Sunday, November 30, 2008


So, I procrastinated a little where my NI number was concerned, and then when I finally got it, a CV had to be prepared, etc etc etc, you get the picture, and now people tell me that applications for all the easy-to-get Christmas jobs are closed. Oops. So since then, I've been victim to a belated fit of productivity, having belatedly realised that it would be quicker to surf around on the web a little and then think hard for one hour rather than sit around waiting for people to help me. I finally set up and installed my printer, printed out a stack of CVs and spent half a day wandering around the city centre, walking into stores and asking if they had any vacancies. Many places were full already, but a few took my CV and said they'd get back to me when they had vacancies in Jan (sob! Must...have...Christmas...job!) and Borders actually told me it'd be smarter to apply at the end of December when people were leaving and they would need replacements. Primark of course has probably recieved 6 billion applications from uni students seeking holiday income, so I'm really not counting on that.

A couple of places seemed promising. I printed out the application forms for Next and Oasis and filled them in...Next seems like a bit of a lucky draw really, because you just dump the forms into a huge postbox-like thing and I really wonder if they read them all (sure hope they do though!) but Oasis not only told me that they had a vacancy, but were very nice to me as well, and checked what times I'd be available, etc. I would be so, so happy if I got a chance to work there, the work ethic and the other employees are great, and it's a smaller store so I'd be able to gain some experience in a less stressful manner than if I was working for a huge place like, say, Primark (though I'll take what I get at this point, I'm really not going to be too picky).

Working here is very different from back home in actually have half a chance of landing a decent part-time job as a student, for example, and you get paid pretty well...enough to live on. I cannot imagine this ever happening in Chennai, or indeed anywhere in India...for one there are way more people than jobs, for another, everyone's looking at how many degrees you have and how fancy they are, and whether you have a US or UK degree (well, now I will...ha ha). With all this, and the craze for hiring 'experienced' people, it's a miracle I actually bumped into my previous boss and benefactor (in the form of my singing teacher) who hired me for a good job because she wanted to help out a fresher and help them grow and develop (who does that anymore?) 

Over here, it's one has any issues with hiring someone right out of school, and indeed if you are overqualified a schoolkid could easily edge you out, because apparently no one likes overqualified people. To my great surprise, I for once am overqualified for something, and so have had to water down my CV a great deal and occasionally knock out my first BA. And of course, where previous jobs are concerned, I definitely cannot put down my last job title (which was admittedly much fancier than my job, and which I did not live up to in any sense of the word) because 'Business Development Executive and Creative Consultant' sounds like I'm 35, professional and more suited to an office environment than bagging clothes and giving people change (which is what I desperately want to do at this point).

Anyway, the weekend has been spent walking around the city centre all by my lonesome, seeking jobs, dropping off application forms and in the case of today, hunting for boots. Very enjoyable it has all been. And I am now plus a few shreds of hope and a full set of thermals, purchased today post form-dropping, so I'm fairly pleased. Tomorrow, Marks&Spencers phone application! Sigh. Wherever I start working, I would love to end up working for Marks&Spencer. Would be even more awesome to start there, but well, one can't have everything.

Wish me luck though! Prayers, positive vibes and good wishes much appreciated. Toodles.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Another week, another post.

So, it's been just another week. Yawn. Actually, it's been less eventful than most weeks, considering I attended less class than usual (ahem...this was not entirely my fault) and nothing very eventful happened except...


Oh my GAWD. I have been waiting for this, and making attemps to buy this, for two months now. TWO MONTHS. And now I HAVE IT. Happy does not even begin to express it. I was afraid to get too excited until the purchase had actually been made...this was not helped by the card reader acting up at the store...and once I actually had it in my hands, I sat down on a bench, held it in my arms, and spaced out for about five minutes, going 'mmmm' and staring into the distance with what was probably a very vacant expression. Then I called my parents in India, woke them up in the middle of the night, and squeaked away in a voice that was probably several octaves above normal. 


Heeheeheehee I have a laptop...eeeeeeee. Okay I will grow up now. But. Eeeek. It's so beautiful. And shiny. And I like it ever so much more than the old Macbook Pro, though I do wish they'd kept it either entirely silver or entirely black. AND I got a free printer, or well, rather a printer I'm going to get reimbursed for. The only drawback was that the free iPod nano offer ended just a couple days before I managed to buy it. I was supposed to give it to my friend, who's been listening to me whine about my lack of laptop and letting me make endless calls to Apple on his phone and endless email checks on his laptop for two months. So much patience. I think he should at least have got the nano after all the trouble he took for me...I even had to transfer the money to his account and buy it with his card. It's still sinking Mmmm. :) This post is going to be slightly incoherent, put it down to internal excitement.

What made it even better was the fact that we went out for dinner to celebrate and I had Chinese/Japanese food for the first time since coming to the UK :) Sure, I ended up spending quite a lot, but it was so worth it. It concluded with coconut ice cream with mango sauce...MMM.

I'm saying 'mmm' quite a lot today. Hmmm. 

