Dec 13 2018

On being civilized

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 1:22

I do not consider my own country civilized overall, but there are a lot of civilized people living there that I admire very much because they chose to be civilized in an uncivilized country. They were not educated into being civilized, and they were definitely not coerced into being civilized by a set of rules that when broken lead to serious social and financial consequences.

I have traveled in quite a few places in Europe because of my work, and countries like France, Austria, Germany, UK –  I tend to view as civilized. Although every country is inhabited, and there are people that don’t give a rat’s ass about the rules and regulations, people from eastern Europe tend to see countries in the center and western Europe as being more civilized. Let’s stop beating around the bush – it’s because people in those countries actually pick up their dogs shit. So, as a person from a less civilized country, you feel more confident when living in a more civilized country. At least this is how I used to feel. Seriously this was my brains when I was delegated to Frankfurt: “It’s ok to walk back to the hotel alone at 11 PM, you’re in a civilized country. Nothing bad is going to happen to you!”

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Oct 28 2018

Edinburgh in autumn

Category: English postsIuliana @ 1:00

The title says it all. There is nothing that I can say to describe how beautiful this city is, especially dressed in the colors of autumn. So I will let the following pictures do the talking.

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Jul 22 2018

Housework and other stuff

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 15:48

I haven’t been writing for a while and that is because I’ve been pretty busy. Aside from a tedious task and work, I’ve had some housework to do as well and a book to write so I am sure you can understand my reasons and forgive my absence.

As I’ve probably mentioned before I’ve rented a flat at the ground floor of a typical Scottish house. And when I say typical I’m not joking. The house was build in 1930 and has separate heads for hot and cold water. And if you ever seen those memes about the UK double-headed sinks like the one below, well… it’s just like that.

Since I’ve moved here obviously I researched why they did it this way, because there must be a logic behind it, right? The first reason is historical, most English houses had running water before boilers were invented, so the hot water circuit was added later. After the boilers were introduced, the water would go stale in the boiler cylinder and become undrinkable and dangerous, so a law was introduced that prohibits mixing hot and cold water. Also, there is an economic approach.  If you use the same pipe for cold and hot water, if you want scolding hot water after cold water, it would take a little more time to get it, as the pipe is cold and because of heat transfer the initial hot water is not really hot, but more like piss warm. The UK design promotes water saving, as you are supposed to use the sink cork, then mix the water  in the sink in the right amount, and there you wash your hands and face, so the water is not running unnecessarily.

I do have an electric shower for quick showers though. So all is well with the world. ;)

Moving on from the sink subject, the house is obviously quite old, but quite well maintained, but it does have its perks. For example it has an old fireplace that is no longer functional and it was covered up like this:

Well, obviously I had to do something about it. So one can of Antique White Chalk Based Furniture Paint, a little Furniture Finishing Wax, 5 days of repeatedly applying the paint, a little bit of peel and stick wallpaper and some advice from an Architect friend of mine, turned the old and plain fireplace into this:

And the fireplace was not the only problem, just look at this old thing:

Although very practical, this very big thing was in my hallway and was taking up space. And because of technical reasons (it hides the electric meter) I cannot get rid of it. So I took out the paint again, and transformed it into this:

Obviously it does not take less space, but it looks like it does, because, color illusion is a thing and also, now fits the rest of the house at least. I still have to paint the wooden cover of the bath tub, that is a weird shade of brown as well and the bed frame, that is quite black. Again, they just don’t fit the house.

Yes, I have a bed frame now, a college from work donated it to me. She was moving into a house with a smaller bedroom and the bed frame just did not fit. The mattress should reach me next week, not sure when because Amazon is not always open with this kind of details. :D After everything is in place I’ll finally be able to sleep properly, I hope. :)

And since I have to get back to working on my book, I will just post here another set of beautiful pictures I took in Edinburgh.

Stay safe, stay happy!

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Jun 18 2018

19 days later

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 1:27

Today is my 19th day in Edinburgh. It was not all milk and honey, but overall, I love it here. I was so scared of all the bad experiences as an immigrant in another country that I might have over-prepared.

The fact is, I did not come here to take anybody’s job, I did not com here for a better life. Actually, after taking out rent, taxes and monthly utilities I might be left with less money from my salary, compared to what I was left with in Romania. But then again, if I compare with my situation in Romania, everything could be seen as disadvantageous here.

