Apr 18 2018

End of an era

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 0:06

In 2014 I was crushed into little pieces and all I wanted was for the wind to blow me away. But the wind did not blow me away, it just transported me to a place where I experienced so much personal and professional growth that when I look back at it, I can hardly believe it. Yes, I look back. Because today is was the day when I prepared for taking flight again.

I am excited about the change, but I am terrified at the same time. I am leaving behind a great team, the most awesome mentor that I never even dreamed I would meet and hopefully some friends that I will get to see once in a while.

I just put in my resignation. I am leaving little cozy Sibiu, for the great city of Edinburgh. I am leaving a mountain city, for another mountain city on the coast of the North Sea, I am leaving a continent and moving to a rainy island.

Today it was a cloudy day in Sibiu, just like most people expect for days to be in the UK. It really did not bother me, I have always loved the rain. And yes, the sun might be less visible from Edinburgh, but that will make me treasure more the days when I can see it.

Last year, when I realized I have outgrown this company and this country I was a little scared I would not be able to leave. I am 34 after all, there are some countries (Australia, I think) that do not accept you if you are over 30. But nevertheless, I challenged myself to leave this country until I am 35. I considered 40 at first, but then realized that age is too far away. Finally I have enough money and enough bravery stashed away to do this. Over the years I have been complaining a lot about Romania, maybe it is time to actually have something to compare it to.

If all goes well, by the time I am 40 I will be a UK citizen as well, because this is a long term plan. Moving to another country takes a lot of effort and investment, especially when you really, really want to take a cat with you. And I do. My cat Psihoza, has been with me since 2007, she surpassed the “pet” designation long ago. She is my partner and my dear friend, well as good as a friend a 4 year old can be, because apparently this is the human intelligence a cat can reach. I would say she surpassed that as well, but I’m not cat expert.

There are 42 days left until I will board a plane and then start the struggle of finding a place to rent and navigating through all UK bureaucracy. I’m not looking forward to it, but I will do what I have to do.

I am now awake because I really wanted to write something for my new book, but I’m stuck in such an ugly writers block, that I want to kick myself. I am reading articles and keep hoping it will come to me, while being stressed of the lack o ideas, moving to another country, finishing the last project I am involved at work and while being worried for my cat. “What’s wrong with the cat?” you might be rhetorically asking. Well, because UK has such strict rules when it comes to pet regulation, my cat cannot travel on the same plane with me. So a specialized company must transport it. And they will take her by car, and the ride takes 4 days. 4 days of being in a box, of being let out on a leash just for somebody to clean the box. I am worried of the stress this will put on her and if she is going to reach me and still love me and forgive me for this.

But I guess, I’ll have to wait, hope and see.

Stay safe, stay happy!

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Mar 11 2018

Visiting Edinburgh again – day one and a half ;)

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 11:08

When I stepped out of the airport, I felt the rain on my face and a brush of Scotland wind caressed my face. Although the weather app promised good weather in Edinburgh, clearly this was not the case. But it was not cold, even if while landing I’ve seen some patches of snow the rain was warm-ish.
I took a deep breath and prepared for the days to come. I would be here for 7 days, and I have to make the best of them, even if I don’t make it past the interview I am in freaking Edinburgh and I will enjoy my time here.
I got into the Airlink bus that took me to the city and I enjoyed the ride. There is something about Scotland, the small wet stone houses that makes me think time has stopped here. Although Edinburgh is a capital city, it is not as crowded and as noisy as you would expect. Maybe it is the weather, because when it is always wet and cloudy outside, the tendency is to go indoor to enjoy a hot tea or a beer and good music. So I guess that’s what the majority of the people do here, do their chores first and then just run inside to relax.

I got off the bus in Shandwick place and tried to figure out where can I get bus 25 from. That is the bus I needed to get to my hotel. It was raining again and my hat started smelling like a wet sheep. I remember the smell because when I was about 4-5 years old, my parents would leave me with my grandparents in the countryside and my grandfather had a few sheep I used to play with. So I went to cover into the first pub that promised decent fish & chips.

I stayed there admiring the rain outside, enjoying a beer and browsing the internet searching for means to move around. An slowly my brains started digging out memories from two years ago and I installed the Lothian Bus & Tram app, then got myself the M-ticket application and bought myself 6 M-tickets, because I did not want to look for change like crazy when taking the bus.

