memorial Day weekend, so we got to finish work early on the Friday and also had Monday off, which was nice. Most of the people from my intake went to either Boston or Washington DC for the weekend. And because they are all little pale British bods, they came back pink and blistered, which was quite funny. You can't take us anywhere! But apparently the parade and everything in DC was amazing. I didn't go as I felt that I had had barely any time to explore NY first, and since it was going to be quiet since most of the inhabitants were away elsewhere (like the Hamptons!!! Yes please!)

I decided to stay here. So Miss J (my roommate) and I spent a lazy Saturday doing not hellish much, and then went into Hoboken, the nearby town on Sat night. Found an Irish bar with a roof terrace that we sat in for a few hours with another flatmate. Got up earlyish on the Sunday to gorgeous sunshine and took the train into Manhattan to do a tour of Midtown. Even though we had both lived there when we were in the YMCA's we had never really had a chance to discover it much. So we took tons of pictures and generally were a bit embarassing. Me more so than her, as I insisted on stopping in the middle of crossing the roads to get a picture down the streets. To be fair I did do it when I had the wee green man, but she was convinced I was going to be run over by a crazed cab driver, so she gave up on me after a while and just left me to it. Ended up with some quite good shots so it wasn't all bad!

On Monday we went into Brooklyn for lunch, to a Thai restaurant there that we had heard of. It was gorgeous inside and the food was fantastic. Not bad prices either, the mojitos were more expensive than the main courses! Afterwards we headed off to a bar nearby, The Surf Bar. Has sand all throughout the bar inside and then a giant sandpit beergarden outside. We sat outside in the sun all afternoon and drank cocktails until about 6.30. Headed back and then just relaxed in the apartment. And tried to do domesticated things like iron shirts for work the next day. The heat in the apartments was unbelieveable though. We had to open the window all night, which of course let all the noise in and then I couldn't get to sleep for hours. For someone who's bedroom has backed onto a dark and silent field for most of her life, the fact that even with the blinds closed, light still floods the room and it is never quiet is horrible. I miss my bedroom! Last night was better as it wasn't as warm anymore. Although the daytime was horrible and humid. Need to get the hang of dressing to travel to work without turning into a crinkled mass when I arrive in the morning.

After work yesterday, I had to go to one of my lectures in the Microsoft building on 6th Ave. Have to pass Radio City to get in, and there were huge queues outside and photographers and everything. Had no clue what was up, and I was just pissed off that I couldn't get to my building. Walked in and got my pass from security and asked the guy what all the fuss was about. "Its the Sex and the City premiere" he replied, with a 'duh' look at me. Well I suppose I should have known, being a girl and all that, but no. So when we got upstairs to our lecture room, we looked out the window and we were right above the red carpet!! Sadly it had started to rain by that point, so they had put canopies up and we couldn't see much. But some interns saw SJP and the cast on their way into lectures. So we spent an hour and a half learning about American History and Immigration while we listened to the screams and cheers down below.So that's my celebrity story. I had a lecture next to the Sex and the City NY Premiere... bah. Useless at this celebrity malarkey. Need to pay more attention me thinks!!

Thats about the most exciting thing thats happened to me at the moment. Apart from trying to navigate my way around on the subways and making sure I even come up at the right exit, I am settling in pretty well! I really love my apartment. It is much more spacious than we expected. I have the large double room with ensuite that I share with Miss J, my Northern Irish roommate. We get on really well, and there is a smaller double and a single that has the Resident Assistant (RA) in it. So 5 girls in the one flat. Most are co-ed, but this one isn't. Might all change in September when some of that intake leave and we get some newbies. Although our apartment is one of the newer ones and is much cleaner than some of them. So Miss J and I are conspiring on how to keep the room! The single room is tiny and to be honest, ours is nicer, so I am quite happy at the moment!! I'm just getting used to people popping in to see us at all hours. Especially when you have just had a shower and are pootling about in your pyjamas and 3 guys turn up and decide to take up residence on your couch and take over the TV. I think I may have a way to go before I fully embrace communal living!! Damn sheltered childhood!!

Takes me about 40 min to travel to work in the morning. Have to get to Long Island City, so I take the PATH train from New Jersey and then get the subway from 23rd street straight to my building. I do regret that my office isn't in Manhattan proper though, as we miss a lot of the city by travelling through it underground every day. But that is easily remedied, by meeting other people after work and seeing more places. It is a bit harder now that we have moved to New Jersey. When we were in the YMCA, it was in Midtown and you could walk almost anywhere. Meant that you could go to a club at night, be in in Times Square or Greenwich and then get a subway or walk back within 20 minutes. Now we have to wait on the PATH train, whcih can take up to an hour. Which is a nightmare when you are tired, or when you are trying to go into the City after a flat party or something. Kind of kills the party high once you have been hanging around the station for a while! I think I have gone from someone who says that I don't drink to someone that says 'ah go on then' I may have drunk more in this past month than I have in 6 months. Which I suppose only goes half way to making me normal, but for me its a lot! Besides, the measures they give you with spirits here are huge!! They just freepour into glasses and then mix it with a smidgeon of coke or something. We had gone into a place in Times Square and discovered it was free vodka until midnight. I only managed to get 2 from the bar, but they were the strength of about triples, so I was quite happy for the rest of the night!

The walk back to the hostel was interesting! Don't remember most of it, but I think we were peering down subway grates in the vain attempt to locate some rats... which I think had been D's idea. blah. Haven't seen any rats yet thankfully!! Only a cockroach, and that was on the street, so it wasn't that bad!All in all, I am really happy at the moment. Apparently the internship programme refer to this part as the 'massive high' and soon i will experience a low. Well to be honest I have had my blah moments. Like tonight I have taken myself off to spend some alone time and do this. Which is quite nice. You are constantly with other people, and I'm used to spending quite a lot of time alone, so I need my fix occasionally! And then I found a note my mum had packed for me and I got a bit teary.. but I think that is expected.

On the whole I feel quite good and I can't wait for the next few months, when I get more settled in and confident about what i'm doing at work and socially. Made some really good friends so far and I think its good that we are all in the same situation, because it helps us all.Anyway. Its now half ten and I have to be at work reeeeaaallly early tomorrow because I am setting up a conference, so I think I will take me and my sugary goodies back up the road and have a shower before falling into bed. 6.30 wakeup call. not so nice. Providing I actually get out of work before 6.30 tomorrow (unlike tonight!!) I might attempt to visit the gym. And so the excuses begin!
Night all!

No comments: