A little new adventure called: London Baby!

30 Aug

London Baby

Hi hallo everybody!

Do not worry, I am still alive!!

I know, I know, it has been too long. I must confess I lost my head a bit in my normally so organized life and I was overwhelmed by everything I needed to do to move to London. Here a little catching up for you:

Since the day before yesterday I have been living here for two weeks and I am starting to get a hang of things. I am biking almost daily to Stratford Centre, which takes only five minutes but I was very proud when I first did it: I was driving perfectly on the left side of the road and I didn’t get myself killed! Yes! Then two days ago I want to the supermarket and the cashier told me: ‘You always come by bike. I see you biking by.’ I can’t believe it took me ten days to already be recognized by a cashier. Thinking that this would probably be the only incident ever, I was again surprised by a similar comment at the Starbucks the day after. Rob who had served me I guess three times since I moved here said I didn’t like change when he guessed my order correctly. So much to being completely anonymous in the big city of London. As all my friends know, I love it of course :D!!

Next to that I already look to the right side of the road when wanting to cross; I do as the locals do and I cross whenever I feel like it always very much ignoring the traffic lights; I am getting used to the Pounds as well. At least I can find the right coins and it doesn’t take me way to long anymore, I am still spending way too much since the amounts seem smaller because the Euro is worth less. I also already adapted to everybody always asking how everyone is and saying thank you at least ten times per conversation. They do do it in a much friendlier way than the Americans I met in the U.S.A., although it still is quite doubtful in how far they are really interested. I am even getting used to the fact that apparently in every office I ever called so many different people work that in the ten times I called in the last two weeks I never managed to actually speak to a person I had already spoken to before. They do, however, all seem to recognize me as the girl with the really long name. After having had to spell it about a hundred times, I still don’t mange to do it correctly in one go. Although do I have learned that ‘A is for Apple’ and ‘E is for Ecco’. When they asked me if it was E as is ‘E for Ecco’ the first time, I still didn’t have a clue if they had the right letter since I did not know who or what ‘Ecco’ was. I thought that maybe it is a shop, but now I see how it looks like when I write it down, maybe the mend ‘Echo’. That would make much more sense :). They also all can’t really decided what to call me. Someone calls me ‘Anne’ than gets his colleague who addresses me as ‘Sophie’ and sometimes quite surprisingly someone calls me Anne-Sophie just perfectly fine. This proves that it is at least not impossible to address me like that. Most of them however, avoid the problem of pronouncing my name by just sticking to their usual ‘darling’, ‘honey’, ‘sweetheart’ and ‘love’. Now before I return to my usual blogging and fulfilling my tasks I would like to share two little anecdotes with you:

My first encounter with the London police office (yes I already had that)

On my third day as official citizen of London and after having recovered from my celebrating first night out I got a call of a friend of mine telling me someone called to say they had found my old phone with the prepaid card in it I use when I am abroad. You better believe me when I tell you I had already lost it before going out to celebrate. I have two friends who can confirm that I was already looking for it then (not that it makes any difference ;)) Anyway, my friend told me the person who had found my phone had brought it to the police station. So it only took me three days of living here to visit the police station closest to my home.

I entered the old building and after being let through a glass door I told the officer behind the counter what had happed. She got up and pulled out a huge old folder and started turning the pages in it. After a while she told me: ‘I am sorry, no phone was brought here in the last couple of days.’ I looked at her in astonishment. She saw my look and replied: ‘You would think that there is a system to check if a phone was found and brought to any of the other police offices. Sadly, there is not. What you can do, is call 101 and ask them for all the phone numbers of the police offices in a five mile radius from where you lost your phone. Then you can just call them and ask about it. After all, there is no need to visit them al in person.’ She beamed at me, obviously thinking she had presented me with a great solution. I forced myself to smile at her joke, thanked her very much and just left. Since I had no clue where I had actually lost my phone I immediately called my mom and asked her how important it was to get the phone back. That was my first experience with modern London and the highly up-to-date technological police office.

The truth about ‘Dutchland’

My second anecdote I would like to share happed a week later. In my desperate attempt to open a bank account I had walked into one of the banks I was recommended to and asked what I would need to open a bank account. After of course having spoken to three different people a women came up to me and asked me what kind of passport I had. This is the conversation that followed:

‘I have a Dutch passport’, I told her.

‘Can I see it please’, she asked me. She had a look at it and walked away, returning a view moments later saying: ‘it is a passport from the Netherlands.’

‘Yes’, I replied ‘It’s a Dutch passport.’

‘No it is from the Netherlands’, she told me, ‘that women over there has a passport from Dutchland.’

‘A passport from the Netherlands is a Dutch passport. It is called Dutch in English and we speak Dutch’, I explained.

‘But you have a passport from the Netherlands. She has a passport from Dutchland, it looks different.’

A bit annoyed I told her: ‘Dutchland doesn’t exist, Dutch is the language we speak.’

She was obviously not listening and just repeated: ‘she has a passport from Dutchland’ while pointing at some women in the crowed.

Then it hid me: ‘You mean from Deutschland, that is Germany in English. They have a German passport.’

‘Oh’, she laughed, ‘and you have a passport from the Netherlands.’ Then she told me I couldn’t open a bank account without some proof of address, which needed to be a bill and my tendency contract wouldn’t be sufficient. I left still baffled by our conversation.

 

These two rather astonishing anecdotes amazed me so much I just wanted to share them with you. Before I end I also want to say the British humor is truly and totally great. They make a lot of jokes and I laugh much more, even though I do most things by myself. I really really love it!

 

So time to tell you all goodbye my dears, please comment I would love to hear from you!

Lot’s of love,

Always,

Anne-Sophie

 

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4 Responses to “A little new adventure called: London Baby!”

  1. Ivette September 1, 2013 at 12:51 #

    Haha mooi verhaal meis!
    Klinkt alsof je het al flink naar je zin hebt daar!
    Dutchland… hahaha!

    Ik ben nu al benieuwd naar je volgende verhalen,
    Geniet ervan! 😉

    Kus!
    Ivette

    • Anne-Sophie Sloet van Oldruitenborgh September 2, 2013 at 09:23 #

      Hey Ivette!

      Zo jammer dat ik je niet meer heb gezien! Hoop dat je snel langskomt dan kunnen we zelf nog wat mooie verhalen maken! Ze zijn echt grappig die Engelse, geniet er vol op van! Hoe is het daar?
      Liefs!

  2. Katherine August 31, 2013 at 15:18 #

    I enjoyed reading this post! E is for Echo indeed, although Ecco is actually a shoe shop so you weren’t wrong there. But to be honest you can use any words you want and people will understand you. But if you want the official ones, you can find them here :): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_phonetic_alphabet

    • Anne-Sophie Sloet van Oldruitenborgh September 2, 2013 at 09:22 #

      Ah Thank you Katherine! That is a great help! I will just say E for Elisabeth or something, hahaha. It was quiet funny, but it is really getting to me. Loveeeeee this city!! Come visit me soon!! XXX