I no longer have a car, and this hinders my mobility a little but at the same time, “forces” me to walk to a bus station or another. This “forces”me to see the city I live in and almost every day I have at least one moment where I just want to exclaim happily “I live here now!”

The weather here is crazy. In a good way. It’s fascinating really.  First of all, days are way longer during summer. No idea when the sun rises, but at 6 when I wake up, outside is lit up enough to feel safe when running in the park. Sometimes it rains during the day and then the sky just clears up, like all the  clouds have melted away and the sun comes up at 20:00. And the light is so weird it feels like morning again. My brains is a little screwed up by this, I must confess, because I feel tired during the day, but then it’s like I wake up at 20:00. I feel this boost of energy and this eagerness to start a brand new day that is just difficult to ignore and just go to sleep.  And then it gets dark, but not that dark, at 23:00, you can still see somebody’s face without any additional light and the sky is still light blue.

The house that I rented is nice as well, all floor is covered with this fluffy carpet that my cat enjoys rolling on and the vacuum cleaner bought specially for it keeps it in quite good condition.  It is the first time I rented using an agency and in this country this shit is quite serious. The agency is in charge with making sure the place is given to you in pristine condition and make sure it stays that way. Sure, they get a big bonus for that, but damn, it is comforting to know that in case something goes wrong around the house I can call them and they will fix it. The cat loves the house, and loves the garden, she has 2-3 hours a day when she just disappears. And she loves the self inflatable mattress, she didn’t pierce it yet like she did with the yoga balls. :) I am still trying to understand how the thermostat works, but oh well, you can’t have them all.

Also, it is the first time I rent an unfurnished place and there is this feeling of accomplishment that grows with every decision I make regarding the things to buy and how they are arranged.

I am still bleeding money, or at least it feels this way, because I have all these initial investments to make. Once this is done, everything will come back to normal, and my spending will become normal.

As for the new job, things are starting to settle down, apparently there is order in this chaos and there is information everywhere, on how things were designed and they are supposed to work, and they actually work. I cloned the sources and I was able to build and start the project by myself. And that happens every time, I almost forgot how this felt like, because at the previous project I worked on, there was always something crashing.

And the food, I either don’t know what to eat from here, or where, but daamn British  truly can’t cook.  So a big investment that I had to do this week was kitchen tools because I had to prepare my meals for the week. I am tired of sandwiches and wraps. At least the beer is awesome, and there are so many options when it comes to it. So far, my favorite is the ginger beer. I like the little tingles it causes in my taste buds.

There are assholes here as well, I realize that every time I run in the park and I see rubbish thrown here and there. I understand that when you live in a city you are most likely fed up with it and stop seeing its beauty, but why trash it?

Anyway, I am here to stay, unless I die or something.

Soon I will write an article on this blog with all the necessary steps you need to go through to move here without hassle. It’s not an invitation for my fellow Romanians, it’s just a basic guide for whoever is interested to move to another country. Because after 19 days, there is one question that keeps popping up in my head: “Why haven’t I done this sooner?”

 

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Jun 09 2018

First week at my new job

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 1:40

I wanted to write this post, after my first day, but as the rational person I am I stopped myself? Because what can be said about the first day? Not much, you meet a bunch of people, you get an access card and you start the bureaucracy proceedings. You don’t really get any opinions and the ones you get are first impressions that are wrong most times. So I avoided writing until now. But here I am, writing about it. So, how was it?

It was different. It is the first time I work with a foreign team directly, from the first day. And it is the first time I work in a truly software company that is not outsourcing. So it is different, I am still trying to figure out if I will fit the team or fit the project. In the beginning I had the impression that this is the most disorganized company I ever came across. But, bit by bit, things started to become clear. Sure there are some corporate things that might make my work more difficult then they should, but the development environment seems to be quite in good shape.

Going to work takes me about 40-50 minutes every morning, and the bus takes me right through the city center. I am a little bit perplexed of how … not “misplaced” I feel here. When I moved to Sibiu, even if I was brokenhearted, I still missed Iasi. But it is not the same here, I miss the people of Sibiu, but I do not miss … “home”. And now that, soon my cat will be here, and starting with Monday I will have a house, so I can begin a new life here, I can build something new. And I can make it exactly as I want to.