My friend's been working this weekend, so I've spent most of yesterday and today chilling out at home, except for some bowling last night, where I unexpectedly managed at least 4 strikes :D Today was music downloading day. I cannot believe how fast I can download stuff here. WiFi here is faster than broadband in India. I've downloaded more than 50-100 songs today. Unfortunately, I don't remember everything I used to listen to before I moved here, but I've done my best to get some of it back. And rediscovered a couple of bands I adore for good reason...most notably Casting Crowns. Best gospel rock band ever. Beautiful lyrics, and they sound just like 3 Doors Down, which I love too :D The only drawback is, I've been sitting in front of the laptop for most of the day, which means that my back is frozen into position and will take a while to thaw out. Ow. 

My next post will definitely be more interesting. My laptop joy is kind of blocking everything else from my mind right now. Til next time then.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


I saw SNOW! Well, it's not like I haven't seen it before, but usually whenever I got there, it was already lying about on the ground, like when I visited the French alps when I was 13. Much fun was had with snow angels, sledding, falling through snow into hidden streams et al, but I never actually saw it fall out of the sky, which is what I experienced a couple of days ago.

It was utterly random...I had been expecting snowfall in Dec-Jan, for Christmas perhaps...not on Diwali! Oddly enough, my classmates and I were sitting around discussing snow, and suddenly one of them mentioned that it had been forecasted for the next day, making me jump out of my skin...and then we peeped out of the window and saw sleet, which became proper snowfall on the way home. By the time we got out of the bus, the tops of the trees, hedges and walls, not to mention the roofs of the houses, all looked like they'd been coated with sugar icing, and big flakes of snow were drifting prettily through the air like salt from the world's biggest shaker. Ooooh. I have to confess, I went totally nuts, and skipped down the middle of the street in my very inappropriate high heeled shoes and 'this-girl-was-totally-not-expecting-snow-today' outfit. I was a little busy jumping up and down trying to catch snow on my tongue, and so ignored my friend's stern injunctions to put up my hood. This, I found, was unwise. (Though fun.) I spent half the night with a fever of about 102, shivering and shaking no matter how warm it got, and effectively cancelling out our Diwali plans, which I still feel guilty about.

Before I was put out of action, though, we dressed up nice and warm, took a bus to the city centre, and wandered around aimlessly, all nice and full of post-snow excitement. I think we were hoping it would snow again, and enough to make snowballs this time, but no such luck...and we had to take refuge in the mall before we froze to death. This resulted in some very vague window shopping and a couple of pranks that really annoyed me (spoilsport that I am) and getting sicker with each passing second really did not help. By the time we finally left, my skin was still nice and warm but my bones felt like ice, and I have to confess I was really, really glad to get back home and hide under a duvet shivering...but seeing snowfall for the first time was totally worth it all. (Though I still wish I hadn't spoilt Diwali for anyone else. Have I mentioned what awesome friends I have here?)

I have no idea what sort of stupid fever that was, because it tortured me for 24 hours with dizziness and body ache and then abruptly disappeared into the dim and distant past. Let me illustrate how the morning, I was falling over when I tried to get out of bed, and in the evening I was trotting off to see Quantum of Solace with my friends like nothing ever happened. Yay. The cold is really killing, though...the weather was absolutely fine before it suddenly plunged to a couple of degrees below zero and stuck there. Memo: Must buy a cap before my ears fall off. Not to mention gloves. I DID get the coat I mentioned I was going a-hunting for, AND I got it for half price :) I love's light grey with big black buttons. Even better, it reaches just to the top of my thighs, therefore my daddy declares it cannot be warm enough and has instructed me to buy another one. I have been TOLD to buy a second coat, even though I already have one. This makes me very happy *grin* Usually, I am being TOLD not to do things like that.

Anyway, enough about the weather. The weather is known to be a very popular topic among those who have searched and searched but yet found no other topic suitable for discussion, and here I am chatting away merrily about it like it's the only thing on Earth that fascinates me (it's not.)

I was lying about at home today, attempting to watch Corpse Bride online - it took quite a few attempts, but I managed it in the end - when I recieved a mail update from our university's Christian Union. So far, I've been too chicken to go to any of the events, even though I'm pretty starved for Christian company right now...because I am a total coward when it comes to walking in randomly someplace where I don't know a soul. Of course I do have friends who'd come with me if I asked them, but so help me, I'm a little chicken about that as well. Anyway, today's update advertised a fireworks display/bonfire/barbeque happening tonight, which sounded really fun and cost only £5 a head, and I suddenly really wanted to go but was chickening out as usual. And then one of my friends online noticed something was off and asked me what was wrong and I said nah, there's just this thing and I was wondering whether to go and he said oh great, if you go let me know as well. And then I texted my other friend mentioning it and, well, I don't really have any secrets from him and he figured I'd want to go, so he was like, okay, let's leave as soon as I get home. So it looks like I might actually go after all, to this scary scary place where I do not know a soul :) although of course I will be taking known souls along with me, or rather they will be taking me. Yay. Hope it works out.