on the move
I remember listening to the Lemonheads on a tape player in my little room. Hauling my huge heavy bags (tape player, tapes, books...) on and off the trains, always worried I wouldn't have time to get everything in or out the doors. And trying to get change from a shopkeeper for a public phone, knowing I had just a few minutes left in the working day to try to organise a phone connection for my new flat, but he wanted to make fun of my accent instead of giving me the "fufty cint piece". I got the change, walked out and THEN had a cry, and I cried in fear a couple of nights later looking out at the lightning storms on the horizon - I had never seen a storm in the distance like that and to me they looked like explosions.
But I loved walking and walking and walking around with my map, getting lost and figuring out the way. Deciding on the flat in Fairy St, mostly for the street name, and sitting and writing and reading at the table with the hours I had to myself. Changing the way I introduced myself from "Jenny" to "Jen" because it was easier to make myself understood. When my boyfriend joined me six weeks later I found I had mostly lost my sense of being with him.
It's hard to believe this move in comparison - being met at the airport and taken to the executive centre which is largely paid for by the school, having warm, helpful faculty people at arm's reach, having everything taken care of simply by filling in forms or sending emails or asking questions. We had lunch today with friends who live here, and they were lovely and congenial and showed us where to buy shoes, and we have a date to eat next weekend in Little India. And I have Nic, whose instinct for finding and employing pragmatic information is beyond compare - he had the bus and train routes sorted before we even got on the plane.
But I know there are other uses now for my excess self.