And I like this city so much, I cannot contain my enchantment every time my bus passes down on Princess Street, next to the Edinburgh castle, or every time I board a tram. I don’t think I’ve ever been so enchanted with a place I lived in.

Until I get some inspiration, you can relax your eyes with a few pics. I got my RIDACARD two days ago. It is very practical when you get on the wrong bus, because you can just jump off it and jump into the next one, and the next one, until you managed to get where you want to go. This happened to me today, two buses and a tram later, I was home together with my ETEKCITY mattress. Not the perfect time to get on the wrong bus, because the box was not that small, but oh well…

 

 

I don’t know what else to say. I am confident that I made the right choice. But I guess, time will tell.

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Jun 02 2018

But wait what about the weather?

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 13:09

Another thing that I was asked until it actually started annoying me before I left my home country is: what will I do about the weather? Because one of the many things Romanians hate about UK is the weather. Well, I don’t really care about the weather. Sure, I will have to take care about my vitamin D intake at some point, but for now, it is my third day here and I’ve actually had a little bit of sun in each of them. So it’s not that bad for now.

The way I see it is like this: if the only thing I don’t like about this country is the weather, than this is a good thing.

Here are my opinions about the weather until now. It’s not as sunny as in Romania during the summer, and the weather is not constant during the day. So weather predictions are useless here. During one day you can have burning sun, fog, cloudy with a chance of tempest, light rain or heavy rain. Yes all of them in one day. Yesterday I almost got sunburned in the morning and got soaking wet in the afternoon. But so far the unpredictable weather changes are just funny to me. I hope it stays this way. And now I will show you why the weather is perfect actually. (Yes, this weather allows for the green areas of Edinburgh to look like this)

And by the way, the sign worked. Nobody is smashing the entry door at night anymore. ;)

Stay safe, stay happy!

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May 09 2018

Moving on and letting go

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 0:20

My dear friends we have a problem. As I prepare to move to another city, to another country and start another job, I am getting insomnia thinking of all the things that could go wrong. I am still packing and trying to decide what to leave behind. I am saying goodbye to friends and bleeding money while trying to move everything from Ron to pounds. I just sold my car, that I barely had for a year and a half. And I don’t usually get attached to things, but this car was one of the best investments I ever did. I am happy though, because it is getting some awesome owners that will appreciate it just as much as I do.

The problem that we have is that you see me as this strong, inquisitive, curious and brave person and some of you do not seem to realize how hard this is for me. Because even if I don’t show it properly, because I’m an introvert after all, I am attached to some of you. And it hurts thinking that most probably I will never see many of you again.

And I have to spend two weeks without my cat. And three weeks looking for rent in a country that looks down on Romanian immigrants and uses credit score to decide if you are able to pay rent or not.

And the new job… seems amazing, but amazingly challenging as well. And I am terrified of the culture clashes and the repercussions of me being too blunt and too open and maybe too friendly. Honestly, I don’t know exactly what scares me, I’ve always been good at adapting. Sure between my four walls I will cry in the evening before falling asleep, that is if I can sleep. Because insomnia is one of my oldest friends, that never leaves me alone in challenging times.

And I have a book to write as well and I feel guilty every time I fall behind a page or two.

But saying goodbye to friends is the hardest. Because there are some people that you never think see you as a friend. But they do, it’s just that they have their own life, challenges and responsibilities keeping them busy. And they tend to take you for granted. They always think that there is time. That they will have that beer with you tomorrow or maybe next week. And you think that they are just too busy to see you. They all seem to have so much going on in their lives, that you don’t want to bother them. So we all take each other for granted. You think there is time. That you will maybe meet next week. But you never do. And then somebody moves away, and you realize that you should have bothered them. You should have asked them for a beer, even if rejection hurts. And you should have said yes and got that beer, because who knows what will happen tomorrow.

I am as guilty for taking people for granted just as much as my friends. But I am guilty of being too scared of being rejected. Because if somebody said no to me more than twice, I give up. No need to be a bother, right?

And I am really sorry, I guess I have a long way to go before becoming an adult. I believe after this change I have learned my lesson and do it better next time.

I guess, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Stay safe, stay happy!

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