You have to understand I came mostly unprepared here. I bought the plane ticket on Tuesday, and my plane took off Saturday at 6 AM. I have prepared my luggage on Friday after 10 PM, because I was out with my colleagues that night. I am expecting to find out the next days that I am missing few things.

Anyway, back to my beer and fish & chips. They were great. I dared to leave and struggled to find my bus station. It is quite difficult to do that when you are also navigating via Google Maps in the rain. I missed my bus by a few seconds and a nice Scottish man directed me to a different one that would take me where I wanted to go. I ran to it, activated one of the M-tickets and got on the bus. And a few seconds later my phone died. Because after the latest update, iPhones die when the battery is at 10%. So I used my Samsung Galaxy S8+ to make sure I got off at the right station(this phone – best accidental investment I ever did).

I got to the hotel. My room is below ground level and is smaller than my home-office, no joke. :)) But it is warm and cozy and I get free tea. So, after all – perfect. :D And this is the moment when I realized another fuck up. I forgot the power plug adapter at home. I had two of them since I was in Ireland in 2011, but they were at home, in my electronics box, because leaving on such a short notice and being such an idiot I totally forgot that these guys have different power outlet standards. The hotel owner had a few, and he gladly offered them to me, but my Mac had this sturdy power plug, with these really thick legs that did not fit in the tiny holes of his adapters. So I went again out in the rain to the closest electronics & furniture shop in hope of finding one. I did not get to the shop, because I found one of those neighborhoods electronics shop that have everything. And they had the kind of adapter I needed. So I gladly bought one, told the guy he saved my life and went back to the hotel to resuscitate the iPhone and plug in the laptop because I still needed to go over some topics to prepare for the interview. Now that I was no longer worried I would be stranded here without the necessary electronics, I stopped at Tesco, got some Twinnings Earl Grey tea, Tyrells vegetable chips, bananas and a bottle of water. Honestly, I could live like this every day here. :D

I got back to the hotel, made me a tea and then warm air in the room got to me and just drifted off to sleep for two hours. I woke up, made another tea and got to work. You see, I needed to send in the third chapter of my book, to check if the publisher wants to go ahead with it or not. So I did my best, reviewed what I had and send it in.

I share my bathroom with another room here, but if it is as big as mine, probably I share it with just another person and I’m find with this. There is little chance we ever need the bathroom at the same time, because I have a weird schedule: I go to sleep late and wake up early.

I felt asleep again with the sound of water dripping, because it was still raining. The monotony of this sound acts like a sleeping pill to me, and it was really easy for me to fall asleep.

And I woke up in the morning, decided to stay another 5 minutes in bed and finally managed to get out of the bed at 7:44 am. I made another tea, booted up my Mac for another few hours of study. The plan for today is to leave the hotel at about 1 PM, go for a late lunch and at 5 PM I’m going to a Jazz concert, because I’m in a damn rich cultural city and I plan to enjoy these things I cannot get at home.

The internet at the hotel is crappy, but you cannot have them all I guess.

Bonus for this post: the park in front of the hotel on a rainy day. ;)

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Sep 17 2016

So far away

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 1:02

I am waking up on a cozy sofa, sun shining happily in my window. Across the street the light green field is full with seagulls chasing who knows what in the grass. I saw them every morning this week. The city of Edinburgh is waking up slowly. I get out of the bed and start the tea-maker to enjoy my last Earl Gray with milk in this lovely city.

Edinburgh is a city like no other, alive but cozy, full of culture and with a rich past that transpires through every building still standing for more than 100 years and every new building that was build respecting the old casterly exterior. Yes, casterly, as in, looking like a castle.

When people say “the grass is greener on the other side” I like to think they are talking about Scotland now, because the green is greener and more joyfull here. Folks here say it is the humidity that makes the grass a happy green. Believe me you’ve never seen happier shades of green anywhere in the world. And though the island climate does not allow many sunny days, the afire green of Scotland makes their parks and golf courses look heavenly.

The Scots are proud, but gentle people. They are educated, open minded but modest and helpful. They are proud of their history and their struggle to keep their cultural identity alive and kicking. The myths about Scots being greedy are a fabrication.

I love Edinburgh, in only six days it has become one of my favorite cities that I will take into consideration when moving out of Romania. This I say it now, when I am far away from home, in this cozy apartment next to Craigmiller’s castle. I am so far away from everything that I love, from everything that hurts me, from my normality. Maybe I will make this city a part of my normality one day.

Stay safe, stay happy!