We’ve just had our first couple days in Derby and it has been totally overwhelming. We arrived yesterday (Friday, February 10th) at 7am in the morning, at the Birmingham, UK airport. We had a chauffeur car pick us up, thank goodness because we hardly slept on the plane flight over. However, on the flight we had “on demand” TV at every seat, so I started watching the show called “United States of Tara.” I thought it was fitting since for one, my name is Tara, and secondly, because I’m leaving the U.S.! Anyway, I watched about 5 of those episodes and was quite intrigued by the show. It’s about this woman named Tara that has multiple personalities, and she is struggling to unite all of them. I would like to watch more and find out what happens.
Our chauffeur dropped us and our 200 lbs of luggage off at our apartment, and we managed to carry all the luggage up the 3 flights of stairs to our place. Living on the 4th floor (well, the British call this the 3rd floor, counting the first floor as “zero”) is going to be interesting! The relocation company met us at the apartment and handed over the keys, and now the place is officially ours!
The rest of the day we went shopping! We went to this great store called Dunelm that is similar to a Bed, Bath, and Beyond. We got all of our essentials, such as linens, pots, pans, dishes, etc. I keep thinking of stuff that we need that we forgot, but we have the basic items for now. Then we went to Asda, which is actually owned by Wal-Mart, and got a bunch of food supplies and a few more kitchen items. Oh yes, and hangers! We got hangers even though we don’t have closets to use them in!
I don’t understand why closets are not standard over here? I thought you had to have a closet and a bathroom in order to classify as a bedroom! Oh well because today we went to IKEA and bought an awesome wardrobe! It will fit in our bedroom at the foot of the bed, and has sliding doors, so that we can actually access the stuff in our little space! We are waiting on it to be delivered and I’m very excited. We also bought a few other furniture items that were needed. We attempted to buy a kitchen island, but when we got home, it turned out to be a chair! We somehow picked up the wrong box, so we are going to have to make another trip to IKEA. I can handle that 🙂
Also, I have to talk about the driving since that is the ultimate struggle. Right now we have a Peugeot rental car, but we will be getting our own car at some point. Oh, and that’s a weird thing: they call rental cars “hire cars.” It makes me confused because I would think of a hire car as a taxi before I would think of it as a rental car. Oh well, I have to use that lingo over here or else nobody understands what a rental means.
Yesterday Doug did the driving, while I drove today. Everything is so difficult! Your mind is trained to drive, but I feel like I’m 15 again and just learning for the first time. Merging on the highway and having to look to my right, and creep to the right, just seems so weird! Oh yes, and a 2 lane highway = “dual carriageway.” And every time I go to park, I inevitably hit my right hand on the door as I’m going for the gear shift before I remember that I need to use my left hand, and that the shifter is on my left side! And I still keep walking to the wrong side of the car to get in! The roundabouts are extremely confusing, especially because they have 3 or 4 lanes going around, and I can never figure out which lane I want to be in! Rolls-Royce will give us driving lessons, and I’m definitely going to take some!
So these first few days have been very busy as we are trying to get our life in order. We start work on Monday, so hopefully that goes well! We’ll have another update soon!