July 29, 2016
Today, my diary is going to be long, very long. Because I have been very emotional for many reasons all day today and I’ve got a lot to talk.
First of all, I got up at 7am to have breakfast with my friends, cuz I was leaving the hostel this morning. I think I was already emotional last night, I didn’t get much sleep. I had Rosie, Corentin, Jane, Keila and Jimmy (a Pakistani who is working in tourism), and many other faces that I haven’t had the chance to talk to for the last 2 weeks. We had big hugs to say goodbyes, although I am sure I am gonna stop by and see them while I am still around. Still, whenever exchanging hugs to say goodbye with friends, it makes me tearful.
After checking out at 10:30am, I dragged my huge suitcase on the cobblestoned sidewalk with a heavy camera bag on my back, and started walking towards my Airbnb home. It’s meant to take 40 minutes on foot according to Google Maps, but with a heavy suitcase I thought it would take more than an hour to get there, so I made the appointment with Christopher at noon. Just then, it started drizzling. I was already discouraged, and with the help of the starting rain, I happily took out the phone and connected to Uber. An Uber taxi came in 3 minutes and got me to Sutton Way in no time. But the problem is, it was not even 11am and I had more than an hour to wait outside in the bloody chilly weather, so I left a text message to Chris’s younger brother James who was supposed to meet me at noon. Thankfully, James was at the flat and let me in.
Finally, Home Sweet Home.
Airbnb homes are really home away from home. It feels so so so different from the hostel. Of course you gotta choose the home and the host carefully – that’s part of your job as a traveller whatever the accommodation you are looking for anyway. James showed me around the flat, and when I stepped in the guest room (i.e. my room for a while), W.O.W. I was really impressed by my host’s nice surprise. There was a huge pile of stuff that Chris prepared for me – two new bath towels, new shower gel, new body lotion, a new puffy shower ball and even a new hair dryer in a dreamy basket, 6 packs of 2L mineral water bottles, two packs of juice, a box of cereal, a pack of wholegrain bread and a pack of toilet paper (not sure about this, cuz we are sharing the toilet). It was truly amazing. Honestly, he didn’t have to do that. Maybe he could prepare a clean towel because it is mentioned in his profile, but the rest? How lovely and generous!
I unpacked and settled in quickly and took a shot of my host’s gift. Then I went out for lunch and grocery shopping. If I wanna cook a nice meal for myself, I need to get some stuff.
I was very hungry, so I didn’t hesitate and just got in when I spotted a small Thai-Malaysian restaurant at the corner of the street, called Fitou’s. I have been craving for non-fat spicy food for a few days, so I ordered extra hot Seafood Tom Yum with steamed rice. Oh man, it was divine. The food was a little bit salty to my taste, but apart from that, everything was fantastic. The waiter Kiran was very nice talking to. The restaurant was not busy when I was there, so he kind of kept me company while I was eating. He is from India, speaking perfect English, Thai, Chinese, bit of Japanese, few words of Korean too, a bit of every language I guess. He was doing a guessing game of the nationality of Asian customers, and he got wrong every time today. But he said there are days when he gets right for everyone. Believe it or not. We mostly talked about languages, and it’s always interesting to talk about it, especially with people who know more than a few.
While I was in the restaurant, I got an email from Manchester, and guess what?
I GOT THE JOB!!!
I am going to move to Manchester and work with so many multinational colleagues in a super hot office building! I was nearly screaming with joy. Whoa…. I am so happy and relieved. Now I can focus on enjoying a bit of London as a tourist before I actually move to Manchester. Thank God!
I said goodbye to Kiran and went to nearby Tesco Express. I wanted to make some Korean dishes, but I need to get a few specific ingredients at an Asian supermarket, so I only got some basic stuff, such as olive oil, balsamic vinegar, eggs, bacon etc. I will get vegs and fruits at the Portobello Market tomorrow.
I came home and talked to my family and my best friend about my successful job finding story. I texted Jane too and she sounded very excited for me. And I started looking for a flat in Manchester through Gumtree, and saw lots of nice ‘spacious’ flats. There is not much price difference between one bedroom and two bedroom flats, and I am thinking about getting two bedroom one and become a Airbnb host. Why not? I have been enjoying every single Airbnb home as a guest so far, and I think I can be a good host too. It would be much more exciting to have some travellers from time to time than being alone all the time. And when I have my family and friends visiting me, I can provide them some kind of privacy! I think it’s a very good idea. I am already thinking about how to decorate the guest room!
I felt really sleepy at about 7pm cuz I didn’t sleep at all last night, so had a nice and hot shower and started writing my blog. In the middle of writing, I heard two guys talking at the corridor, so I got out of the room thinking it would be Chris and James, but it was their father changing the light bulb of the kitchen. When he finished the job, he came into my room and tried to connect the new TV (everything in this room is apparently new) to the signal. While he was on the job, we talked. And actually, he is the landlord of this flat. He’s got four children incl the two that you’ve already heard, his family used to live here and they moved to a bigger place when the kids got big, I mean really big. He and his wife moved to England from Nigeria, all the children were born in London, and all of them are doing very well. The first one Chris works at school and has his own business related to children, the second and the third Steve and Stephanie are teachers, and James is Law student in uni. The father should be very proud of his family. As an immigrant living in a foreign country myself, I am so happy for other immigrants who made their way successfully to have comfortable and happy life. I just hope that the world doesn’t go backwards by crazy governments and specific groups, and leave everyone alone to live their lives without fear wherever they are.
By the way, Chris is away on holiday, maybe I won’t get to meet him in person.