Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Shopping Mania

So I've come to embrace my American friends, and not just because they're pretty much the only people I know here so far. They are, by and large, fun people to hang out with. We bonded last night over Molly's 21st birthday celebrations. Present were Molly (naturally), Tommy, Glennis, Luke, Ben, and Kevin (the token Irishman), with the Brendans (two Temple students) joining us for the trek into town. It started with a few rounds of Asshole in Luke & Ben's suite, in which I lost terribly. Then we moved down to Temple Bar, where I had my first Irish pint of Guinness, and man, was it a treat. The pub was mediocre, primarily due to their horrible music selection (Whitesnake was playing when we went in) and generally unremarkable atmosphere. I don't even remember what it was called. It did, however, feature an impressive collection of graffiti on most of the walls of the ladies' room. Overall, it was an enjoyable night with entertaining company.

On the other hand, Maggie, one of my suite mates...oh man, she's a real trip. Her nasal voice only accents her whiny, blunt, and generally pessimistic attitude towards the simplest things. Luckily, I don't live in the same room as her, and will likely be able to avoid spending copious amounts of time with her. (Coincidentally, Jon, she's from South Pasadena and knows several CalTech kids.) The other girl, Amanda, is from Sydney, Australia, and is quite nice and more down-to-earth than Maggie. But suitemates aside (since who could ever top the former Room 212?), these accommodations are far more pleasant than la Casa. I only wish there were more hooks places, and more drawers.

Anyway, so this morning I woke up at the crack of noon to start the long, arduous process of outfitting the new digs. The interstudy crowd + Ben went into town to pick up various things at a department store; I ended up only getting a power strip, as I'm hoping to get everything I need at a thrift store charity shop. The grocery trip afterwards was far more productive and significantly more painful, as the nearest supermarket is a mile away and not on a convenient bus route. My feet hurt, my shoulders hurt, my back hurts - all from walking laden with my bookbag, satchel, and tote full of over 80 euro of necessities. And I'm already making a list of things I forgot and plan to get tomorrow (for instance, toiletries: I'm still working with travel size). Next time, I won't need so much, and I'll have a bike, thank god (or if it really comes to that, I'll call a taxi). That was an extremely unpleasant experience. But, I have food now! And cookware! Yay! It's certainly a big step towards feeling at home here.

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