Oh Wait, I Live Here

Beautiful Edgware is seen through a window with turquoise curtains

The view from my window

In the first week or two after the move, I saw posters for events or places that seemed interesting, and thought, “gosh, I hope I can see that the next time I’m here!”  Then I would check myself: “waitaminute–I live here.  I can see that sometime soon!”  It was surreal.

I’ve started getting used to the commute and the fact that I can go to the British Museum every weekend if I want to. But I’m once again experiencing a sense of disorientation–this time, brought on by my flat.

Most of the apartments I rented in LA were studios or less.  For almost two years, I lived in the house of a fraternity that had lost its charter.  The rent was cheap, and it was close enough to work that I found that a fine living situation.  But eventually I moved from there to a one bedroom because I thought that it was time for a “grown up apartment.”  But even that one-bedroom was fairly run down.  The carpet was this horrible industrial stuff like the kind you’d find in a school.  And at one point, my dad came out for a visit, and ended up making a bunch of repairs to the place.  I loved it because it was all mine, but still…it wasn’t exactly what you’d call fine living.

The exception to the “terrible apartments” trend was when I lived with a boyfriend for 3+ years.  We were sharing his two bedroom, two bathroom place, which had a fireplace, and–miracle of miracles–a washer/dryer in the unit. But that wasn’t really my place per se.  I didn’t choose it, and my name wasn’t on the lease.  I just gave him money towards the rent each month.  And when I moved out, I moved into another studio.  Which was right across the street from LAX1.

The place I rented in Edgware is hands down the nicest apartment that I have ever gotten.  It’s a two-bedroom, one bath place on the 11th floor of a modern high rise.  The styling almost feels Japanese.  I have a lovely view…and a balcony.  And I don’t quite feel like it’s mine yet.  I wake up, and look out the window, and am stunned by what I see.  Then I walk down the hall to the kitchen/lounge area, and just think, “what am I going to do with all of this space?!”  It feels like a hotel.  Or a space someone would be put in as part of an experiment.  (So far, I haven’t found any hidden cameras though.  :p)

I chose to get a two-bedroom apartment with the thought that I might have lots of visitors, and that it would be nice to have a place for them to stay.  Or that I could have a good office.  But depending on how things go, I might look for a flatmate.  It’s nice to have that much space, but I kind of think that company could be good for me.  And even thought the rent is pretty cheap for what it is…a little extra money not spent on rent is always a good thing.  Right?

Hopefully when I have more furniture, I’ll feel more settled.  In the mean time, I guess I’ll try to enjoy the novelty of the disorientation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Not that I’m maligning that apartment at all.  I loved it.  But I’m saying, objectively, it was not a “fine apartment”.

One Month In London

Brixton, near Brixton Station

Can I tell you a secret?  I don’t know what to say when people ask me when I moved to London.  I got on a plane on April first, and to me, that departure is the key point.  But I arrived on the second; my first night here was the night of the second. So maybe the clearest way to say it is, “I moved on the first, and got here on the second.”  Something like that.

I suppose that I also like saying that I moved on the first, because it was April Fool’s Day.  In Tarot, the card “The Fool” represents a beginning. This may be a beginning where one is not entirely sure of what’s in the near future. This move has been quite a lot like that.  My company asked me if I would be willing to move in July of last year.  And as I’ve had an aspiration to work abroad for many years, I quite enthusiastically said yes.  But the details of pretty much every part of this move have been fuzzy.  And I feel like I didn’t give full thought to what that would entail (for example: the loss of friends; the difficulty of sorting through a decade’s worth of acquired possessions). This move was also tricksy since the date kept shifting.  First I was to go in November.  Then January.  Finally, April 1st was settled on as the date.  And here we circle back to: I moved to London on April 1st.

It’s been an eventful month: I spent 4 weeks living in an Airbnb in Brixton, and ended up renting a flat in Edgware. I’ve ridden busses and the tube to the point where I can at least make basic commutes without help.  I’ve walked a lot of steps, eaten a load of scones, and reconnected with some old friends.

So far, I like it. I’m hoping that I’ll find much more to love now that I’m settled.