Tuesday, November 08, 2005


I've been wondering lately about the future of this blog. Since arriving in the UK I haven't had much to write about that couldn't be classified as whinging. I thought about asking Gwyneth Paltrow if she wanted to form a club after she was lambasted in the press for complaining about rude customer service, non-stop rain and dirty streets. I think her outburst was quite restrained, infact I could make a much longer list, beginning with the following:

- the price of everything (with no necessary relation to quality or good service)
- the underground - smell, carriage height, heat, rubbish, getting to the platform...
- the difficulty of opening a bank account (I still haven't managed)
- half hourly marketing phone calls from call centres
- 'assemble at home' furniture that arrives incomplete
- being referred to 'complaints offices' which are only contactable by post
- people eating fast food meals and drinking alcohol on public transport
- delivery people who steal stuff
- having to worry about my valuables everywhere

Okay, I better finish there.

Anyway. I started a new job on Monday and I'm hopeful that it will give me something else to write about. It's in an interesting area, on my way from the tube station to work I passed a vandalised car, a drug deal and a girl running through a park screaming. I read in the paper that vigilante gangs in the area have started going after criminals because the police response time is so slow.

And my job? I work on a farm. An educational farm in the city is starting a basic skills program for asylum seekers. I was hesitant to work with asylum seekers again but the job is fantastic. My hours are very flexible and I will be completely responsible for designing the course and lesson plans. Best of all, there is a limit of six students in the class! Since it is part-time, I'm looking for another job to supplement it.

And there's no need to fear that this job will be tame after working in Chungking. I arrived on Monday morning to find my new colleagues cleaning a mountain of mouse poo off my desk.

Rodents, drugs, insane people... it's all comfortingly familiar.


Clare said...

Arriving here at the beginning of winter probably wasn't the best start! I remember the feeling well though when I came back here after years in HK - you do get used to everything eventually and start seeing the good things and the beauty (or maybe just forget that places with clean, frequent, cheap public transport exist).

joe said...

Yes... I'll pray for ignorance to descend soon. No really, it's not that bad :)

See you tomorrow!