Friday, September 27, 2013

Hello Earthlings


     Hello Earthlings
     For the last few months I was whining about job hunting, and now, when I have it, it’s time to start whining about flat hunting. London, I like you, babe, but this is madness. First of all – I have to forget about a studio apartment for now. The prices are out of my range, at least for now. Maybe later, when Tatiana comes and starts working, we might get something, but right now it’s all about flat share. The room for a couple starts from 500 a month (in Liverpool I could have 3 bedrooms apartment for that price!). The problem is that since I’ve only just started working, I don’t have all the money to get started. I would need around 1000 quid – 500 for the room and 500 deposit. So those are off the table. But there is a small percentage of flat shares that accept weekly rent and one or two weeks deposit. And this is what I’m targeting now. In the best case scenario I’ll get it this or next week. In the worse case I will carry on by myself here for the next month until I collect 1000 quid, and then I’ll bring Tania here.
     Anyway, enough about numbers. They give me headache.

      1. Today I cycled to the City and back to Sydenham. I was pretty tired, but I loved dodging between the buses, cars, going through those huge, six lanes wide roundabouts, sparkly tadpole amongst whales and sharks. I was spoiled by Copenhagen and its dreamy bicycle lanes. If you want to live on the edge, get a bike and come to London.

     2. On the way I was listening to Donatan – Polish hip-hop, this particular project bringing back the pride of belonging to the Slav family. Good beats, strong language, sooo not my regular cup of tea, but I enjoyed it greatly.

     3. The job – I really like it – people, college, hours, everything. I’ll try to get rid of the agency and go directly for the school. Let’s see how it goes.

     4. I tried busking with my ukulele. Three times I was paralyzed by the stage fright, the forth time I managed to play one song and I was shushed by some posh lady living above the street. It was in Soho, residential bit. This elegant women with posh accent came to me and said politely: “Young man, do you know the hell we have to go through, living in this area?” I looked around at the beautiful street, green trees, fancy coffee-shops, elegant bars, in the very heart of London. It didn’t look like a hell to me, but I was more then willing to swap with her for my freezing room in a ruined factory in the middle of the black ghetto.

     5. Continuing X Files marathon. The truth is out there, I knew it! ;)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

About work and some other thoughts


     It’s Thursday already. These days my life is revolving around the work. Learning new people, getting familiar with the place, duties, locating vocation in the triviality of everyday life.
     For me it’s difficult to adapt to new group. I want to, I’m a sociable being, I feel alive when I can exchange thoughts and feelings with other people, but it’s pretty hard in the beginning. People are different, and that’s cool, but I have problems with the beginnings of the acquaintance, when you have to get through people’s barriers, initial coldness, distrust towards strangers, etc. I don’t know, it’s just hard for me. I get tense, sometimes try too hard, my low self-esteem kicks in, and I feel I make a fool of myself. And it’s not unjustified fear. Sometimes I don’t make good first impression (maybe more often then I’d like to).
     Ok, someone could say – “so what? who cares?”. I know, I shouldn’t. But sometimes I’m tired of being an outsider. It’s nice to be part of the group. Of course not any group. I’m not that needy.

     I like our kids. Well, they are not kids anymore, they are teenagers, and in the college we call them learners, but it sound little bit dry, so I stick to “kids”. Some of them are very severely disabled. I know people who’d say “what’s the point of educating them, if probably they don’t get anything of it”. I used to get angry when I heard that, now I just feel sorry for those people, and usually I just don’t argue, it’s a waste of time.

    I think about ourselves, “healthy” people. Who are we? How limited and often erroneous is our understanding of the world and our selves? But we are learning, making baby steps, often with the help of people more progressed then ourselves. Someone could say that it’s a waste of time, we are learning so slow, but I think it’s important to see our lives in the perspective of eternity (yeap, this is a big word, I’m aware of that:). When I work with our kids, I feel that I’m returning the favor. And this work makes me progress more on the life path. I think, it must be because of it, that social work feels so important to me.

     * * *
The evening list

     1. Electric heater next to my feet feels nice. The autumn is here, wind flows freely through the gaps in the window frames. Two thick duvets, wool socks, hat and gloves – winter, I’m ready for you!

     2. Yesterday – hunger. I’m still waiting for my first wages, and right now I haven’t got a penny. Yesterday returning from work, hungry like a beast, I did a tour behind the supermarkets, to find some “goods”. Didn’t find anything! For a moment I thought that I would go to bed hungry, but then Dominik asked me to the dinner in his room. He invites me tonight too. I really appreciate.

     3. Asking around for a room to rent. I can’t search gumtree, because I wont be able to pay deposit at this moment, so I hope to find it through friends and friends’ friends.

     4. Started to watch X Files again. It used to be my favorite series. I love Mulder, Scully, but mostly I love nineties:)

     5. Anxiety is a weird thing. It’s like your mind turns against you. Today, on the bus, when the weird feeling of alienation and unease hit, I told myself – “It’s ok, don’t fight it. You can feel whatever you want, no problem”. I relaxed almost instantly.

     6. The only thing that gives sense to the Universe is love. I feel that nothing else has enduring value. Without love we are just living in a petty dream.

Sunday, September 15, 2013



     It’s already two months since the last entry? It is. I was more active on my another blog, but tonight I feel like I need some time here.
     Changes. I don’t live in Liverpool anymore. I moved to London. Liverpool depressed me, I felt lonely, couldn’t find a job, didn’t know anyone around. Then my friend, Radhika, suggested moving to London. She knows a guy who lives in a kind of a squat and asked him to get me a free place, and so he did. So I live here over a month now.

     The place is ok. South East (Sydenham). It’s a huge factory, with some rooms. The guy who looks after it, lives here and makes it available to friends or people in need for free or some small fee. Until now I didn’t have to pay, but now he asked me for 15 quid a week, which is ok, specially since I started working.

     Yes, I have work now. Teaching assistant in a special needs college. It’s through an agency, but it seems to be pretty solid, I might stay there. It’s been only the first week. I like it. Of course there are things that I will never like (timetables, schedules, chain of command, and all those “job extras”), but then working with people who need help is a noble thing to do and feels good. Only thing it’s pretty far – it takes me about 90 minutes to get there by bus. It would be faster on bike, but I don’t have any yet. Tried to buy some today, but couldn’t find anything in my budget. The job is only around 30 hours so I’m not sure how much I will get after tax, I’ll find out next week.

     What else? Two months is a long time. Lot of things happened. I’ll just make a list:
     1. Still missing Tatiana very much. I’m one of two, not one of one.
     2. Going to the Hare Krishna temple from time to time to eat something. But I stay away from the devotees there. Not very pleasant atmosphere. Fanaticism and old-boyism, can’t stand it.
     3. Made a song, I think one of my best so far.
     4. I like London. Yes, it’s a struggle now, being poor isn’t good for having fun, but in spite of obstacles I like it. Why? It’s just so big and crowded... There must be some real things and people in that beehive. And it means I can meet them.
     5. Rats. They are outside fortunately, climbing the vines outside my window, mating, fighting, ignoring me. I wonder if they will find the way in once it gets colder. I guess they might.
     6. Debts still escalating but in a much slower rate. Maybe even the growth has stopped? Let’s see. Right now it’s over 2000 pounds. Next week I get my first wages, but I’ll try to put aside all of it, and try to live of dumpster diving and busking. In this way I could collect enough to rent a double room near my work and for the plain ticket for Tania.
     7. People of the squat. Maybe I’ll make a separate entry about them. It’s a weird mix:)